Saturday, August 29, 2009

50 Years of Greek Life at SU

University celebrates 50 years of Greek life on campus
Fifty years ago, two small groups of men and women at what was then- Shippensburg State Teachers College began a legacy that continues today when they formed the first fraternity and sorority on campus.

In 1959, five women formed Alpha Sigma sorority (now Kappa Delta Phi) and about 15 men formed Tau Kappa Epsilon. They are celebrating their golden anniversary this year and the university is also celebrating the Greek system that now includes about 500 members, or about seven percent of the university’s undergraduate student population.

“Fraternity and sorority life teaches students the value of forming relationships, developing integrity, demonstrating responsibility, showing respect, contributing service, and exhibiting leadership,” said Dr. Roger Serr, vice president for student affairs.

According to Emilee Danielson, director of fraternity and sorority life, the celebration, “50 years of Fraternity & Sorority Life,” is more than just a list of the currently recognized organizations, “it’s 50 years of brotherhood and sisterhood.”

Additional activities are being planned for Homecoming in October. Danielson is also working with each group’s advisors and alumni to plan other highlights including planting of a Greek garden on campus, burying a Greek time capsule, organizing a campus or community wide “Greek Clean” road clean up and a Greek Education Series that will feature workshops aimed at meeting the different needs of Greek students.

“Fraternity and sorority life is as important to Ship as it was in 1959,” said Danielson. “As long as there are colleges and universities there will be fraternities and sororities. They are an essential part of American higher education culture.”

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