Home Madison Divine Nine Garden Plaza to be unveiled Saturday

Divine Nine Garden Plaza to be unveiled Saturday


The University of Wisconsin Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life in Student Affairs and the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) will unveil the Divine Nine Garden Plaze on the East Campus Mall in an invitation-only ceremony Saturday.

2The Divine Nine refers to the country’s nine historically Black Greek-letter fraternities and sororities, overseen by the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). Of those nine, seven are currently active at UW–Madison: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.; and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., is chartered on campus but is not currently active. Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., is not chartered at UW–Madison.

The plaza commemorates “the legacy of NPHC chapters and further cultivates a campus community. This campus community invests in inclusion and creates a sense of belonging for Black students,” Nyla Mathis, the president of the Epsilon Delta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and a co-founder of the Student Inclusion Coalition (SIC), said at the groundbreaking ceremony a year ago.

Members of the Divine Nine and university officials dedicated a new plaza on campus Saturday. Photo by Fatoumata Ceesay.

With no previously existing markers at UW–Madison, the Plaza’s historical markers will serve as a permanent landmark to honor and publicly acknowledge the achievements, contributions, presence, and history of NPHC at UW–Madison, according to a media release from UW.

NPHC organizations have been on campus for more than 75 years. In about one year, Student Affairs in collaboration with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life at UW–Madison raised $275,000 for the project, according to the release. Fundraising for the $510,000-project included more than 250 individual donors as well as the Office of the Chancellor and a substantial contribution from Student Affairs.