|Founded||May 10, 1930|
|Founded at||Howard University|
The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), colloquially known as the “Divine Nine” (D9), is a collaborative umbrella council composed of historically African American fraternities and sororities. The member/partner organizations have not formally adopted nor recommended the use of this term to describe their collaborative grouping. The NPHC was formed as a permanent organization on May 10, 1930 on the campus of Howard University, in Washington, D.C. with Matthew W. Bullock as the active Chairman and B. Beatrix Scott as Vice-Chairman. NPHC was incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois in 1937 and is headquartered in Decatur, Georgia.
The council promotes interaction through forums, meetings, and other media for the exchange of information and engages in cooperative programming and initiatives through various activities and functions.
Each constituent member organization determines its own strategic direction and program agenda. Today, the primary purpose and focus of member organizations remains camaraderie and academic excellence for its members and service to the communities they serve. Each promotes community awareness and action through educational, economic, and cultural service activities.
The National Pan-Hellenic Council was established in an era when Greek letter organizations founded by African Americans were banned from being affiliated with Greek letter organizations founded by whites.
The organization's stated purpose and mission in 1930:
Unanimity of thought and action as far as possible in the conduct of Greek letter collegiate fraternities and sororities, and to consider problems of mutual interest to its member organizations.
The founding members of the NPHC were Alpha Kappa Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Delta Sigma Theta, and Zeta Phi Beta. The council's membership expanded as Alpha Phi Alpha (1931), Phi Beta Sigma (1931), Sigma Gamma Rho (1937), and Iota Phi Theta (1996) joined this coalition of Black Greek letter organizations (BGLOs). In his book on BGLOs, The Divine Nine: The History of African-American Fraternities and Sororities in America (2001), Lawrence Ross coined the phrase "The Divine Nine" when referring to the coalition. As required by various campus recognition policies, neither the NPHC, nor its member national or chapter organizations discriminate on the basis of race or religion.
In 1992, the first permanent national office for NPHC was established in Bloomington, Indiana on the campus of Indiana University through the joint cooperation of Indiana University and the National Board of Directors of NPHC. Prior to its establishment, for over a 62-year period, the national office would sojourn from one officer to the next.
The members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council are shown below in order of founding:
|Alpha Phi Alpha||ΑΦΑ||Fraternity||
December 4, 1906|
|Baltimore, Maryland||706 ||200,000||1931||First intercollegiate African American fraternity.|
|Alpha Kappa Alpha||ΑΚΑ||Sorority||
January 15, 1908|
|Chicago, Illinois||1,005 ||290,000 ||1930||First intercollegiate African American sorority. First NPHC sorority to be legally & nationally incorporated.|
|Kappa Alpha Psi||ΚΑΨ||Fraternity||
January 5, 1911|
|Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||720||160,000||1930||Founded as Kappa Alpha Nu.|
First NPHC organization to be legally incorporated.
|Omega Psi Phi||ΩΨΦ||Fraternity||
November 17, 1911|
|Decatur, Georgia||750||1930||First fraternity to be founded at an HBCU.|
|Delta Sigma Theta||ΔΣΘ||Sorority||
January 13, 1913|
|Washington, D.C.||940+ 
(including alumnae chapters)
|Phi Beta Sigma||ΦΒΣ||Fraternity||
January 9, 1914|
|Washington, D.C.||740||185,000||1931||Constitutionally bound with Zeta Phi Beta.|
|Zeta Phi Beta||ΖΦΒ||Sorority||
January 16, 1920|
|Washington, D.C.||800||1930||Constitutionally bound with Phi Beta Sigma.|
|Sigma Gamma Rho||ΣΓΡ||Sorority||
November 12, 1922|
|Cary, North Carolina||700||85,000+||1937||Only NPHC sorority founded at a predominately white institution.|
|Iota Phi Theta||ΙΦΘ||Fraternity||
September 19, 1963|
Morgan State University
|Baltimore, Maryland||300||30,000 ||1996||Youngest NPHC organization. Only fraternity in council to be founded in second half of the 20th century.|
Traditional Greek housing amongst NPHC organizations is rare. Unlike most National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) and North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) organizations that have many traditional Greek houses primarily for undergraduate members on or near their college campuses, NPHC organizations have only a few. Most of the few existing NPHC organization houses are untraditional and unaffiliated with a college. In recent years, a growing number of undergraduate chapters of NPHC organizations have advocated for convenient traditional Greek housing. In substitute of it, some undergraduate chapters have settled for small outdoor Greek plots to help substantiate their presence on campus.