Iota Phi Theta has always believed that it is in the best interests of Historically Black Greek-lettered organizations to work collectively toward common purposes whenever possible. To that end, Iota Phi Theta had made numerous inquiries, beginning in the mid-1970's, regarding affiliation with the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC).
The member organizations of the NPHC are:
- Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Cornell University, 1906
- Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Howard University, 1908
- Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Indiana University, 1911
- Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Howard University, 1911
- Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Howard University, 1913
- Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Howard University, 1914
- Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Howard University, 1920
- Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Butler University, 1922
- Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Morgan State University, 1963
The cornerstone of this belief is the fact that the fraternity has always shared the basic overall goals and objectives of its fellow NPHC organizations, most specifically:
- A commitment to the general principles of Higher Education, Leadership Development, Service to the African-American Community, Moral Conduct, and Brotherhood/ Sisterhood.
- College-based membership (with ancillary Graduate/Alumni Chapters).
- Mutually exclusive membership between organizations.
- Regionalized organizational structures with a central governing entity
- Abolishment of "Pledging" in favor of an educationally oriented "Membership Intake" process.
In past years however, the NPHC did not have a mechanism or criteria for accepting new member organizations. This had been an ongoing concern for Iota Phi Theta and over time, it developed into an area of increasing focus. While joining the NPHC was an important objective for the Fraternity, the greater priority was to enter an affiliation that would provide resources and relationships essential for Iota's long-term growth & development. With that in mind, Iota Phi Theta successfully petitioned for membership in the National Interfraternity Conference (NIC) in 1985. The NIC is a federation of 75 men's national and international fraternities.
While the NIC experience was (and remains) an unqualified success, Iota continued to dialogue with the NPHC. In an encouraging turn of events, the NPHC adopted a constitutional amendment which provided for expansion at it's 1993 national convention. Several years later, an expansion committee developed criteria for potential new member organizations and a procedure by which they might apply.
Upon receiving the criteria and procedure in 1996, Iota Phi Theta submitted a formal application to the NPHC expansion committee. This application was carefully reviewed by the committee and was delivered to the NPHC Executive Board for determination.
After careful consideration and deliberation, Iota Phi Theta's membership application was approved unanimously and effective November 12, 1996, Iota Phi Theta was accepted as a full member of the National Pan-Hellenic Council with all rights, privileges, and responsibilities thereto.
To commemorate and formalize Iota's entry, the NPHC conducted a formal induction ceremony at its February, 1997 leadership conference. This ceremony was attended by hundreds of Iota Men, including the Grand Council and a number of the Fraternity's founders as well as hundreds of well-wishers and supporters from the NPHC community.
Iota Founders and Grand Council
at the Fraternity's formal induction into the NPHC
Iota Phi Theta salutes the collective and individual accomplishments of its fellow National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations. The Fraternity recognizes the fact that the Black Greek-Lettered Organizational community exists today as a direct result of the efforts and achievements of those organizations that have come before us.