The National Pan-Hellenic Garden officially opened on September 24, 2011, and continues to honor the heritage and recognize NPHC organizations for their service to the greater Waco community and Baylor University. Provided is information and history of the 7 NPHC organizations showcased in the garden.
HISTORY & TRADITIONS
In March 2007, the NPHC Executive Board created a proposal for the addition of Greek plots to the campus of Baylor University. This proposal addressed the Greek communities' desire to acknowledge the growing diversity on Baylor’s campus and the recognition of NPHC chapters’ contribution to the campus community. Traditionally, multicultural Greek-lettered organizations encompass vastly different traditions reflecting the legacy of their founders and rituals. In the spirit of fellowship and pride, the proposal advanced the construction monuments to tangibly display the rich history of NPHC. The establishment of these plots honor the heritage and recognize NPHC organizations for their service to the greater Waco community and Baylor University.
The proposal was the first step in a journey embarked upon by NPHC, the Division of Student Life, and the Baylor Administration to recognize the history of NPHC through the completion of the garden project and organization monuments. With much effort and support from Baylor and her students, the Board of Regents sent the final approval to create the garden in February 2011. Four years after the initial proposal, the NPHC garden has now come to fruition. Its completion has instilled a greater sense of pride in its members while continuing to foster the growing bond and appreciation for multicultural Greek-lettered organizations in the Baylor community.
HISTORY OF PLOTS
One of the most prominent symbols of Black Greek Letter Organizations on college campuses are plots. Plots symbolically represent the organization and can appear in various forms. Most are brick or concrete structures that are built to commemorate the organization. Colors play an integral part of the plots and are representative of the organization - usually containing the organizations letters. Other types of plots contain national and local founding dates, and the names of the charter members of the organization. Plots, especially at historically Black colleges and universities, play a central role in the culture of Black fraternities and sororities often serving as a meeting place and a place to reconnect alumni with current members at events such as Homecoming. Plots serves a gathering place and symbolic honor for the past and future generations of Black Greek members.
GRANITE STONE MARKER INFORMATION
The Baylor National Pan-Hellenic Garden has sections for the seven current NPHC organizations on Baylor’s campus. The granite stones include the chapters crest, national and local founding date, national founders and local charter members. Around the granite stones are markers of the organizations colors. There is one granite stone representing Baylor’s National Pan-Hellenic Council. As of September 18, 2023, The NPHC Garden welcomed and installed the monuments for Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.