The college fraternity is an institution unique to the United States. In the 18th century, all colleges were small and religiously oriented. There were no such things as electives, and the faculty preferred a student’s mind to be more concerned with academics and religious entities rather than current events. Student organizations were frowned upon and highly discouraged. It is understandable then, that students would seek to form fraternal groups to fullfill the needs not being met by their academic institutions. Hence, what we know as the fraternity or the Greek letter organization was formed. The first Greek letter society was formed when a student was denied admission into a William and Mary literary society. The rejected man, along with four friends, organized a society of their own, using Greek letters to name it Phi Beta Kappa. That first meeting was on December 5, 1776, and now, well over 200 years later, there are nearly 70 nationally recognized fraternities.
The Greek Community at USC exemplifies what Greek Organizations should be. With over 60 fraternities and sororities, boasting membership from 12 to over 100, the Greek Community here has established itself as one of the most diverse, exciting, and well respected systems in the country. Recognized nationally as a trend-setter in Greek life, USC Greeks are constantly being recognized for academic, athletic, philanthropic, and social achievements. The Greek Community has been, and still is, one of USC’s proudest traditions.