List of fraternities and sororities at Cornell University
The Cornell University Greek system dates to the first months of University operation during the autumn of 1868. Cornell's co-founder and first president, Andrew Dickson White was a strong promoter of fraternities as a means of teaching self-governance to young students. Among its leaders, other strong supporters of the Greek system were Presidents Edmund Ezra Day and Frank H.T. Rhodes.
- 1 Fraternities Constituting the Interfraternity Council (IFC)
- 2 Sororities Constituting the Panhellenic Council (PHC)
- 3 Sororities and Fraternities Constituting the Multicultural Greek Letter Council (MGLC)
- 4 Honor, Professional, Service and Recognition Societies
- 5 Building and Property Ownership
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Fraternities Constituting the Interfraternity Council (IFC)
Listed with dates of local founding and national conference membership, these are (with two exceptions) men's organizations, voluntarily coordinating their efforts within the IFC. As part of IFC or national organization self-governance, or University disciplinary action, chapters may be suspended ("de-recognized") or closed for a time. If a chapter is closed and/or forfeits its housing, it will be listed as a dormant chapter. See the Office of Student Life for current recognized IFC members.
Active Academic and Social Fraternity Chapters
Chapters whose names changed
Dormant Fraternity Chapters
Sororities Constituting the Panhellenic Council (PHC)
Listed with dates of local founding and national conference membership, these are women's organizations, voluntarily coordinating their efforts within the PHC. As part of PHC or national organization self-governance, or University disciplinary action, chapters may be suspended ("de-recognized") or closed for a time. If a chapter is closed and/or forfeits its housing, it will be listed as a dormant chapter. See the Office of Student Life for current PHA members.
(NPC) indicates members of the National Panhellenic Conference.
Active Academic and Social Sorority Chapters
Dormant Sorority Chapters
Sororities and Fraternities Constituting the Multicultural Greek Letter Council (MGLC)
Originally ethnic or language-affiliated, most of these organizations are now fully integrated as are the rest of Cornell's Greek letter organizations. Their historical affiliation may be reviewed by reading their local or national histories. Some are residential. Listed with dates of local founding and national conference membership, these are either men's or women's organizations, voluntarily coordinating their efforts within the MGLC. As part of MGLC or University self-governance during disciplinary action, chapters may be suspended ("de-recognized") for a time. Unless the suspensions result in long-term closure of the chapter or forfeiture of a building, they should not be removed from this list. See the Office of Student Life for current MGLC members.
(NALFO) indicates members of the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations;
(NAPA) indicates members of the National APIA Panhellenic Association;
(NPHC) indicates members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council
The inter-Greek councils often cooperate on programs and policies, as do individual chapters from among the several Greek councils.
Honor, Professional, Service and Recognition Societies
These organizations have a similarly long pedigree on the Cornell campus, but are largely non-residential. Members of the social and academic fraternities and sororities may join or be asked to join, as may non-Greek students. Multiple affiliations are allowable. The cut-off line where any campus organization falls within these headings or without is somewhat arbitrary; those formed prior to 1990 are listed under these subheadings in various volumes of the Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities, which for more than a century has been the data source of record for such organizations. Newer groups have been placed in categories which match Baird's categories. The latest, 1991 version of Bairds was published before the national development of some of the societies here, and therefore, position and inclusion is, in some cases, assumptive.
Honor societies recognize students who excel academically or as leaders among their peers, often within a specific academic discipline.
Listed by date of local founding with national conference membership, these are co-ed, non-residential, achievement-based organizations that self-select members based on published criteria. Many honor societies invite students to become members based on scholastic rank (the top x% of a class) and/or grade point, either overall, or for classes taken within the discipline for which the honor society provides recognition. In cases where academic achievement would not be an appropriate criterion for membership, other standards are usually required for membership (such as completion of a particular ceremony or training program). These societies recognize past achievement. Pledging is not required, and new candidates may be immediately inducted into membership after meeting predetermined academic criteria and paying a one-time membership fee. Because of their purpose of recognition, most honor societies will have much higher academic achievement requirements for membership than professional societies. It is also common for a scholastic honor society to add a criterion relating to the character of the student. Some honor societies are invitation only while others allow unsolicited applications. Finally, membership in an honor society might be considered exclusive, i.e., a member of such an organization cannot join other honor societies representing the same field. Governance varies from faculty-guided to purely student run.
