‘Divine Nine’ monument in progress
The GC Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life is partnering with the National Panhellenic Council (NPHC) to construct a monument next to Bell Hall that will cost $216,000, with an additional $16,000 to $20,000 for the plaques surrounding the monument.
The NPHC, also known as the “Divine Nine” consists of nine fraternities and sororities. GC currently has eight of the nine organizations: Alpha Kappa Alpha, Alpha Phi Theta, Delta Sigma Theta, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma, Sigma Gamma Rho and Zeta Phi Beta.
All of GC’s NPHC organizations are responsible for raising a total of $9,000 to assist the total cost of the monument.
“This amazing monument is for the purpose of showing the great history that these organizations have, not only outside this campus, but also within the campus,” said Michael Igbonagwam, the assistant director of Fraternity and Sorority Life at GC. “This will be a great way of showing the rich history of the organization in a different way.”
Sophomore Ansley Griffis, an accounting major said that she knew about the construction of the project but did not know that there are eight different historically black organizations on campus that will be receiving plaques.
“I think it’s cool that they are building [the monument],” Griffis said. “It brings attention to the NPHC. I think it’s doing more to acknowledge these fraternities and sororities and their activities.”
Junior Jazmin Hunt, one of two members of Zeta Phi Beta and a music education major, is excited for the monument to be built.
“We’ve seen videos of it and actual representations of the schools through pictures on the Internet and also a 2D printout of what it could look like...so I think it’s gonna look really great,” Hunt said. “It’s going to be something that leaves an image here on GC’s campus for years and years to come.”
Currently there are benches in front of Lanier Hall to honor the organizations in the NPHC. When students go on tours of the university, they see the benches of the “Divine Nine” and see that this is their spot on campus.
Hunt, however, does not think that the benches in front of Lanier are an effective monument for the NPHC organizations because she said that students will walk past and sit on the benches.
“A lot of people in our organizations are not okay with them sitting on our letters,” Hunt said.
Hunt also added that sitting on the benches is disrespectful to that organization, and it would be similar to going to a Panhellenic house and destroying it.
The benches will be removed following the completion of the monument and will be given to the organizations who built them and painted them.
“Not only is the monument on the side of Bell Hall, it encompasses the entire council in one location, and when you see it, you are going to stop and say, ‘What is this?’” Hunt said.
In addition to adding the monument, GC is also in the process of adding a the ninth NPHC organization to campus, Iota Phi Theta. The time frame for this addition is unclear.