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Our Community

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History

The first Greek-letter collegiate fraternal organization was organized on December 5, 1776 at the college of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

The fraternity and sorority movement took hold in Cullowhee in the 20th Century with the establishment of several fine national organizations during the Presidency of Paul A. Reid. The Interfraternity & Panhellenic Councils were organized and chartered in the fall of 1966 under the leadership of the Dean of Men, Dr. Doug Davis ’49 & Dean of Women, Mrs. Peggy Ziegler.

Significant growth in chapters and membership occurred throughout the 1970’s & 1980’s.  The first NPHC Chapter was chartered in 1975 and the Theta Pi Chapter of the Order of Omega National Greek Leadership Honor Society was founded on February 10, 1988.  In 1990, the National Pan-Hellenic Council, representing the traditional African-American fraternities and sororities, was organized and recognized by the university.

The Department of Greek Student Engagement & Development was established in 2016 as the first stand-alone unit within the Division of Student Affairs to provide oversight and management of the fraternity and sorority community.  Today, Western Carolina University is proud to recognize and support one of the premiere Greek Life communities in the South.

Community values

The Department of Greek Student Engagement & Development is committed to the achievement of continuous improvement of the WCU fraternity & sorority community.  The annual Registration & Recognition Assessment Program (R&R) servies as the initial recognition process for all fraternity and sorority chapters on campus, as well as the community's annual assessment program of achievements and analysis of needed areas of improvement

The core areas of evaluation each year are:

  • Registration
  • Academics
  • University/Community/Alumni Relations & Service
  • Membership Recruitment/Intake & Membership Education
  • Values Based & Leadership Programming
  • Financial Management
  • Campus Involvement
  • Risk Management

scholarship

Academic excellence is a vital aspect of the fraternity and sorority membership experience at Western Carolina University.  Scholastic standards are important for each chapter as well as the entire Greek community.  Programming, incentives, and ongoing support assist chapter members in pursuing academic excellence in the classroom.  Academic achievement is the primary reason students are enrolled at WCU.  All fraternity and sorority chapters at WCU work to help their members achieve academic excellence.

leadership

Students participate in a plethora of programs and activities that provide leadership development.  There are multiple ways to be a leader in Catamount country, including chapter or council officer positions, national or regional leadership conferences, campus-based leadership opportunities, and chapter committee positions.

service

Serving others is a historical value of fraternity men and sorority women across the country. This is especially true at WCU.  Members are provided with opportunities to participate in hands-on volunteer work and philanthropic events to raise money for charitable organizations.  These opportunities ensure that members of fraternities and sororities have an impact on the community and develop lifelong habits of giving back to those in need.

brotherhood & sisterhood

Becoming a lifetime member of a fraternity and sorority is about developing lifelong relationships that extend beyond ordinary friendships.  The bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood are formed within an organization and provide our Catamount Greeks with a home away from home, mentorship, career networking with Greek alumni, and being a part of an important community within the larger university experience.  Fraternity men and sorority women enjoy lifelong connections that provide support and celebration in life’s journey here on campus and long after graduation.

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