In 1849, twenty four years after the founding of Kappa Alpha Society at Union College in New York, the University of Pennsylvania’s first Greek letter society, Delta Phi, was established . Within the next two years, Zeta Psi, Delta Psi, and Phi Kappa Sigma, the only national fraternity to be founded at Penn, were founded. Thus began, Penn’s Greek system, a system that is now proudly approaching 160 years strong.
Today at Penn there are forty eight Greek social fraternity and sorority chapters, twenty-nine chapters in the Interfraternity Council, eight chapters in the Panhellenic Council and eleven chapters in the Multicultural Greek Council. Currently, the overall number of students actively involved in our Greek system, comprises more than twenty-five percent of the total undergraduate student population at Penn
The Fraternity Sorority System provides a living/learning environment that has proven to be an integral part of the Penn collegiate experience. Many chapters have houses where members live, eat, study and build fellowship. Other chapters use meeting spaces provided by our office for group study sessions, organizational meetings and to help implement their various programming needs.
The Penn Greek System continually expands and adapts to the constantly changing University and its students. Current chapters and colonies thrive under our multi faceted advisement milieu, while new National groups continue to show strong interest in joining the system. Although nationwide constant challenges remain that at times can be very daunting to Greek chapters, the University of Pennsylvania Greek system continues to be a national model of cooperation between undergraduate leaders and Penn administrators. All signs indicate that the strength of Greek letter organizations at Penn will continue long into the next 150 years.
The Greek system at Penn is overseen by the Office of Student Affairs/Fraternity Sorority Life, a division of the Office of the Vice Provost of University Life. We have an experienced and dedicated professional staff to help manage both the programming and facilities aspects to Greek life. Our staff also serves as resources to guide students to the various support systems here at Penn designed to make their collegiate experience the best that it can be.