The Penn State fraternity and sorority community is one of the largest communities in North America and consists of a diverse group of men and women within 89 fraternities and sororities. Social fraternities and sororities at Penn State create smaller communities within the larger university environment and are committed to the basic principles of fraternity and sorority membership: Academic Achievement, Service and Philanthropy, Leadership, Brotherhood & Sisterhood, Social, and Alumni Involvement. Building lifelong friendships through collaborative and meaningful relationships is also a key component to the fraternal experience at Penn State.
A major goal of the fraternity and sorority community is to encourage and assist members in surpassing their academic potential. Each chapter works with the University to develop comprehensive academic programs that include: GPA requirements, study sessions, goal setting, progress reports, tutoring and incentive programs.
Service and Philanthropy
One of the most gratifying aspects of fraternity and sorority life is the satisfaction that comes with community service. Participation in community service builds character through the realization of the needs of others. Fraternities and sororities individually and collectively are involved in activities such as tutoring children, organizing fundraising events and competitions, sponsoring blood drives and other philanthropic activities. The IFC-Panhellenic Dance Marathon continues to be a benchmark for fraternity and sorority communities nationwide.
Fraternity and sorority membership presents great opportunities for developing leadership skills and applying these skills in practical situations. Fraternities and sororities not only provide training on the principles of leadership, they are laboratories in which these principles can be tested. Each chapter is self-governed and offers its members the opportunity to maximize their leadership potential through chapter participation and campus involvement.
Brotherhood & Sisterhood
Within each chapter, there is a close bond of friendship and family. This is one of the foundations of the fraternity and sorority experience. The unique personalities of fraternity and sorority members provide a diverse and well-rounded community. The ideal of brotherhood and sisterhood is a cornerstone that each fraternity and sorority is built upon and is reflected in each chapter.
Many fond college memories can be developed through social interaction within the fraternity and sorority community. For many, the most important component of fraternity and sorority life is the lifelong friendships. Examples of social activities include chapter retreats, fraternity and sorority socials, all-Greek events, and formal dances. Most groups also participate in intramurals, including flag football, basketball, soccer, softball and other sports.
The role of the alumni as advisors or national fraternity and sorority officers and consultants is substantial. Lifetime friendships expand beyond individual chapters to include all members of the national and international fraternity and sorority community. Alumni organizations help students network for potential employment opportunities after graduation, and keep in touch through newsletters, correspondence, meetings and special alumni events.