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  • Emily Cusack

Do you know your Greek?

Courtesy photos

Olivet College is home to 11 unique Greek societies. Since it’s pledging season, it only seemed right to share a little bit of history on these fine societies.

Phi Alpha Pi. Phi Alpha Pi is the oldest fraternity on campus, established in 1847 as a literary society with the motto “Progress, Truth and Friendship.” The society was modeled after the secret societies of Yale and was originally known as the Olivet Lyceum and later as the Philalethian Society. In 1861 the society was recognized as Phi Alpha Pi, and their house was dedicated in 1891.

Iota Kappa Omicron (Soronian). Soronian was established in 1847, making the sorority the oldest female literary society in Olivet and the country. Originally known as the Ladies Literary Society and later as Erodelphian, the society took their official name as Soronian in 1868, and later their motto “Strong in Love, Firm in Right.” In 1910 Soronian (Sperry Hall) was opened.

Adelphic Alpha Pi. Established in 1862, Adelphic was originally known as the “Clever Fellows.” This society earned their claim to fame by having the first literary society house built on campus. Ground was broke in 1889 and the house was completed in 1890. Adelphic’s motto is “Semper Fidelis,” or “always faithful.”

Sigma Beta. Sigma Beta was established in 1907 as a literary society. The society originally resided in a house on Shipherd Street until 1960 when the ground was broken for their current house. Construction was finished in 1963. Sigma Beta proudly uses the elephant as their house mascot and the motto “Friends of the Best.”

Kappa Sigma Alpha. Kappa Sigma Alpha was established in 1922 with an owl as mascot and the motto “Wisdom Conquers All.” In 1928 the original residence of the fraternity burned, and 19 years later in 1947, the fraternity was temporarily disbanded. In 1956 Kappa Sigma Alpha was reinstated as a society on Olivet’s campus.

Alpha Lambda Epsilon. Established in 1922, Alpha Lambda Epsilon was originally a sorority. The sorority disbanded in 1935 and was later reinstated in 1961. In 1975, Alpha Lambda Epsilon opened its door to men, becoming the first co-educational literary social society on campus and in the country. Their motto is “Bear Well the Torch.”

Alpha Xi Omega or ELITE. ELITE was founded in 1980 as the first minority fraternity on campus. The fraternity originally started out as an intramural basketball team. ELITE’s motto is “Truly A Cut Above.”

Nu Gamma Xi. Founded in 1997 with the motto, “Forever True to the Eternal Bond of Sisterhood,” Nu Gamma Xi was founded as the first sorority for minority women on campus. The sorority is an academic sorority, holding quality above quantity, and welcomes women of diverse backgrounds.

Alpha Phi Kappa. Alpha Phi Kappa was founded in 1997 as the only all African American fraternity on Olivet’s campus with the motto “Striving for Excellence in Every Endeavor.” Alpha Phi Kappa was founded to fill the need “to address the issues of men of color and promote a better understanding between cultures.” Alpha Phi Kappa was the first fraternity on campus to host tie and shirt drive on campus.

Eta Psi Kappa. Eta Psi Kappa was founded in 2000. The sorority promotes the unity of women on campus and upholds the motto “The Righteous Endure till Judgment.” They host the unicorn as their mascot and consider themselves to “be remarkable women.”

Mu Omega Pi. Established in 2001, Mu Omega Pi is the first multicultural fraternity on Olivet’s campus. They proudly host the lion as their mascot with the colors blue and orange. Mu Omega Pi holds claims to being the best dressed on campus and the motto, “Upholding the Standard of Perfection.”

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