Today's Update: Tuesday, April 20

April 20, 2021

Dear Student Life Team, This is an historic week. 

Tomorrow (April 21) at 4 p.m., ground will be broken for the National Pan-Hellenic Council Plaza at The Ohio State University. The NPHC plaza, to be located near Hale Hall, will honor and celebrate the Divine Nine, the nine historically Black, Greek-lettered fraternities and sororities at Ohio State.


The NPHC is the governing body for the nine chapters. NPHC chapters do not own or operate housing facilities on campus, which leads to a lack of engagement both from the community and potential new members. This plaza will give them a physical space that offers a visible and sacred location to convene, host formal and informal programs and serve as a symbol of welcome, hope and pride. This space will help symbolize the university’s commitment to not just creating environments, but to building spaces where all are welcome and celebrated. 

The goal for the Plaza is to be a place for NPHC organizations to showcase and honor their heritage, culture and traditions. Its purpose is to serve as a space where current Black students can be inspired to a sense of belonging, and for prospective Black Buckeyes to literally see that Ohio State is the place for them. 

This project also has a special meaning for me. I am a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., a chapter that is among the Divine Nine of NPHC. As a first-generation college student, my involvement in my sorority was such an important part of my student experience, and I credit it as one reason for my ability to succeed. It fills my heart to see this plaza about to take shape, both in physical form and in its symbolic value for the Ohio State community.

The NPHC was founded in 1930 and chartered at Ohio State in the early 1990s. Its member organizations include Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. All have chapters chartered here. Altogether, the council’s membership exceeds 1.5 million individuals around the world.

According to the archives, the council has been advocating for space and belonging on campus dating back to the 1970s. Now, that situation is being remedied by the NPHC Plaza.

This groundbreaking will be livestreamed with in-person attendance only by those who are breaking ground. The livestream can be accessed beginning at 4 p.m. tomorrow at go.osu.edu/NPHClivestream.

You can also join in the celebration on social media by following @OhioStateNPHC and @StudentLifeOSU on Twitter and Instagram and using the hashtags #EnableEmpowerInspire, #DivineNineOSU, #NPHCStrongerTogether and #OhioStateNPHC.

I hope you will take part in this Scarlet and Great celebration.

Melissa