Construction of the Divine Nine and Cultural Greek Council Unity Plots, a walkway that includes 12 plots representing the traditional Black Greek lettered organizations and other Latinx fraternities and sororities, is underway on Millersville University’s campus. Work on the walkway, located along Shenks Lane near the Student Memorial Center, will continue through the fall semester.
This project honors the long-established history and service of these organizations, many of which are presently represented with active chapters at Millersville. It serves as a walkway and gathering place for members of the organizations.
“Millersville will become the first predominantly white institution in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education to dedicate plots joining Cheyney University, which was not only the first in the State System but also one of the first in the nation,” said Dr. Daniel A. Wubah, president of Millersville. “This is a wonderful way to honor our EPPIIC value of inclusion. We are proud to add the plots as a permanent fixture to our campus.”
The Cultural Greek Council at MU spearheaded the planning of this project with support from other internal offices.
“It is a true honor to recognize these organizations and the significant role they play in the lives of our students of color and the larger Millersville community,” said Brian Hazlett, vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. “The Cultural Greek Council Unity Plots and walkway will provide a place on campus for alums, students and the public to come and recognize these multicultural Greek lettered organizations.”
Jasmine Kelliehan, class of 2021, is a social work major at Millersville and the president of the University’s Cultural Greek Council. She also serves as president of Delta Sigma Theta, Lambda Gamma Chapter. “Looking back into history, the significance of Cultural Greek Plots is far greater than we could understand,” said Kelliehan. “Recognizing the strength and determination carried by our founders and other leaders who came before us continues to shape who we as a council are today. In the 1900s we had to fight to be recognized. Millersville University becoming the first predominantly white institution in PASSHE to establish Greek plots is a monumental moment. The legacies that paved the platforms to which each organization stands on today will continue for many generations to come.”
“These plots serve as a powerful symbolic and physical reminder of the strength and resilience shown by the founders and members of the Divine Nine and the Cultural Greek Council,” said Dr. Felicia Brown-Haywood, Chief Diversity Officer at Millersville. “Inclusion is creating a campus community where differences are welcomed and respectfully heard and where every individual feels a sense of belonging. These plots are certainly a step in that direction.”
Almost 200 alumni and friends of Millersville made gifts and pledges to support this important project, contributing more than $170,000 to date.
“We all have pride in our individual organizations, yet there is unified pride with the Divine Nine and Latinx organizations,” said one Millersville alum who asked to remain anonymous on the belief that the project was much bigger than one organization or individual. “We collectively work together for the betterment of the Millersville community through volunteer service and giving back.”
The National Pan-Hellenic Council, which is composed of nine international Greek lettered sororities and fraternities, was established in 1930 at Howard University. The earliest plots and memorials were built at Howard University in the 1920s, and since then, many other colleges and universities have established their own cultural plots to honor these organizations and others. The Cultural Greek Council at MU includes not only NPHC organizations but also National Multicultural Greek Council, Inc. and the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations. These organizations were founded for service, scholarship and social uplift of their communities, to de-emphasize the social side of fraternity and sorority life.
For more information on this project, and to make a donation, visit www.millersville.edu/unityplots.