Sigma Gamma Rho
Sigma Gamma Rho Shield.png
FoundedNovember 12, 1922; 100 years ago (1922-11-12)
Butler University; Indianapolis, Indiana
EmphasisAfrican American
ScopeInternational: USA, Germany,
Canada, Bermuda, Japan,
Virgin Islands, The Bahamas, United Arab Emirates
SloganGreater Service, Greater Progress
Colors  Royal Blue
FlowerYellow Tea Rose
MascotThe Poodle
PublicationThe Aurora
NicknamesSGRhos, Lady Sigmas, Sigma Women, Sigmas, Pretty Poodles
Headquarters1000 Southhill Drive, Suite 200
Cary, NC 27513

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. (ΣΓΡ) is a historically African American sorority, international collegiate, and non-profit community service organization that was founded on November 12, 1922, by seven educators on the Irvington campus (1875–1928) of Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was incorporated within Indiana in November 1922 and became a national collegiate sorority on December 30, 1929, when a charter was granted to the Alpha chapter. Sigma Gamma Rho is the only sorority of the four historically African American National Pan-Hellenic Council sororities established at a predominantly white institution instead of at Howard University. The sorority's slogan is "Greater Service, Greater Progress".[2][3]

Sigma Gamma Rho has over 100,000 members with more than 500 undergraduate and alumnae chapters in the United States, Bermuda, The Bahamas, Canada, Germany, South Korea, U.S. Virgin Islands and the United Arab Emirates.[2][3]

Sigma Gamma Rho has affiliate groups for women at different stages in life: Rhosebuds (elementary-age girls), the Rhoer Club Affiliates (teenage girls), and the Philos Affiliates (friends of the sorority). It has launched programs such as Sigma Teen Towns in the 1940s and formed partnerships with the March of Dimes, USA Swimming and others.[2]

Sigma Gamma Rho has been involved in several hazing controversies.


Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. was founded on November 12, 1922, in Indianapolis, Indiana, by Mary Lou Allison Gardner Little, Dorothy Hanley Whiteside, Vivian Irene White Marbury, Nannie Mae Gahn Johnson, Hattie Mae Annette Dulin Redford, Bessie Mae Downey Rhoades Martin, and Cubena McClure.[2][4]

In 2004, Sigma Gamma Rho's headquarters moved from Chicago, Illinois to Cary, North Carolina. Their magazine is called The Aurora.[2][3]

International Grand Basileus

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Listed below are the International Grand Basilei[needs context] since the inception of the sorority on the campus of Butler University. An asterisk (*) denotes a deceased person.

Hazing controversies

The New York Times wrote about two hazing incidents involving the sorority. In 2008, a pledge at San Jose State University filed a civil suit against the sorority after being severely beaten, harassed, and threatened to keep the abuse a secret. Four sorority members were arrested and served 90 days in county jail. In 2010, at Rutgers University, six Sigma Gamma Rho women were arrested and charged with a felony after striking one pledge over 200 times which forced her to seek medical attention.[5]

In March 2022, the sorority was expelled from Bowling Green State University following reports of "severe hazing"; the sorority committed at least six policy violations of the BGSU Code of Student Conduct including aggravated assault and forcing pledges to steal alcohol and marijuana.[6]

Notable members


  1. ^ "About".
  2. ^ a b c d e Anson, Jack L.; Marchenasi, Robert F., eds. (1991) [1879]. Baird's Manual of American Fraternities (20th ed.). Indianapolis, IN: Baird's Manual Foundation, Inc. p. IV-81-85. ISBN 978-0963715906.
  3. ^ a b c William Raimond Baird; Carroll Lurding (eds.). "Almanac of Fraternities and Sororities (Baird's Manual Online Archive)". Student Life and Culture Archives. University of Illinois: University of Illinois Archives. Retrieved November 12, 2022. The main archive URL is The Baird's Manual Online Archive homepage.
  4. ^ "About Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc". Retrieved February 27, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ Lewin, Tamar (October 6, 2010). "Hazing Accusations Against a Sorority (Published 2010)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  6. ^ "BGSU statement regarding the permanent expulsion of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority". Bowling Green State University. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  7. ^ "Prince George's County, Maryland State's Attorney". Maryland Manual On-Line. Retrieved September 6, 2022. Member, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., 1996-.
  8. ^ Becque, Fran (March 28, 2022). "Gwendolyn Sawyer Cherry, Sigma Gamma Rho". Fraternity History & More. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  9. ^ "Local sorority members react to Sandra Bland's death". WOIO. July 22, 2015.