Through effective programming and recognition, a College Panhellenic can establish a culture within the fraternity/sorority community that demonstrates a sincere commitment to academic excellence. Educating sorority women on the academic goals of Panhellenic will result in success for individual members and their chapters and create positive public relations in the greater college/university community.
Below are the resources and information the NPC Academic Excellence Committee provides to support College Panhellenics in their endeavor for scholastic success.
Month of the Scholar
The National Panhellenc Conference established the Month of the Scholar at the 2000 Interim Session:
Whereas, The National Panhellenic Conference stands for good scholarship among fraternity women;
Whereas, Scholarship is a core value of each of the NPC member groups;
Whereas, Increased emphasis on academic excellence furthers the mission of women's fraternities; and
Whereas, Celebrations of the Day/Week of the Scholar have been very successful among College Panhellenic Associations;
Resolved (2000), That NPC, through partnership of the member groups, the College Panhellenics Committee and the Alumnae Panhellenics Committee, will promote the Month of the Scholar; and
Resolved (2010), That beginning in 2011, NPC will officially recognize February as the Month of the Scholar.
Greek Honor Societies
Order of Omega
Headquartered in Arlington, Texas, Order of Omega was founded in 1959 at the University of Miami. The second chapter was chartered at the University of Southern Mississippi in 1967, and Order of Omega has expanded to over five hundred active chapters in North America. Membership in Order of Omega is open to juniors and seniors and may not exceed three percent of the total number of students who are members of Greek-letter organizations at each school. Members are chosen based upon their scholastic performance, leadership in their Greek-letter organizations, and service to the fraternity and sorority community and local communities. Students whose GPAs are at or above the all-Greek average at their schools are eligible for membership. Members may be from local or national Greek-letter social organizations.
Activities that Order of Omega chapters might sponsor include scholarship programs, Greek Week and service events. Many Order of Omega chapters also sponsor educational programming for their members and for their local fraternity and sorority communities. For example, a chapter might host an educational event for all fraternity and sorority new members to orient them to the fraternity and sorority community at that school. Grant funding from Order of Omega headquarters is available for chapters that wish to apply for it for their programs.
Since its establishment, Order of Omega’s Scholarship and Fellowship Program has given scholarships to 2,295 undergraduate and graduate members with the total amount reaching over $70,000 each year. Order of Omega also recognizes four chapters each year as Outstanding Chapter Award recipients.
Students who wish to start Order of Omega chapters at their schools or reactivate inactive chapters should consult the Order of Omega expansion website. On average, Order of Omega charters about ten new chapters each year.
Gamma Sigma Alpha
Gamma Sigma Alpha National Academic Greek Honor Society has over 215 chapters in North America and is headquartered in Colorado. Gamma Sigma Alpha was founded in 1989 at the University of Southern California. The second chapter was chartered at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1990. Potential members are selected based on their academic performance and membership in a Greek-letter organization. Students who have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale or who have a 3.5 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale at any semester during their junior and senior years are eligible for membership.
Potential members may come from any type of Greek-letter organization, including local organizations (as long as they are recognized by the chapter’s institution), and there is no limit to the number of students each chapter can initiate each year. Gamma Sigma Alpha recognizes the chapters in each region whose fraternity and sorority community GPA is the highest above the all-undergraduate GPA at their schools.
Gamma Sigma Alpha chapters might sponsor faculty recognition programs or other academic enrichment programs for the fraternity and sorority community (such as tutoring for general education classes or academic success workshops). The national organization provides some graduate scholarship money each year to members. Gamma Sigma Alpha also offers programming grants ranging from $100-$500 to assist chapters with their academic programs.
Gamma Sigma Alpha welcomes students who are interested in chartering new chapters. Interested students should visit the Gamma Sigma Alpha expansion website.
Rho Lambda is a national honor society to recognize sorority women for leadership and service to the sorority community. Rho Lambda was founded at the University of Miami in 1962 and became a national organization in 1974. There are now over 226 chapters in North America. The letters Rho Lambda stand for Panhellenic Leadership, and the flame is the symbol of Rho Lambda.
Membership is open to junior and senior sorority women who have exhibited leadership and service to their sororities and to their sorority communities. Additionally, eligible members must have at least a 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale to be considered for membership. Membership in a chapter is not allowed to exceed 10 percent of the total sorority population at any given campus.
Chapters of Rho Lambda might participate in Greek Week, community service projects, Panhellenic scholarship programs or other fundraising projects. Women who are interested in starting a chapter of Rho Lambda should visit the membership section of the Rho Lambda website.
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