Above: Kappa Alpha Psi, Gamma Chapter, University of Iowa, c. 1915
African American Greek-letter organizations have a long and rich history both nationally and locally. The first black fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc, was founded in 1906 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. However, at the University of Iowa, the first of the historic African American organizations to be established locally was Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Kappa Alpha Psi remained the only African American fraternal organization at Iowa until 1919. In that year, eight women formed a local chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Only two more black fraternity and sorority chapters were formed at the University of Iowa before 1950: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity (1922) and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (1949). These organizations provided a forum in which African American students engaged in the current discourse and built leadership skills that would serve them upon graduation.
In the early years, both Kappa Alpha Psi and Alpha Phi Alpha operated houses. In 1933, ten students lived in the Kappa House and fifteen lived in the Alpha House. Members of Delta Sigma Theta resided in the Federation Home at 942 Iowa Avenue. The other organizations from Iowa's campus were founded as follows: Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. (1975); Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. (1979); Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. (1980); and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. (1983).
Above: Charter members of the Alpha Theta Chapter in 1922
Delta Sigma Theta Members in Des Moines, Iowa, c. 1924
Below are the charter dates for the six of the Divine 9 historically African American fraternities and sororities that call Iowa home:
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated
Alpha Theta Chapter: Chartered March 11th 1922
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated
Epsilon Theta Chapter: chartered May 10th, 1969
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated
Gamma Chapter: Chartered March 7th 1914
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated
Delta Chapter: Chartered April 4th, 1919
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated
Kappa Psi Chapter: Chartered May 5th, 1979
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated
Pi Kappa Chapter: Chartered December 2nd, 1980
The NPHC Executive Board meets weekly to coordinate and maintain the general business of the council. Feel free to contact the NPHC council officers below if you have any questions or concerns.
President: Emeleeta Paintsil
Organization: Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Vice President: Mariah Pride
Organization: Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Secretary: Charity Ratcliff
Organization: Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Treasurer: Jimmy Smith
Organization: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Treasurer: Allen Rashid
Organization: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc
Events and Programs
NPHC Yard Show
The National Pan-Hellenic Council hosts the NPHC Yard Show every fall semester as part of OnIowa!. The Yard Show features members of our 6 NPHC organizations in performances that serve as both an expressive art performance and a ritual of group identity that features songs, chants, and symbols unique to each respective organization. The show, which is one of the most anticipated events of our community, serves as a great time to watch our Greeks in action.
Biannual Meet the Greeks
Within the first two weeks of each semester, NPHC hosts “Meet the Greeks” in conjunction with the Multicultural Greek Council. During Meet the Greeks, NPHC fraternities and sororities share information about their organization and/or individual chapter with prospective members or those who have questions about Greek Life in general.
Annual NPHC Step Show
The National Pan-Hellenic Council hosts the NPHC Step Show every spring semester. The Step Show features members of our 6 NPHC organizations in performances that serve as both an expressive art performance and a ritual of group identity. The show, which is one of the most anticipated events of our community, serves as a great time to watch our Greeks in action.
NPHC Community Service
The fraternities and sororities of the National Pan-Hellenic Council have a rich and strong tradition of providing service to the campus and the Iowa City community. We deeply commit ourselves to improving and bettering the lives of those in need. Some of our individual organization philanthropies include, but aren’t limited to, the March of Dimes, Ronald McDonald House, Sleep Out for the Homeless, Educational Advancement Foundation, and the Youth Mentor Program.