But isn’t the badge a pin? And isn’t what you call a women’s fraternity really a sorority? And really, isn’t that just for when you are in college? Why in the world do you still volunteer for an organization you joined as a freshman in college, when Gerald Ford was President?
Yes. Sort of, well, yes, without having to tell you about Frank Smalley, a Latin professor at Syracuse University. No, it shouldn’t be. I volunteer because I believe in the organization. It is my way of honoring those who came before me and those who will come after me.
Bottom line – I believe in the Creed of the National Panhellenic Conference:
We, as undergraduate members of women’s fraternities, stand for good scholarship, for guarding of good health, for maintenance of fine standards, and for serving, to the best of our ability, our college community. Cooperation for furthering fraternity life, in harmony with its best possibilities, is the ideal that shall guide our fraternity activities.
We, as fraternity women, stand for service through the development of character inspired by the close contact and deep friendship of individual fraternity and Panhellenic life. The opportunity for wide and wise human service, through mutual respect and helpfulness, is the tenet by which we strive to live.
Today, the first Monday in March is NPC International Badge Day, a day for members to wear their respective NPC badges. If “pin attire” is not worn, then it is perfectly acceptable to wear letters, those articles of clothing sporting the Greek letters.
NPC consists of 26 women’s organizations, and over the years, other Greek-letter organizations have joined in the fun. The more the merrier!
The National Panhellenic Conference’s International Badge Day began in 1997. In the spring of 1996, after she wore her Alpha Sigma Alpha pin to work one day, Nora M. Ten Broeck wrote an article about her experience. It appeared her sorority’s magazine, The Phoenix, and was titled “A Simple Solution – Wear Your Membership Badge Today.” Her NPC collegues loved the idea and endorsed the project. The month of March was chosen because it is also National Women’s History Month.
In my own little world, I celebrate NPC flower weeks. I have always loved carnations, and when I was handed a wine carnation, Pi Phi’s flower, it just sealed the deal. Since I am big on Panhellenic spirit, I will tell you that currently sitting on my table are pink carnations, Gamma Phi Beta’s flower. Last week it was Alpha Chi Omega’s red carnations. I noticed the violets are blooming in the back yard and soon I will celebrate Tri Sigma and Sigma Kappa. Any week now, Kroger will have iris and I will celebrate Delta Phi Epsilon and Kappa Kappa Gamma. I love this chart of NPC flowers, so I offer it you again. Feel free to play along.
P.S. Be sure to read about the #amazingsororitywomen who have worn badges and in their own ways have performed wise and wide human service. There are links on the right hand side of the page.
© Fran Becque, www.fraternityhistory.com, 2017. All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates through the comments section below. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest www.pinterest.com/glohistory/