Get the Facts Furman University

Furman has a dynamic Greek community that attracts about half of the student population to its 13 chapters. As a member of a fraternity or sorority, our students are offered a home away from home where they can make friends, develop as leaders, serve their local community, and focus on academics. But don't take our word for it. Consider the facts. In the spring of 2013, our community:

  • Raised $117,642 for national and local philanthropic organizations.
  • Completed 10,827 service hours in the greater Greenville community. That's an average of eight hours per student.
  • Placed 408 Greek students on the Dean's List.

It's no wonder so many students at Furman choose to "Go Greek."

National influence

Being a Greek member has had a positive influence on college students across the nation. Consider the following:

  • Greeks raise more than $7 million for charity every year.
  • Men who belong to a fraternity are 10 percent more likely to graduate.
  • 63 percent of all U.S. Cabinet members since 1900 have been Greek.
  • Out of North America's 50 largest corporations, 47 are led by Greeks.
  • All but two U.S. presidents since 1825 have been fraternity members.
  • Greeks make up three percent of the U.S. population.

Overall academic performance

The average GPA of our Greek community frequently outperforms the average GPA of our broader campus community. Take a look at average GPA for various student groups during the 2012-13 academic year:

Fraternity term average: 3.084
Sorority term average: 3.313
Greek organizations term average: 3.202
Male undergraduate term average: 2.996
Female undergraduate term average: 3.277
Campus term average:
3.159

Fraternity academic performance

Review the average GPA for our fraternities during the 2012-13 academic year:

Pi Kappa Phi:
3.381
Sigma Chi: 3.172
Kappa Alpha: 3.041
Sigma Nu:
2.962
Beta Theta Pi:
2.912
Sigma Alpha Epsilon:
2.835

Sorority academic performance

Review the average GPA for our sororities during the 2012-13 academic year:

Delta Delta Delta:
3.423
Kappa Delta: 3.375
Chi Omega: 3.342
Kappa Kappa Gamma: 3.297
Alpha Delta Pi: 3.283
Delta Gamma: 3.092
Alpha Kappa Alpha:
2.941

Greek Terms

Active: A member of a fraternity or sorority who has been initiated and is currently in college.
Alumna/Alumnae: An initiated member of a sorority who has received their undergraduate degree.
Alumnus/Alumni: An initiated member of a fraternity who has received their undergraduate degree.
Bid: A formal invitation to join a sorority or fraternity. At Furman, these are offered in the beginning weeks of the spring semester, or to upperclassmen males wishing to join a fraternity in the fall.
Big Brother or Sister: An older member assigned to assist a new member in his or her college transition.
Brother: A term used within men's fraternities when referring to other members.
Call: Audible sounds used by members of multi-cultural organizations to acknowledge or gain the attention of other members.
Chapter: A chartered undergraduate or alumni group that is recognized by the national and inter-fraternity or sorority.
Formal Recruitment: A structured period in January where potential members and chapters participate in a mutual selection process to match potential members with IFC and Panhellenic chapters.
Initiation: The formal ritual that brings new members into full membership of the sorority or fraternity. Through initiation, members learn and commit themselves to uphold the ideals of the sorority or fraternity.
Interfraternity Council (IFC): The collegiate governing body of all North-American Interfraternity Conference fraternities.
Legacy: A prospective member whose parent, sibling, or grandparent is an alumni or active of a sorority or fraternity.
Membership Intake: The process of acquiring membership into a National Pan-Hellenic Council organization. NOTE: Analogous to the recruitment process.
National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC): The governing body of historically Black sororities and fraternities sometimes referred to as the Divine Nine, being derived from the nine organizations that make up the council.
New Member: A woman or man who has accepted a fraternity or sorority bid, but has not been initiated.
New Member Education Period: The period of time before initiation when new members learn about their fraternity or sorority.
Panhellenic Council: The governing body for all National Panhellenic Conference sororities.
Philanthropy: Fund-raising projects sponsored by fraternities or sororities supporting local and inter/national charitable organizations. Note: this is different from community service.
Potential New Members: A person participating in recruitment.
Recruitment Counselors (Pi Chis): Pi Chis are experienced sorority women who choose to dedicate their time and talent to potential new members participating in the Recruitment process. These women provide personal guidance to PNMs from registration to Bid Day, thus playing a fundamental role in educating Potential New Members (PNM) about the Panhellenic community and cultivating their interest in sorority life. Well-trained Pi Chis with sincere interest in the welfare of their PNMs enhance the entire collegiate Panhellenic Community and help ensure that the Recruitment process is a mutually satisfying experience for both sororities and PNMs.
Sister: A term used within sororities when referring to other members.
Soror(s): Used to refer to an NPHC sorority woman.
Step Show: A Black Greek function characterized by synchronized hand and foot movements, along with singing, dancing, chanting, and acting.
Strolling: Coordinated movements done in a line by NPHC organizations to show unity. It is often demonstrated at social gatherings or during step shows.

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