National Panhellenic Conference evolved gradually through a cooperative spirit among women’s fraternities. As early as 1891, Kappa Kappa Gamma invited all of the Greek-letter women’s college fraternities (there were seven at the time) to a meeting in Boston on April 16 and 17. The groups discussed Interfraternity courtesy, fraternity jewelry and stationery and Greek journalism. A second meeting was planned for 1893 at the Chicago World’s Fair, and although some representatives were there, no records exist of the session.
Early histories of women’s fraternities contain accounts of “rushing and pledging agreements” or “compacts” among fraternities on various campuses, and also many stories of cooperation and mutual assistance. However, no actual Panhellenic organization existed and no uniform practices were observed. By 1902, it was obvious that some standards were needed, so Alpha Phi invited Pi Beta Phi, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Delta Delta Delta, Alpha Chi Omega and Chi Omega to a conference in Chicago on May 24. Although Alpha Chi Omega and Chi Omega were not able to send delegates to this meting, the session resulted in the organization of the first Interfraternity association and the first inter-group organization on college campuses. (National Interfraternity conference for men’s fraternities was organized in 1909).
First called the Interfraternity Conference, the organization has been variously named and renamed the Inter-Sorority Conference (until 1908); the National Panhellenic Conference (until 1911); the National Panhellenic Congress (until 1917); the National Panhellenic Conference (until 1921); the National Panhellenic Congress (until 1945), and finally the National Panhellenic Conference.
National Panhellenic Conference is an organization established to foster Interfraternity relationships, to assist collegiate chapters (College Panhellenic Councils) of the NPC member groups, and to cooperate with colleges and universities in maintaining the highest scholastic and social standards.