Council History

One of the positive aspects of Texas A&M University is the multiple opportunities for extracurricular involvement. The Texas A&M University historically Black Greek fraternities and sororities, consisting of 9 nationally affiliated fraternities & sororities provides a unique opportunity for involvement. Each organization seeks to provide students with an enriching college experience and leadership opportunities within each organization and within the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Six of the nine NPHC organizations are represented on our campus.

NPHC Greek-letter organizations grew on historically white and historically black campuses in three distinct phases:

Post World War I (1914-1918):
NPHC chapters spread to major research university campuses that admitted Blacks. Spread to major historically black colleges in the south. Alumni chapters established in cities across U.S.A. as Civics and Services organizations because blatant racism prohibited African Americans from participating in general civic organizations in their communities after graduation from college.

Post World War II (1939-1945):
NPHC 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 culture i.e. 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 had small enrollments grew in their enrollment of African Americans and established NPHC chapters on their campuses. This swelled the numbers of NPHC affiliate organizations to over 400 undergraduate chapters and as many alumni chapters on the average for each organization. Presently, there are approximately 1.5 million members of undergraduate and graduate chapters served by NPHC.

In many ways this upsurge in growth though welcomed, was unexpected and unplanned for by NPHC. By and large, even though the national office staffs of each of the nine affiliate organizations have increased dramatically, they have not matched the pace of growth of the chapters. None of the historically African American fraternities or sororities have staffed their offices with field consultants (young, recent college graduate members of the respective organizations who actively visit college chapters to motivate, evaluate and sometimes recommend discipline for chapters that stray from the national or university standard). Historically African American fraternities and sororities and their office staffs must also give appropriate time and attention to alumni chapters. This further diminishes the time and attention proportionately that can be paid to collegiate affairs.

In 1992 through the joint cooperation of Indiana University – Bloomington and the National Board of Directors of NPHC, the first permanent national office for NPHC was established in Bloomington, Indiana. There had been a roving national office (usually the address of a national officer ) over the previous 62 years. In 1993, at its national convention, NPHC changed its national constitution to allow the appointment of its first Executive Director, Dr. Michael V.W. Gordon, faculty member at Indiana University, who had formerly been Vice Chancellor for Campus Life and/or Dean of Students at Indiana University 1981-91. Dr. Gordon has been assisted by Dr. D. Jason DeSousa, Director of Career Development at Tuskegee University, who was a doctoral student in Higher Education at Indiana University. At that same national convention in 1993, NPHC also changed its constitution to open the possibility of membership for other like organizations, many of which have been established as national organizations after 1930.

This information provided by Dr. Michael Gordon, Executive Director of the National Pan-Hellenic Council.