The Council was organized as a national coordinating body in May 1930 at Howard University (Washington, DC). Charter members include Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi Fraternities, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, and Zeta Phi Beta Sororities. In 1931, Alpha Phi Alpha and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternities joined the Council. Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority joined in 1937 and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity completed the list of member organizations in 1997.
The stated purpose and mission of the organization in 1930 was "Unanimity of thought and action as far as possible in the conduct of Greek letter collegiate fraternities and sororities, and to consider problems of mutual interest to its member organizations." Early in 1937, the organization was incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois and became known as "The National Pan-Hellenic Council, Incorporated."
1906 Cornell University Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
1908 Howard University Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
1911 Indiana University Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity
1911 Howard University Omega Psi Phi Fraternity
1913 Howard University Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
1914 Howard University Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity
1920 Howard University Zeta Phi Beta Sorority
1922 Butler University Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority
1963 Morgan State University Iota Phi Theta Fraternity
Growth of NPHC Fraternities and Sororities: The growth of NPHC fraternities and sororities, on both historically white and historically black campuses, can be viewed in three distinct phases:
Post World War I: Undergraduate chapters of NPHC affiliate organizations began to spread to major research universities admitting Blacks and to major historically Black colleges in the South. Graduate chapters were birthed in cities across the US as civic and service organizations, due to blatant racism prohibiting African Americans from participating in general civic organizations within their communities after college graduation.
Post World War II: NPHC affiliate chapters proliferated on southern historically Black college campuses. Many cultural traditions which differed markedly from historically white college traditions became refined and embedded within the African American tradition and culture (e.g., " lining" and public skits on campus as a part of "pledging").
Post Civil Rights Act 1964: Many colleges and universities which had previously denied admittance to African Americans or which had small enrollments grew in their enrollment of African Americans and established chapters on their campuses. Such actions caused the numbers of NPHC affiliate organizations to swell to over 400 undergraduate chapters and just as many graduate chapters on the average for each organization. Presently, there are approximately 1.5 million members of undergraduate and graduate affiliate chapters served by NPHC.
-Source: The Official National Pan Hellenic Council, Inc. Website