Northwestern State University will host a Greek Centennial Celebration April 9-11, 2021. All members of every fraternity and sorority chapter that has ever called NSU home is invited to join the celebration. The weekend celebration will include a riverbank festival, gala and All-Greek worship service.
Festivities will begin Friday, April 9 at Flavor of Louisiana, NSU’s popular spring fund raiser and seafood extravaganza. Saturday’s events will begin with a family-friendly Greek Riverbank Festival with designated areas for each decade of alumni and friends to visit and reconnect. Saturday evening will feature a semi-formal Greek Centennial Gala for alumni and current members of the Greek community to celebrate 100 years of tradition and leadership at NSU. Greek awards for chapters and individuals as well as recognition of the “100 for 100” recipients will take place. An ecumenical worship service and communion will take place on Sunday morning, April 11 to celebrate a century of brother- and sisterhood.
In conjunction, a Greek Centennial History Book will be available for purchase that will feature snapshots from 100 years of Greek life at Northwestern State and the “100 for 100” honorees. Those are 100 noteworthy individuals who over the last 100 years demonstrated their commitment to Greek life and Northwestern State University.
Organizers have also put together a Greek Leadership Fund that will assist in the development of leadership through project and program funding with student members.
Information on the celebration is available at https://www.northwesternstatealumni.com/greeks100/.
The roots of Greek life at NSU began with local sororities established in the early 1900s that took the form of literary societies. Only one used Greek letters as part of their name.
“They were short lived, being abolished in 1911 by newly appointed president V.L. Roy as he felt they were a distraction from the scholarly pursuits the students should be focused on at the then named Louisiana Normal School,” said Shayne Creppel, director of Fraternal Leadership and Civic Engagement at NSU.
“According to campus lore, in 1921 a group of six young men established a Greek letter fraternity, Sigma Delta Tau,” Creppel said. “The fraternity met off campus in secret for fear of notoriously strict President Roy finding out about their group. The fraternity grew in size over the next few years and decided to seek approval from President Roy. The group hosted a banquet and invited the school president. He was so impressed with the quality of the men in the fraternity that he gave official recognition to the group in 1925. The following year the first national women’s sorority was established at the school, Delta Sigma Epsilon. Delta Sigma Epsilon was later absorbed by Delta Zeta national sorority and Sigma Delta Tau became affiliated with the national fraternity Sigma Tau Gamma. This 1921 establishment of Sigma Delta Tau is viewed as the beginning of Greek Life at NSU as we now know it and a century of leadership and tradition.”
Creppel said Greek life is more relevant today than ever.
“These organizations provide valuable skills that students will need to be successful for life after college. Many of our most dedicated and engaged alumni credit their fraternity and sorority experience as a key component to their success after graduating from NSU,” he said. “Fraternities and sororities also help our students feel connected and provide a home away from home which is vital to college success. Students who are engaged and feel connected do better in college and are more likely to graduate. We feel that there is a place for every student in fraternity and sorority life at NSU.”
“As a student, I did not realize how valuable my Greek experience would be in the years to come. As a member of a Greek organization, you are considered campus leaders and play a large part in on-campus activities and events. Many of the Greek members hold leadership positions and are involved in other campus organizations such as SGA, SAB, Freshman Connection and many more,” said Nikki Ceaser Small, a member of the Centennial planning committee. “My Greek experience has truly impacted my life. As members, we are charged with the obligation to continue the legacy of scholarship and service by giving back to our community. I take pride in being affiliated with a value system where all strive for similar goals and share the same principles and values.”
“Greek organizations have been an integral part of the student experience for decades,” said planning committee member Leah Middlebrook. “Greek organizations teach leadership skills, responsibility, accountability and time management. Members of Greek organizations often become leaders on campus and have the ability to share the skills learned through their Greek organizations with other parts of campus life. A major component of Greek life is philanthropy and giving back to the city, campus and community.
“Being Greek at NSU made my college experience a memorable one,” said Danielle Antoon Cobb, associate director of Alumni Affairs. “Even if your Greek organization is no longer on campus at NSU, I encourage you and your friends to come back to where some of your fondest college memories took place. Our planning committee is working hard to make sure that all of the weekend events will cater to everyone. It will definitely be a great time to rekindle friendships and meet others who like you, have Greek life at NSU to thank for lasting memories.”