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National Panhellenic Conference

Not to be confused with National Pan-Hellenic Council.
National Panhellenic Conference
File:NPC logo.jpg
Established 1902
Members 26
Continent North America
Country United States and Canada
Organization type Trade organization

The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), founded in 1902, is an umbrella organization for 26 (inter)national women's sororities.

Each member group is autonomous as a social, Greek-letter society of college women and alumnae. Members are represented on over 650 college and university campuses in the United States and Canada and in over 4,600 alumnae associations, making up over 4 million sorority women.[1]

Vision Statement and Mission Statement

The National Panhellenic Conference's vision and mission statements were both adopted at the June Board of Directors meeting 2011.

National Panhellenic Conference Vision Statement

National Panhellenic Conference - Advancing the Sorority Experience Together.[2]

Conference Mission Statement

The National Panhellenic Conference is the premier advocacy and support organization for the advancement of the sorority experience.

The National Panhellenic Conference provides support and guidance for its 26-member inter/national sororities/women’s fraternities and serves as the national voice on contemporary issues of sorority life. Founded in 1902, NPC is one of the oldest and largest women’s membership organizations representing more than 4 million women at 655 college/university campuses and 4,500 local alumnae chapters in the U.S. and Canada. Each year, NPC-affiliated collegians and alumnae donate more than $5 million to worthy causes, provide $2.8 million in scholarships to women and volunteer 500,000 hours in their communities.[2]

The Panhellenic Creed

We, as undergraduate members of women's fraternities, stand for good scholarship, for guarding of good health, for maintenance of fine standards, and for serving, to the best of our ability, our college community. Cooperation for furthering fraternity life, in harmony with its best possibilities, is the ideal that shall guide our fraternity activities.

We, as fraternity women, stand for service through the development of character inspired by the close contact and deep friendship of individual fraternity and Panhellenic life. The opportunity for wide and wise human service, through mutual respect and helpfulness, is the tenet by which we strive to live.[3]


Sorority Year Founded Year Joined NPC
Alpha Chi Omega 1885 1903
Alpha Delta Pi 1851[4][note 1] 1909
Alpha Epsilon Phi 1909 1951
Alpha Gamma Delta 1904 1909
Alpha Omicron Pi 1897 1905
Alpha Phi 1872 1902
Alpha Sigma Alpha 1901 1951
Alpha Sigma Tau 1899 1951
Alpha Xi Delta 1893 1904
Chi Omega 1895 1903
Delta Delta Delta 1888 1902
Delta Gamma 1873 1902
Delta Phi Epsilon 1917 1951
Delta Zeta 1902 1910
Gamma Phi Beta 1874 1902
Kappa Alpha Theta 1870 1902
Kappa Delta 1897 1912
Kappa Kappa Gamma 1870 1902
Phi Mu 1852[5][note 2] 1911
Phi Sigma Sigma 1913 1951
Pi Beta Phi 1867 1902
Sigma Delta Tau 1917 1951
Sigma Kappa 1874 1905
Sigma Sigma Sigma 1898 1951
Theta Phi Alpha 1912 1951
Zeta Tau Alpha 1898 1909


Early histories of women's fraternities contain accounts of "rushing and pledging agreements" or "compacts" among fraternities on various campuses, and also many stories of cooperation and mutual assistance. However, no actual Panhellenic organization existed and no uniform practices were observed.

By 1902, it was obvious that some standards were needed, so the women of Alpha Phi invited Pi Beta Phi, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Delta Delta Delta, Alpha Chi Omega, and Chi Omega to a conference in Chicago on May 24. Alpha Chi Omega and Chi Omega were unable to attend. The remaining seven groups met and the session resulted in the organization of the first interfraternity association and the first intergroup organization on college campuses. National Interfraternity Conference for men's fraternities was organized in 1909, now called the North-American Interfraternity Conference.

This meeting, and the next few, resulted in several mutual agreements, especially regarding pledging. Up to this time, no guidelines had been set, and women could be pledged to groups before enrolling in college and, indeed, even belong to more than one group.

The fact that NPC is a "Conference" is significant to the NPC philosophy because the organization is a conference, not a congress. It enacts no legislation except for the conduct of its own meetings. Other than the basic Unanimous Agreements which all groups have voted to observe, NPC confines itself to recommendations and advice, and acts as a court of final appeal in any College Panhellenic difficulty. One of its greatest services is providing Area Advisors for College Panhellenics and Alumnae Panhellenics.

AES merger with NPC

Members of Sigma Sigma Sigma and Alpha Sigma Alpha organized the Association of Pedagogical Sororities on July 10, 1915. The membership consisted of sororities, who were primarily located on state campuses where women entering the educational field were predominant. In 1917, Pi Kappa Sigma and Delta Sigma Epsilon joined the association, followed by Theta Sigma Upsilon in 1925, Alpha Sigma Tau in 1926, and Pi Delta Theta in 1931. At the third biennial conference, the name of the association was changed to the Association of Educational Sororities (AES). Later, the word "Educational" was changed to "Education".

The AES was a strong group of leaders that focused not only on educational (providing scholarships) and women-centric issues, but cooperated to support issues outside of the sorority world including defense projects during World War II. One of the projects started by the AES member groups resulted in what is today the world-renowned Leader Dogs for the Blind School in Rochester, Michigan.

After much work on the part of NPC and AES, on November 12, 1947, the six AES sororities were unanimously accepted as associate members of NPC. At the same time, five other sororities were also admitted, including Beta Gamma at the University of Colorado. In December 1951, the six sororities became full members of NPC.

Since that time, three have merged with other NPC member groups leaving Alpha Sigma Alpha, Alpha Sigma Tau, and Sigma Sigma Sigma as the remaining former-AES members.


The National Panhellenic Conference's crest is composed of symbols that are symbolic of its members' beliefs and ideas, as well as the organization as a whole.

The shield symbolizes the organization's protective influence on its members.[6]

Above the shield is a lamp, which represents the pursuit of leadership, scholarship, and enlightenment.[6]

In the shield are is a laurel wreath, which denotes the victory of achieving ideals.[6] In the center of the shield, a sword that is piercing the wreath. This signifies willingness to fight and stand up for one's ideals, penalty of obligation, as well as bravery, achievement, and discipline.[6]

Lastly, there is a mantle, inscribed with the words "National Panhellenic Conference" surrounding the shield. This mantle symbolizes how education, and thus knowledge, gives its members a protective cloak.[6]


  1. ^ Though Alpha Delta Pi had its origins in the Adelphean Society, an academic society founded in 1851, the group did not take Greek Letters or begin to expand to other institutions until 1905.
  2. ^ Though Phi Mu had its origins in the Philomathean Society, a literary society founded in 1852, the group did not take Greek Letters or begin to expand to other institutions until 1904.


  1. ^ "About NPC". NPC. 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  2. ^ a b "National Panhellenic Conference". National Panhellenic Conference. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  3. ^ "About NPC Member Groups PowerPoint". National Panhellenic Conference. July 2009. Retrieved 2010-09-11. 
  4. ^ "Alpha Delta Pi History". Alpha Delta Pi. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  5. ^ "Phi Mu - About Us". Phi Mu. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  6. ^ a b c d e "National Panhellenic Conference". National Panhellenic Conference. Retrieved 2010-01-21. 

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