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Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Panhellenic Records

Individual Sororities

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Sororities, 1950-2010 | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: Sororities, 1950-2010

Predominant Dates:1955-1972

ID: RHC/UA/40/

Extent: 4.5 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 00/00/1966

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Sorority Collection includes documents from the Panhellenic Council and thirty-six separate sororities.  Included here are materials concerning rush, housing, and activities in the Panhellenic series; most of the individual sorority files contain a brief history, constitution, some correspondence and a brief record of activities.  The majority of records in this collection date between 1955 and 1972.  Researchers should also consult the Student Organizations Index for additional information on the various sororities.

Collection Historical Note

Greek letter social sororities were introduced mainly to provide smaller groups with a sense of personal identification in an increasingly complex college community and technological society.  These organizations had their beginning under President Adams and his wife who were devoted members of Greek organizations during their own college days.  Adams favored their recognition even though several members of his administrative council had some serious misgivings that they would bring a divisive influence into the college which would in time develop antagonisms between members and nonmembers.

The very first sorority was Sigma Chi Sigma which was formed around 1931 to promote "high scholarship, to uphold the ideals of true comradeship, and to achieve success through service."  In 1944, they joined the national Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, which for many years had chapters in first-rank teachers colleges.

A second group, organized in 1938 by girls interested in scouting, was called Sigma Delta Pi; Mrs. Adams and three faculty women were its advisors.  In addition to assisting local Girl Scout troops, members sponsored an all-school typing bureau which filled a genuine need on campus.  On 29 April 1944, with their thirty-five pledges, they were formally installed as the Alpha Omicron chapter of Delta Sigma Epsilon, becoming the first national social sorority on campus.  (In 1956, Delta Sigma merged with Delta Zeta.)

After the appearance of Pi Kappa Sigma as a local sorority in 1945, a number of years elapsed before others arrived on the scene.  Beginning with the 1950s, there was a rapid increase that reached a peak when seven new sororities and fraternities were organized in 1955 alone.  In 1959, six more were organized; and by 1972, the University had a total of fifteen national and local sororities and twenty-two national and local fraternities listed in the annual catalog, only a few less than the University of Illinois.

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to this collection.

Use Restrictions: Literary rights are dedicated to the public.

Acquisition Method: The University Archives acquired Panhellenic Council and sorority records in several installments between 1966 and 1976, and one addition in 2006.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Panhellenic Records],
[Series II: Individual Sororities],

Series I: Panhellenic Records
Box 1
Folder 1: Directories of Sororities, 1960-1972
Folder 2: General Information, 1955-1972
Folder 3: Housing, 1958-1972
Folder 4: Membership Summaries, 1967-1972
Folder 5: Panhellenic and Sorority Officers Lists, 1955-1970
Folder 6: Panhellenic Constitution
Folder 7: Panhellenic Council Correspondence, 1952-1972
Folder 8-9: Panhellenic Council Minutes, 1954-1972
Folder 10: Social Sorority Directory, 1969-1972
Folder 11: Sorority Grade Averages, 1953-1972
Folder 12: Sorority Newsletter, 1962-1968
Box 2
Folder 1: Fashion Show: Programs, 1958-1965
Folder 2: Informal Dance: Program Information, 1954-1962
Folder 3: March of Dimes, 1963-1964
Folder 4: Muscular Dystrophy Drive, 1964-1969
Folder 5: Pledge Training Program, 1958-1960
Folder 6: Rush (Sorority), 1959-1972, 2010
Folder 7: Rush Handbooks, 1959-1972
Folder 8: Rush Information, 1952-1970
Folder 9: Rush Lists, 1956-1968
Folder 10: Rush Procedures, 1954-1972
Folder 11: Rush Statistics, 1951-1972
Folder 12: Social Sorority Information, Spring, 1972
Folder 13: Workshops, 1955-1971

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Panhellenic Records],
[Series II: Individual Sororities],

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