Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority was founded by seven women on November 12, 1922, at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana.
By the 1920s, three sororities had already been established for and by African-American women: Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, and Zeta Phi Beta. Each of these organizations had begun to flourish at colleges and universities across the United States and had begun to spread to institutions abroad.
In 1922, seven African-American women at the predominately white Butler University set out to create what would become the fourth historically African American sorority.
History of Sigma Gamma Rho
Sigma Gamma Rho was founded by seven African-American women school teachers on the campus of Butler University in 1922. These women came together to create a social service organization that would provide companionship and a chance to serve the greater community.
Sigma Gamma Rho received its articles of incorporation from the state of Indiana in December of 1922 and was incorporated as a national sorority on December 30, 1929.
After being nationally incorporated as a sorority, the first official chapter was established and a charter was granted to the group at Butler University.
In 1938, Sigma Gamma Rho became the eighth organization to join the National Pan-hellenic Council. Today, this organization serves as a representative for America’s nine historically African-American international sororities and fraternities. Its members are also referred to as the “Divine 9.”
Sigma Gamma Rho Today
Today, Sigma Gamma Rho has over 500 chapters and 85,000 members across the United States, Bermuda, the Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Germany, and Korea.
Sigma Gamma Rho supports several national projects that help Americans of all racial and ethnic backgrounds reach their full potential. Some of the national projects the sorority supports include the National Education Fund, Project Reassurance, Project Africare, Project Wee Savers, Operation BigBookBag, and many others in the areas of education, health care, and civil rights.
Sigma Gamma Rho, remaining true to its origins as an organization founded by teachers, also sponsors the Mwanamugimu Essay Contest, which is designed to enhance students’ knowledge of Africa, African culture, and writing and research skills.
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, like many other fraternal Greek letter organizations, can be identified by various distinct insignia adopted throughout the organization’s history.
- Colors: royal blue and gold
- Symbol: poodle
- Flower: yellow tea rose
- Social Initiatives: National Education Fund, Project Reassurance, Project Africare, Project Wee Savers, Operation BigBookBag, Mwanamugimu Essay Contest
- Motto: Greater Service, Greater Progress
Founded by seven African-American educators at Butler University in 1922, Sigma Gamma Rho is the only member organization of the National Pan-hellenic Council to be established on a predominately white campus. However, today the organization continues to better the lives of members and nonmembers of all races and ethnicities, helping community members to improve the world around them.