National Panhellenic Conference & Foundation support Piazza Center research

By June 8, 2021News Release

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) and National Panhellenic Conference Foundation (NPCF) have made a combined gift of $35,000 to support fraternity and sorority research through Penn State’s Timothy J. Piazza Center for Fraternity and Sorority Research and Reform. This contribution, which was matched by the University, underscores the organizations’ commitment to supporting research that will provide the necessary data to enact lasting reform.

“NPC is committed to investing in the areas of research and reform for the Panhellenic sorority community, and this gift to the Piazza Center is a part of that investment,” said Dani Weatherford, chief executive officer for the National Panhellenic Conference and National Panhellenic Conference Foundation. “Both the conference and foundation leadership believe there is significant value in the Piazza Center’s work to gather and analyze the types of information and data sororities and fraternities need to make positive and lasting change. For NPC and our member organizations specifically, the center’s research can help us increase access to and equity within the sorority experience and enable us to provide even more meaningful and impactful experiences to our members throughout their lives.”

Weatherford cited NPC’s recent partnership with the Piazza Center on two companion research studies to evaluate cultural competency and diversity, equity and inclusion within NPC-affiliated sorority chapters as an example of some of the “good and necessary work of the center.” The studies, which began early this year, will help identify best practices for strengthening competency and enhancing inclusion within sorority chapters and communities, and it demonstrates the shared commitment from the Piazza Center and NPC.

“We value National Panhellenic Conference and National Panhellenic Conference Foundation’s shared belief that fraternities and sororities can be transformational and extraordinary,” said Steve Veldkamp, executive director, Piazza Center. “The organizations’ support both as research partners and as donors will enable the center to produce studies that make a positive impact on multiple aspects of the fraternity and sorority experience.”

Weatherford said she hopes other organizations will join NPC and NPCF in supporting the Piazza Center and its research endeavors and working to enact positive change. 

Penn State hopes to generate an endowment of $8 million to support the center’s research. Toward that end, the University has committed $2 million in initial funding and will match up to $3 million in additional endowment funds committed for this purpose. Through this opportunity, organizations, alumni, parents, and friends can leverage their gifts to secure matching funds that double the impact of their generosity. To learn more about supporting the center and the goal that students in fraternities and sororities have a safe and enriching college experience, visit the Piazza Center website

This gift will advance “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university in a world defined by rapid change and global connections. With the support of alumni and friends, “A Greater Penn State” seeks to fulfill the three key imperatives of a 21st-century public university: keeping the doors to higher education open to hardworking students regardless of financial well-being; creating transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by serving communities and fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit greaterpennstate.psu.edu

The Piazza Center was formed at Penn State in January 2019. The multidisciplinary research center produces actionable data to provide the evidence needed to enact significant change for the more than 750,000 fraternity and sorority members on more than 770 university and college campuses nationwide. The center’s studies are focused in four key areas: hazing and hazardous drinking prevention; peer accountability, leadership, community engagement and learning; mental and physical health; and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.  

The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) is the umbrella group for 26 women’s-only inter/national social sororities and one of the largest organizations advocating for women. The NPC Foundation exists to sponsor educational and charitable programs that address health, safety, education, leadership and other issues facing women in today’s society.

This news originally appeared on the Penn State website:
https://news.psu.edu/story/660784/2021/06/08/national-panhellenic-conference-foundation-support-piazza-center-research