Greek Life: Historical Perspectives on our Fraternities and Sororities
The exhibit explores the long history and remarkable legacy of Greek fraternities and sororities at the University of Arkansas. Scrapbooks, numerous print volumes, and other materials illustrate the enduring influence of student social organizations on Arkansas's flagship university.
2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the Delta Iota chapter of Delta Delta Delta at the University of Arkansas. This exhibit celebrates that history and the legacy of Greek life contributed by all the University's fraternities and sororities. Soon after the University was founded, local dentist Dr. Charles Richardson helped establish the Xi Alpha chapter of Kappa Sigma, thus becoming the first permanent Greek social fraternity at the University in 1890. One of the founding members was future University President John C. Futrall. Richardson also helped establish the first chapter of the Chi Omega sorority.
Greek organizations have been a vital component of University social life and traditions for more than a century. One of the most recognizable campus landmarks, the Greek Theater, was donated to by Chi Omega in 1930. To the present day, the philanthropic and civic projects of fraternities and sororities are visible throughout the academic year, and through their very active participation in Homecoming and other events, Greek societies help keep University traditions vibrant. Fraternities and Sororities at the University of Arkansas have produced numerous illustrious graduates. Some of those alumni's names have come to be almost synonymous with the University itself, such as Senator J. William Fulbright (Sigma Chi) and the Miss America winner and prolific philanthropist, Donna Axum Whitworth (Delta Delta Delta). Renowned author and University alumna E. Lynn Harris became the first president of the African American fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha's Kappa Kappa chapter, in 1975 as a sophomore, in addition to his numerous other volunteer and service activities as a highly engaged Razorback student. African American Greek societies became prominent organizations on the Fayetteville campus in 1974.
The exhibit shares the richness of student life on campus through the scrapbooks and personal papers of former students, which include numerous dance cards, playbills, ceremony programs, valentines and Christmas cards, and other keepsakes. The manuscript collections featured in this exhibit include the Damon Marie Watson Papers (MC 1052), Delta Delta Delta Iota Chapter Papers (MC 551), Frederick Lee Liebolt Papers (MC 1369), Donna Axum Whitworth Papers (MC 1806), Fulbright Collection (MS F956), and Razorback Yearbooks and other print publications. These collections are housed in the special collections department located in Mullins Library.
Find more information at http://libraries.uark.edu/specialcollections/.