(ACHS) indicates members of the Association of College Honor Societies.
Active Honor and Recognition Societies
Dormant Honor and Recognition Societies
Professional societies work to build friendship bonds among members, cultivate their strengths that they may promote their profession, and provide mutual assistance in their shared areas of professional study.
Listed by date of local founding with national conference membership, these are primarily co-ed and non-residential organizations, of an array of professional interests. Membership in a professional fraternity may be the result of a pledge process, much like a social fraternity, and members are expected to remain loyal and active in the organization for life. Within the group of societies dedicated to a professional field of study, for example, law societies, membership is exclusive; however, these societies may initiate members who belong to other types of fraternities. Professional Societies are known for networking and post-collegiate involvement. Governance varies from faculty-managed to purely student run.
(PFA) indicates members of the Professional Fraternity Association
Active Professional Societies
Dormant Professional Societies
Listed with dates of local founding and national conference membership, if any; these are non-residential, co-ed organizations designed to provide campus and community service. These organizations are self-governed.
Other Student Organizations
The 2012-2013 Cornell University Student Organization list included over 1,100 unique organizations. Major groupings include Greek-affiliation (as listed on this page), graduate student interest, career preparation, activism, music, athletics, theater, language and advocacy.
Building and Property Ownership
Chapters with University-owned facilities under the CURP 66
During AY 1948-1949, Cornell University President Edmund Ezra Day formally distanced the University leadership from the increased discrimination which he observed at Cornell since 1910. His speech at the time marked the beginning an effort to end such unlawful practices, a goal to which the University remains committed. Following hearings into discrimination within Cornell's system of private fraternities and sororities, fifteen fraternities liquidated private holdings and entered into the Cornell University Residence Plan of 1966, or CURP'66, an agreement which required all signatories to refrain from unlawful discrimination. The majority of CURP ’66 houses are on the Cornell West Campus.
The Plan created a system of 'living and learning' by Small Residence.
Each Group House was to be maintained by a Priority Group electing its Group Sponsor. Phi Kappa Psi, for instance, sponsored Group House No. IV d/b/a/ The Irving Literary Society, and developed its parcel on Cornell's West Campus. Cornell desired an academic atmosphere in student residence “units” providing appropriate facilities for intellectual and cultural activities and by encouraging student participation in these pursuits. CURP ’66 was not simply the creation of University-owned fraternities and sororities, but a plan to provide a supplement to the University-maintained dormitory complex, the existing Cornell Greek System, off-campus apartments and rooming houses. The vision was to organize “Small Residences” together, regardless of their national or local orientation as fraternities or cooperatives. The University program provided for no discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color or national origin. The issue of gender was addressed in the equal promotion of female, male and gender neutral Group Houses. In 1997, Cornell's President Hunter R. Rawlings III reaffirmed the Board of Trustees' commitment to the Cornell University Residence Plan of 1966.
The current CURP ’66 was created from an existing University leasing system dating to the 1881 decision by Andrew Dickson White to favor fraternities over dormitories. White thought fraternities “’[would] arouse in the students a feeling of responsibility both for the care of the property and for the reputation of the house . . . [and] fastens upon [students’] duties and responsibilities similar to those of men in the active world was among the better solutions of the problems [of] . . . students in American universities.’”:33-34 White’s vision, in turn, develop from the professional analysis of American architect and planner, Frederick Law Olmsted, who saw the erection of residential clubhouses on Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act as a reform over the barracks-like dormitories used by existing American universities and colleges. Like White, Olmsted felt clubhouses maintained by the students would form part of the educational experience. They were to be modeled on the typical rural household of the era, small country villas thought to avoid the negative aspects of the Industrial revolution.:21-23
CURP signatories with the University are:
- Group House No. I, possessed by Delta Kappa Epsilon, signatory since 1960, 13 South Avenue (in residence);
- Group House No. II, possessed by Delta Tau Delta, signatory since June 8, 1960, 104 Mary Anne Wood Drive (in residence);
- Group House No. III, Chi Phi ("Craigielea"), signatory since Nov. 15, 1960, 107 Edgemoor Lane (in residence);
- Group House No. IV, "Ivy," possessed by Phi Kappa Psi ("The Gables"), signatory since Nov. 30, 1959, 525 Stewart Avenue, service deliveries to 120 Mary Anne Wood Drive; Phi Psi is also the parent organization to the Irving Literary Society. First to sign into the revised Group Housing Plan in 1959, it was fourth in accession due to negotiations over the sale of its property at 312 Thurston Avenue, the former Wyckoff Mansion (in residence);
- Group House No. V, possessed by Sigma Phi Epsilon, signatory since 1962, 109 McGraw Place (in residence);
- Group House No. VI, possessed by Delta Upsilon, signatory since 1962, 6 South Avenue (in residence);
- Group House No. VII, occupied by Phi Sigma Sigma, and formerly possessed by Kappa Alpha, which was a signatory in 1991 (signing was delayed for three decades, for reasons unknown), 14 South Avenue;
- Group House No. VIII, possessed by Zeta Psi, signatory since 1963, 534 Thurston Avenue, (in residence);
- Group House No. IX, occupied by Sigma Alpha Mu, and formerly possessed by Chi Omega, signatory since 1963, 10 Sisson Place, on North Campus;
- Group House X, occupied by University Residence Life, 201 Thurston Avenue, and formerly possessed by Lambda Upsilon Lambda, signatory since 1965, when the CURP program was closed out in favor of a return to individual leasing.
