Here's What Greek Life Used to Look Like
Written by Claire Sheets
To a lot of parents and students not involved in Greek life, their terms and traditions seem foreign to us. And though Greeks and non-Greeks may have their differences, there is one thing we all have in common– old pictures of us back in the day with that awful hairstyle we all loved and that tacky clothing that was all the rage.
With Christmas being right around the corner, I felt that we could all use some lighthearted fun. And since we are in the season of giving, I thought I could shed some light on the way the men and women of these chapters give back, even now! So let’s take this time to reminisce on the good old days. Start the popcorn, pull up a chair, (maybe cringe at what used to be the style), and let’s open up this time capsule!
Image from Iota Upsilon-Georgia Southern University
First on our list are the men of Pi Kappa Alpha, sporting some lovely coats at a 1993 Chartering Banquet. Look how classy they are in their white jackets! Don’t let those suits fool you, Pi Kappa Alpha takes their philanthropy and community service very seriously. In fact, Pi Kappa Alpha raised over $3.3 million for various local and national causes in 2016.
Image from Tri Delta
Next up, we have the women of Delta Delta Delta. Look at these lovely ladies, posing perfectly for the picture and showing off those Deltas! Something that many people may not know, is that Tri Delta raised over $15 million in just three and half years for their philanthropy, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. This was originally a pledge to raise $15 million in five years. St. Jude honored this achievement by naming an onsite housing for patients after the sorority. Today it is known as Tri Delta Place. Their current pledge, made in 2014, is to raise $60 million in ten years. It’s amazing to think that what was once a small sorority would eventually grow to be a powerhouse in Greek philanthropy and fundraising.
Image from Sigma Chi Beta Sigma Chapter
Check out these brothers in suits, the 1977 Sigma Chi pledge class of the Beta Sigma Chapter. Look at the fraternity brothers standing so proudly with one-another! Did you know that Sigma Chi has an annual day of service where they give back to their communities? The Merlin Olsen Day of Service was created to honor the philanthropic spirit of Merlin Olsen, a proud brother of Sigma. Good on you, boys.
Image from Phi Mu at University of North Georgia
The lovely women of Phi Mu are next on the runway. This photo was taken of the University of Northern Georgia Phi Mu sisters in 1976. Lot’s of crop tops, flared pants and empowered women. Seems like some things never change! Phi Mu's national philanthropy is Children's Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH). In fact, Phi Mu is the only sorority that is a corporate sponsor of CNMH. Since 1986, the sisters of Phi Mu have raised over $8.5 million for this amazing cause and have contributed to improving the quality of life for children around the world.
Our second to last fraternity feature is the men of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) at their 2005 banquet at South Dakota State University. Since SAE does not have a national philanthropy, the different chapters are able to raise funds for their chapter-specific philanthropies. This allows the fraternities to give back to their individual communities and help make the world a better place.
Fun Fact: the CEO of Campus Classics, Byron Wilson, is an SAE!
Image from Fraternity History & More
And last, but certainly not least, are the women of Pi Beta Phi of ‘93 and ‘94. These lovely ladies are rocking the classic sewn-on letters tee shirts at Oklahoma State University. Not only do these sorority sisters hold fun philanthropy events, but they also spread the awareness and the importance of literacy! You go girls.
Even though these styles were from the past, trends have carried over into today and have become a Greek life favorite! As a matter of fact, we offer a lot of these classic and current trends. Whether it’s sewn-on letters, vintage striped tees, or those fraternity ties that never seem to go out of style, we’ve got them. Check out our Greek styles here.
I hope this flash in the past has given your day just a little bit of joy and hopefully encouraged you to give a little bit this holiday season.