|The History of Fraternity and Sorority Life at VCU - 40 Years Strong!|
Virginia Commonwealth University is home to a diverse fraternity and sorority community with rich historical roots. On May 14, 1970, the Eta Tau Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., became the first chartered Greek-letter organization at VCU. VCU holds the distinction among only a few pre-dominantly white colleges and universities to have a historically African-American sorority pioneer the fraternity and sorority community. Delta Sigma Theta was soon followed by Phi Beta Sigma’s chartering on August 21, 1970, and Theta Delta Chi’s chartering on November 1, 1970 marked the first IFC group formed at VCU.
In the next two years, Kappa Sigma Fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority joined the VCU fraternity and sorority community. By 1973, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and Alpha Kappa Alpha chartered. On October 19, 1974, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity became a member of the fraternity and sorority community at VCU.
No other organizations joined the VCU fraternity and sorority community until three years later when Zeta Phi Beta Sorority chartered on April 30, 1977. In the spring of 1979, Phi Sigma Sigma was chartered and became the first National Panhellenic Conference sorority at VCU.
The 1980’s and 1990’s brought a great deal of expansion in the IFC and Panhellenic communities. Pi Kappa Phi (1982), Alpha Kappa Lambda (1983), Pi Lambda Phi (1983), and Kappa Delta Rho (1986) colonized and chartered organizations. In 1986, Sigma Phi Epsilon re-chartered its 2nd oldest chapter in the nation. Also joining the community was Phi Sigma Kappa (1987), Tau Kappa Epsilon (1991), and Theta Chi (1991).
After about five years with only one Panhellenic sorority on campus, Alpha Sigma Alpha successfully joined the fraternity and sorority community in 1984 followed by Alpha Omicron Pi (1985), Phi Mu (1988), Sigma Sigma Sigma (1990), and Alpha Gamma Delta (1993).
Unfortunately, the fraternity and sorority community suffered several setbacks in the mid-1990s with the closing of Sigma Phi Epsilon and Alpha Omicron Pi. However, in 1996, Iota Phi Theta Fraternity joined the campus and the National Pan-Hellenic Council formed at VCU. Pi Kappa Phi closed in 2000, followed by Tau Kappa Epsilon and Theta Delta Chi in 2002. After having been inactive since 2000, Iota Phi Theta's return to VCU in 2008 marked the momentous occasion of all the Divine Nine member organizations being represented- making VCU one of a handful of predominantly white institutions to host all nine NPHC organizations.
VCU is among many other Universities to see an increase in culturally based fraternities and sororities, beginning with Lambda Upsilon Lambda in 1999, followed by Sigma Beta Rho (2002), Delta Phi Omega (2003), Kappa Phi Gamma (2005), Sigma Lambda Upsilon (2005), and alpha Kappa Delta Phi (2006). The Multicultural Greek Council welcomed its seventh organization in 2008, Lambda Phi Epsilon.
Since 2002, the IFC and Panhellenic communities at VCU have steadily grown. Sigma Alpha Epsilon colonized in 2005, and since then four new IFC and Panhellenic chapters have joined VCU: Alpha Epsilon Pi (2007), Alpha Epsilon Phi (2007), Alpha Omicron Pi (2007), and Phi Kappa Sigma (2007). In addition, as part of the Interfraternity Council long term expansion effort, Sigma Phi Epsilon colonized in the Spring of 2008 and the following NIC member organizations will be expanding at VCU over the next four years: Pi Kappa Alpha, Phi Kappa Psi, Phi Sigma Kappa, and Triangle Fraternity.
In the Spring of 2009, the College Panhellenic Council welcomed Phi Sigma Rho as a new associate member organization. In the same semester, Kappa Sigma Fraternity was closed. As of fall 2010, VCU is home to a total of 36 fraternities and sororities across four governing councils.