Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: December 15, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971966 | Print ISBN: 9781412940504 | Online ISBN: 9781412971966| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
National Pan-Hellenic Council
Walter M. Kimbrough
Beginning with the formation of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at Cornell University in 1906 and during the next two decades, African American students sought to find ways to make meaning of their college experiences outside of the classroom. For those attending predominantly White universities, fraternities and sororities provided a means for them to create a comfortable space in an often hostile environment. For students at Howard University, the historically Black institution where five of these groups were formed during this time, the fraternities offered an opportunity for students to play a role in the creation of extracurricular student life. For women at both Black and White institutions, sororities offered a haven in an overwhelmingly male environment. The National Pan-Hellenic Council is an organization of African American fraternities and sororities that promotes an exchange of information and cooperative programming and initiatives among these groups. This entry describes how the council was ...