The National Pan-Hellenic Council of Chicago

A Narrative History

A Narrative History of the
NPHC Chicago

The origins of the NPHC Chicago are a confluence of need and opportunity. The following retrospective was compiled by Sandra Kelly and Sonja D. Gidney in 1994.

On April 17, 1982 an article appeared in the New York Times, entitled, “End of an Era - Setback in Civil Rights for Blacks.” The article had a devastating effect on a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity named Jack Childs, Sr. Mr. Childs felt some action needed to be taken to address the issues raised in the article. Mr. Childs called his fraternity brother James Hill to get his reaction.

A meeting was convened at Jack Childs’ office and was attended, by James Hill, Auggeretto Battiste, and Don Trotter (currently State Senator of Illinois), all members of Alpha Phi Alpha. It was determined that community action could not be carried out under the Fraternal name and an invitation was extended to the other historically African American membership Greek letter organizations.

The name chosen for this group was The Pan Hellenic Community Action Council of Chicago (PHCACC)  and their first objective was to launch a massive voter registration drive spearheaded by Elliott Green of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. The Pan Hellenic Community Action Council was incorporated on December 16, 1982 following with the writing of our Constitution and Bylaws.

A little known fact is that the National Pan-Hellenic Council logo was originally designed during this time by the PHCACC and was subsequently adopted by the National Organization. In its original form, the logo only had 7 points. The present 9-point version was developed by Frater Dwayne Dixon of Iota Phi Theta and was adopted (after much discussion) when Iota was inducted into the NPHC in 1997.

During the next six years, the PHCACC continued to provide a powerful voice in the African American community and was actively involved in the election of our first African American Mayor in the City of Chicago, Mayor Harold Washington (Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity) as well as State Comptroller Roland Burris (Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity).

Past Presidents of the Pan Hellenic Council had been

  • James Hill, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, 1982 –1984

  • Sandra Kelly, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, 1984 – 1986

  • James Polk, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, 1986 – 1988

In 1988 the PHCACC became inactive.

In March of 1992, Auggeretto Battiste, one of the original incorporators, and Marea Rivers, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority convened the first meeting and elected officers; the officers, who served from 1992 – 1994, are as follows:

  • President - Auggeretto Battiste, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity

  • Vice-president - H. Vincent Price, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity

  • Treasurer - Deborah Underwood, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

  • Financial Secretary - Gregory Gilmore, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity

  • Corresponding Secretary - Sandra Reeves, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority

  • Recording Secretary - O'teal Wyatt (92-93), Delta Sigma Theta Sorority / Maria Moore (93-94) Delta Sigma Theta Sorority

During the first two years, the PHCACC recruited people to become Deputy Registrars for the Chicago Board of Elections. We also encouraged youth to stay in school by participating in the Bud Billiken Day Parade and passed out bookmarkers.

In the spirit of Brother and Sisterhood, we hosted our first Undergraduate Greek Summit in September of 1993 to increase the lines of communication between Undergraduate and Graduate Chapters, as well as our, then, non-affiliated brothers of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity. The discussion sessions featured national, regional, and local officers, including:

  • Dr. Jason DeSousa (KAY), Associate Executive Director, NPHC

  • Dwayne Dixon, National Director of Marketing, Iota Phi Theta Fraternity

  • William Stanley, National President, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity

The PHCACC continued to be active and financial on a Regional and National Pan Hellenic Council’s basis. Gregory Gilmore was our representative at the 1992 Regional Conference. During that time, the council adopted a new initiative, the Assault on Illiteracy Program. For the 1994 – 1995, the officers were:

  • President - Gregory Gilmore, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity

  • Vice-President - Sonja D. Gidney, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority

  • Treasurer - Delma Hunter, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority

  • Financial Secretary - Kimberley Offord, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority

  • Corresponding Secretary - Sandra Kelly Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority

  • Recording Secretary - Deborah Underwood, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

As of that time, the PHCACC had 3 chapters of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority; one chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity; one chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; three chapters of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority; one chapter of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity; one chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity; two chapters of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority; two chapters of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity and one chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

This activity and dedication formed the basis for the strength and growth of the council continues today. The council remains committed to its mission of being "United to Make a Difference." Community being the central focus of the National Pan-Hellenic Council of Chicago, Inc. we promote programs and initiatives to improve the African-American conditions from an academic, economic, health, social and civic perspective. Through partnerships with other community-based organizations, as well as those relationships established among member-chapters, the NPHC-C encourages member chapters to be leaders in the community through service, education, brotherhood and sisterhood. 

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