On May 10, 1930, on the campus of Howard University, in Washington DC, the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) was formed as a permanent organization with the following charter members: Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. In 1931, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. joined the Council. Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. joined in 1937 and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. completed the list of member organizations in 1997. Although not formally adopted, the nine NPHC organizations are sometimes collectively referred to as the "Divine Nine".
The stated purpose and mission of the organization in 1930 was “Unanimity of thought and action as far as possible in the conduct of Greek letter collegiate fraternities and sororities, and to consider problems of mutual interest to its member organizations.” Early in 1937, the organization was incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois and became known as “The National Pan-Hellenic Council, Incorporated.”
NPHC promotes interaction through forums, meetings and other mediums for the exchange of information and engages in cooperative programming and initiatives through various activities and functions.