The origin of the college fraternity dates back to December 5, 1776 with the creation of Phi Beta Kappa. Originally a secret society, it later changed in the 1830’s to become an honorary fraternity.
In the early 1820’s, several other fraternities were created - all utilized Greek letters, displayed a badge, had a ritual and were secret societies. By the turn of the century, 40 national fraternities were in existence throughout the country.
Since 1900 the development of fraternities has been so rapid that the 20th century organizations outnumber those established previously.
World War’s I & II were a great strain on the fraternity system. Most college-age men were fighting overseas and many chapters closed.
At the end of WW II, largely because of the GI Bill, the “Golden Age of Fraternities” started as a result of the large influx of men into college. Universities with 40 fraternities, each with 50-150 men were not uncommon.
The late sixties and seventies were a tough period for fraternities as the youth of those eras questioned the “establishment” - fraternities were seen as part of this “establishment.”
Today, college fraternities have returned to their roots. They exist to provide a “home away from home”, encourage high scholastic achievement, foster community spirit, and teach much needed leadership skills.
- Greeks graduate colleges and universities at a rate of nearly 20% higher than non-Greeks.
- Seventy-six percent (76%) of our nation’s senators, 71 percent of the men listed in Who’s Who in America, and 85 percent of the Fortune 500 executives hold fraternity membership.
- Greek members overwhelmingly contribute a higher proportion of donations to their university alumni associations.
- Fraternity membership is at an all-time high of over 400,000 collegiate men nationwide.
Fraternities exist as a proven support network for anyone on the college campus. Fraternities provide…
- A group of caring, supportive friends to help members make the adjustment to college and be friends for life.
- Scholastic resources to help members achieve their academic goals.
- Hands-on opportunities to practice leadership skills.
- Encouragement to get involved in the campus and the community and exercise their fullest potential.
- An emphasis on the importance of giving of oneself through active participation in community service projects.
- Inter-collegiate contacts that expand a member’s horizon.
- Career opportunities through interaction with fraternity alumni.
- Recruitment (open, formal, summer) - What fraternities call membership recruitment.
- Potential New Member - An unaffiliated man who is being recruited by fraternities.
- Bid - An Official offer to a Potential New Member to join a fraternity
- Legacy - A man whose grandfather, father, brother or uncle is an alumnus or active member of a fraternity. A fraternity is not obligated to pledge a legacy, and a Potential New Member is completely free to choose the fraternity of his individual preference.
- IFC - The Interfraternity Council is the governing body of greek fraternities on a campus.
- Associate Member - A student who has accepted a bid from a fraternity and has taken the first step toward full membership.
- Dues - Monthly cost of being in a fraternity. Prices vary across the country.
- Associate Member Fee - One-time fee when a student affiliates with a fraternity.
- Parlor Fees - Fee charged for upkeep of house or meeting place.
- National Dues - One-time fee when a student is initiated into a fraternity.