Fraternity & Sorority Life History


Fraternities and sororities have been a key part of campus life across the nation since their inception in the late 1700s at the College of William & Mary. Greek-letter organizations (GLOs) were created as a way for students to find a "home away from home" during their college years, and are rooted in friendship, service to their communities, loyalty, and scholarship. These organizations have greatly enhanced the collegiate experience for tens of thousands of students, by providing the University environments that enhance positive growth and development for students, in addition to offering alternative living-learning communities. These unique communities have fostered life-long friendships and a strong sense of institutional loyalty and support.

Western Michigan University has a long and rich history with its collegiate fraternities and sororities. The first sororities here at Western were originally founded as debate societies in 1916 (known as the Academy and the Senate at the time), and were recognized as national organizations during the 1950s. These two organizations became Sigma Kappa and Alpha Chi Omega as we know them on campus today. Delta Zeta chartered in October of 1950, making them the first national sorority on Western's campus. In the 1920s, a similar group for men formed, known as the Tribunal. In March of 1952, this group became the nationally affiliated fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon.

The first historically African American fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. joined Western's campus community in January of 1948. Just a few years later in 1953, the first historically African American sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. came to campus. As the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) community continued to grow here on campus, a group of 10 students founded Phi Delta Psi Fraternity at Western in March of 1977. Their goal was to create an organization that would provide a vehicle for change and empowerment for young black college men, on this campus as well as many others.

In 1988, Sigma Lambda Beta came to Western's campus, soon followed by Sigma Lambda Gamma. On August 22, 2011, the Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) was formed by these two organizations, as a result of the need for a governing body that could provide representative leadership and direction for their growth. Today, the council is made up of 7 unique organizations. In 2021, a second council was formed by two multicultural Greek-letter organizations, Kappa Delta Chi and Lambda Theta Phi. This council is known as the United Greek Council, and they came together to create a space where Greek organizations with similar goals and purposes could be unified.

Today, Western's growing Fraternity and Sorority Life community includes 35 chapters across 5 councils, made up of over 1100 students. For more information about this vibrant community, please reach out to Eva Hughes (Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life), Jocelyn Medina (Graduate Assistant), or Rodney Coleman-Robinson (Special Assistant Intern).