Then & Now

Then & Now

Greek Life: Evolving Over Decades
JWU Greek Life Then and Now

In 1776, Greek scholar John Heath and four friends created Phi Beta Kappa, the first secret Greek letter society in the United States. Fostering moral ideals, academic achievement and good fellowship, the organization set standards and traditions for future sororities and fraternities while becoming a highly respected undergraduate honors society.

Greek life at Johnson & Wales began in the 1960s with informal local organizations without ties to national societies. As universities met with pressure from the insurance industry for the high-risk behavior of sororities and fraternities nationwide in the following decades, Johnson & Wales mandated that all campus groups find national affiliates. By the mid 1990s, all JWU sororities and fraternities were reorganized under wider chapters.

Today, there are more than 400 members of nationally or internationally connected sororities and fraternities on the Providence Campus. In 2003, North Miami students organized that campus’ first two fraternities, both affiliates of the historically African American National Pan-Hellenic Council. The North Miami Campus now has four active fraternities and four sororities with more than 70 members. At the Denver Campus, Alpha Sigma Tau sorority welcomes members.

Greek societies on the three campuses emphasize friendship, scholarship, leadership and philanthropy. From raising funds for worthy causes to mutual support in social, intellectual and professional development, JWU’s Greeks log thousands of hours of community service each year while maintaining high grade point averages. Greeks are among the most involved and active students on campus, as well as some of our most successful alumni.

“When it comes to community outreach, our Greeks are phenomenal,” says Ismare Monreal, North Miami dean of students. “With at-risk youth, the homeless and in many other areas of need, people know our Greeks.”

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