In 1776, students at the College of William and Mary formed Phi Beta Kappa, thus beginning a tradition not to be replicated anywhere else in the world. Founded by politically charged members, and driven by the desire for a unique bond, the original greek organizations had all the characteristics of modern-day fraternities. At the onset of the American Revolution, these societies became a vehicle for progressive movement across the nation. In war and in peace, through economic depression and social revolution, fraternity membership saw steady growth. Challenged by outsiders and members alike to better their respective academic institutions, and society as a whole, fraternities made great strides in scholarship and philanthropy, while providing responsible social outlets to men nationwide. The first fraternity “chapter” was held on December 5, 1776. Well over 200 years later, there are 70 nationally recognized fraternities encompassing over five million active and alumni members.
The Greek community at USC exemplifies the qualities at the core of the original Greek organizations. With over 60 fraternities and sororities, boasting membership from 12 to over 150, the Greek Community here has established itself as one of the most diverse, exciting, and well respected systems in the country. Recognized nationally as a forward-thinking leader in Greek life, USC Greeks are constantly being recognized for academic, athletic, philanthropic, and social achievements. The Greek Community has always been, and continues to be, one of USC’s proudest traditions.