Chapters with University-owned facilities under other agreements
The Cornell University Residence Plan of 1966 was based on agreements with other institutions, dating from 1933 to 1952, and after 1965:
- Kappa Alpha Theta, 519 Stewart Ave
- Psi Upsilon, 2 Forest Park Ln
- Sigma Phi, 1 Forest Park Ln
- Kappa Sigma, 600 University Avenue
- Lambda Upsilon Lambda, 722 University Avenue
- Phi Gamma Delta ("The Oaks"), 118 McGraw Pl
- Sigma Alpha Epsilon ("Hillcrest"), 101 McGraw Pl
- Sigma Phi Epsilon, 109 McGraw Pl
Chapters with privately owned facilities
Many fraternities and sororities have remained outside the ambit of University ownership. As of October 2009, these chapters include the following:
- Cornell University Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
- The Cornellian, 1874.
- Cornell University, List of Fraternity and Sorority Chapters.
- Cornell's is the Founding Chapter of Delta Chi. Originally a professional law fraternity, it evolved by 1909 to become a general fraternity, disallowing new members who were already part of other fraternities. See Delta Chi History, accessed 3 June 2015
- Aloi, Daniel (June 27, 2013), "Four Greek Chapters sanctioned, two others closed", Cornell Chronicle, retrieved 21 May 2014
- ΦΔΘ and ΚΣ nationals withdrew from the NIC in 2002. ΛΧΑ severed ties in 2015. TKE resigned its membership in 2016. ΦΣK withdrew in 2002 but rejoined in 2006.
- Kappa Sigma at Cornell, retrieved 15 May 2014
- Fiji maintains a policy for its members that severely limits use of its Greek letters to a handful of approved usages, such as their official ring, chapter plaques and memorial markers. Respecting this tradition, their letters are not shown on this page.
- Phi Kappa Psi at Cornell, retrieved 15 May 2014
- Phi Sigma Kappa at Cornell Alumni, retrieved 15 May 2014
- "Spring 2010 Pi Kappa Alpha", Hazing.Cornell.edu, retrieved 17 May 2014
- Cornell Phi Psi history, accessed 3 Oct 2016.
- This entire 5-chapter national fraternity, including Cornell's Beta Chapter, was absorbed into ΒΘΠ in 1879.
- "Beta Sigma Rho Merger", PiLambdaPhi.org, retrieved 4 June 2015 Beta Sigma Rho merged into the Pi Lam chapter in 1972, then Pi Lam closed in 1976.
- Cornell Pike history, accessed 3 Oct 2016. This early Cornell local is to be confused with the later formed "Alpha Theta", a 'gender inclusive' local society at Dartmouth College. Name similarity is merely coincidental.
- ΟΑΤ was a national Jewish fraternity, founded at Cornell. It was noted (Sanua, p.79) as "the most Jewish of fraternities" - its house keeping a kosher kitchen. All chapters closed during the Great Depression; most of these were absorbed by Tau Delta Phi
- Sanua, Marianne Rachel (2003), Going Greek: Jewish College Fraternities in the United States, 1895-1945, Wayne State University Press
- This chapter was founded as local, Eleusis, in 1912. Becoming ΘΚΝ in 1935, only four years later this small national merged with Lambda Chi Alpha, becoming a chapter of that national fraternity.
