Divine Nine celebration to include reception, cookout
They are back at the University of Louisville – all nine members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council. UofL will celebrate the Divine Nine’s return on April 21 with a reception and cookout.
Students, employees and alumni are invited to the free event with a reception that will take place at 1 p.m. in the Student Activities Center Multipurpose Room. An NPHC picnic will follow on the West Plaza in front of the Red Barn. An RSVP is requested.
The event will recognize the achievement of having all nine groups actively engaged in campus life, said Dean of Students Michael Mardis. UofL is the only state university to have active chapters for all of the Divine Nine, according to Student Affairs.
Mardis said having each of the nine chapters on campus not only shows the university’s support for diversity, but also enhances the student life experience.
“For UofL to have a vibrant campus, it’s important to have a strong NPHC presence,” Mardis said. “To be able to have all Divine Nine on campus is significant; it’s not something that’s common for universities.”
UofL has made NPHC growth a strategic effort. Six years ago, the university set aside a suite in the Community Park residence halls for NPHC letter groups to use as a campus gathering place. In 2009, a committee chaired by Pan-African studies professor Ricky Jones outlined steps to address organizational sustainability and essential steps to ensure future NPHC success on campus. The Office of Student Affairs is interviewing candidates to fill the post of full-time NPHC adviser. The Association of Fraternity Advisors gave UofL its “Diversity Initiatives” award in 2008 for its initiatives to support NPHC on campus.
The addition of more fraternities and sororities has led to a fuller Greek experience, said Kaysara Mandry, NPHC president and a member of Zeta Phi Beta sorority.
“This is a huge accomplishment for us,” said Mandry, a junior from Tampa, Fla. “This allows any student more opportunities to find a place on campus that’s just right for them.”