National Pan-Hellenic Council officially charters UNM’s ‘Divine Nine’

May 23, 2024

Credit: UNM Newsroom (l. to r.): Treasurer Taylor Miller, 2nd Vice President Jason Stilger, 1st Vice President Kristen Thomas, President Kaelyn Moon, National NPHC Representative Jessie Smith, Office Parliamentarian Emmanual Mitchell, Secretary Jagger Barrington and Fraternity and Sorority Life Specialist Patricia Lott.

Historic effort more than a decade in the making

The University of New Mexico’s “Divine Nine,” a prestigious group of Black fraternities and sororities, was officially chartered as part of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) in a ceremony held recently at the UNM Student Union Building.

With the charter, UNM became the first university in the state with a nationally recognized NPHC collegiate council. The official recognition as a council will give UNM’s Divine Nine chapters greater visibility, resources, and access to other university chapters and alumni.

The “Divine Nine” were founded at historically Black colleges and have since expanded to universities across the country. Many of these institutions began as civic action groups in response to the pressing societal demands at the time. They were seen as embodiments of the students’ initiative to contribute to the academic and political development of their schools. 

The NPHC is the governing council for nine premier historically Black sororities and fraternities known as the “Divine Nine,” including:

  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
  • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
  • Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
  • Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
  • Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
  • Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
  • Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.

“Black Greek letter organizations have had a strong presence in the state of New Mexico since the late 1960s with the chartering of Sigma Gamma chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. on May 1st, 1965. Since then, members of these communities have continued to be some of the strongest leaders and advocates for the Black experience here at The University of New Mexico,” said Fraternity and Sorority Life Specialist Patricia Lott. “This council will allow them to foster cooperation and collaboration among the member organizations in the National Pan-Hellenic Council, other Greek letter organizations, and student organizations at UNM. I am so happy to see this happen on our campus.”