- Anson, Jack L.; Marchenasi, Robert F., eds. (1991) . Baird's Manual of American Fraternities (20th ed.). Indianapolis, IN: Baird's Manual Foundation, Inc. pp. II–45,46. ISBN 978-0963715906.
- Cornell Sun, 2 May 2014: University revokes recognition of Chi Psi fraternity for three years, accessed 17 May 2014.
- "University revokes recognition of DKE", Cornell Chronicle, November 22, 2013, retrieved 21 May 2014
- "Cornell withdraws recognition of Sigma Alpha Epsilon", Cornell Chronicle, March 18, 2011, retrieved 16 May 2014
- "Fall 2012 Tau Epsilon Phi", Hazing.Cornell.edu, retrieved 16 May 2014
- Cornell Sun: TKE Will Lose Recognition After Reported Hospitalization, accessed 17 May 2014
- "History 1989–2004", AEPiBeta.org, retrieved 17 May 2014
- Bier, Karen (November 24, 1969), "Fraternity Seeks Coed Pledges", Cornell Daily Sun, retrieved 16 May 2014
- Ithacating Blog, extensive fraternity and sorority building coverage, accessed 17 May 2014.
- This national sorority was begun at Cornell.
- ΡΨ, for Chinese students, was founded at Cornell when at the time Chinese students were unable to join other fraternities. The chapter ceased in 1931, but other chapters later became co-educational, and may continue in some fashion as Chinese interest clubs.
- "ACHS Member Honor Society Chapters at Cornell University", Association of College Honor Societies website, retrieved 18 May 2014A
- "Pi Alpha Xi horticulture honor society makes a comeback", College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Blog, Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, May 14, 2013, retrieved 18 May 2014
- Cornell Pi Tau Sigma website, retrieved 15 May 2014
- Order of Omega's chapter list, accessed 22 May 2014
- Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society website, retrieved 19 May 2014
- American Forensics Association, retrieved 16 May 2014
- Moss, Simeon (December 8, 1997), Three Cornell students win prestigious Marshall scholarships for 1997-98, retrieved June 4, 2015
- Phi Kappa Phi national website, retrieved 18 May 2014
- Sigma Gamma Epsilon website, retrieved 18 May 2014
- Baird's notes this chapter as inactive, however reactivation simply requires a faculty sponsor.
- Nu Sigma Nu in 1903, Chicago, Illinois: The Grand Council of Nu Sigma Nu Medical Fraternity, The Lakeside Press, R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company, 1903
- "Kappa Beta Pi New Sorority at Cornell", Cornell Daily Sun, p. 3, June 2, 1921, retrieved June 4, 2015
- Cornell's Student Life website, accessed 15 May 2014
- Cornell University Residence Plan of 1966 (Schedule I)(Apr. 16, 1966) at Appendix A, May 3, 1966.
- C.U.R.P. ’66 at 1 (Policy Statement).
- Compare C.U.R.P. ’66, Sections 5, 6 and 10.
- "Rawlings issues action plan for Cornell campus housing", Cornell Chronicle, October 8, 1997
- Parsons, Kermit Carlyle (1968), The Cornell Campus: A History of Its Planning and Development, p. 139 citing Annual Report (June 20, 1883).
- Olmsted, Frederick Law (1866), A Few Things to Be Thought of Before Proceeding to Plan Buildings for the National Agricultural Colleges, pp. 14, 19
- 4732-McGraw Place 118,The Oaks Facility Information, Cornell University Infrastructure Properties and Planning, retrieved June 4, 2015
- Cornell University Fraternity and Sorority Advisory Council (Fall 2009), FSAC Annual Report 2008–2009 (PDF), p. 24
- "History of Cornell Acacia", CornellAcacia.org
- "Thurston Manor", AEPiBeta.org
- "Local History", AlphaSigCornell.org
- "Castle", BetaDelta.org
- "Living on the Knoll", CUDX.org
- "Our House", CornellTriDelta.org
- "The Campaign for Omicron Zeta", ISWZA.org
- "Our Home", SigmaChiCornell.org
- What's ahead, Scorpion TKE, retrieved February 29, 2016