20 Sorority Names & Greek Letters

Being a part of a Greek organization such as a sorority is often the first order of business for life on campus for college freshman. Typically a rush week just prior or at the start of the fall semester makes it possible for women to visit each sorority house on campus, before an invitation is extended to join one house or another. These sororities can be a major part of a student’s college career, being a source of social activities, cultivating relationships and keeping students accountable for their academic performance.

Let’s take a look at some of the sorority nicknames that can help a college freshman learn their way around the Greek system using the Greek alphabet.

Alpha Chi Omega

Founded 1885 on the Depauw University campus in Greencastle, IN by the dean of the music school, in an effort to cultivate a music culture for women. The Alpha Chis support charities for domestic violence, and famous alumnae include former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Bachelorette Trista Rehn Sutter.

Alpha Phi

Alpha Phi was the fourth Greek organization ever founded for women, in 1872 at Syracuse University. The sorority promotes sisterhood and character with philanthropic efforts focused on cardiac care and research. Famous alumnae include actress Jeri Ryan and Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey.

Chi Omega

The Chi Omega sorority was founded at the University of Arkansas in 1895, with the purpose of promoting friendship, scholarship, campus socializing and personal and career development. The Chi-O women support the Make-A-Wish Foundation and is currently the nation’s largest sorority. Celebrity alumnae include actress Lucy Liu and Tamira Cole, the sorority’s first black member and 2009 Miss Black Kentucky.

Delta Delta Delta

Not feeling as though they fit in with the other sororities at Boston University, four women began Delta Delta Delta in 1888. Their goal was for the women to be “kind alike to all” and to “think more of inner self and character than of personal appearance.” The Tri-Delts support children’s cancer charities, namely St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. In 1992, a famous SNL skit made the sorority a household name. Celebrity alumnae include actress Elizabeth Banks and CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric.

Delta Gamma

In 1873 at the Lewis School for Girls, Delta Gamma began with a purpose of helping women strive for excellence. The sorority has historical ties with the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. The philanthropic efforts of the DGs is focused on Service for Sight, matching their motto to “Do Good.” Celebrity alumnae of Delta Gamma include actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus and ESPN Sports Reporter Jill Arrington.

Delta Zeta

Delta Zeta was founded at Miami University in Ohio in 1902 by six women. This was the same year that women were given status to enroll as full-time students at Miami University. Their purpose was to cultivate friendship, knowledge, social culture and unity. The Delta Zeta women support organizations for the hearing or speech impaired. Famous alumnae include The View co-host Joy Behar and “Brady Bunch mom” Florence Henderson.

Kappa Delta

The sorority was founded in 1897 at the State Female Normal School, now Longwood University, by four women aged 15 to 23. Their objective was to perpetuate friendship, fellowship and sisterly love. The Kappa Deltas support four organizations — Girl Scouts, Prevent Child Abuse America, Children’s Hospital of Richmond, Virginia and Orthopaedic Research Awards. Famous Kappa Delta alumnae include former Miss USA and actress Ali Landry and the Army’s first three-star general Claudia Kennedy.

Kappa Kappa Gamma

The KKG sorority was founded at Monmouth College in 1870 by six women. It remains one of the oldest and largest active Greek organizations. The principle ideals set forth by the founding women were friendship, scholarship and leadership. The official philanthropy of Kappa Kappa Gamma is Reading is Fundamental. Famous Kappa alumnae include actresses Ashley Judd and Sophia Bush.

Pi Beta Phi

The Pi Beta Phi sorority was also founded at Monmouth College in 1867 by a group of women who wanted their own version of the men’s secret societies. The Pi Phis philanthropic efforts focus on literacy organizations like Champions Are Readers. Celebrity alumnae include actress Jennifer Garner and former First Lady Barbara Bush.

Zeta Tau Alpha

The State Female Normal School, now Longwood University, also produced the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. Founded in 1898 by nine women pursuing education degrees with the purpose of promoting friendship and happiness that would help build a purer womanhood. The Zetas philanthropic work benefits breast cancer awareness, with their national charity being The Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Famous ZTA alumnae include ESPN reporter Erin Andrews and President Gerald Ford’s daughter Susan Ford Bales.

Also see our list of Famous Sorority Sisters.

16 Responses to “Top 20 College Sorority Names”

  1. Candace says:

    Kappa Alpha Theta may have been the first Greek letter organizations for women, but their chapters are either very strong or very weak. Through this I believe they should be in the top 10. However, the top 10 sororities should have consistency, such as Pi Beta Phi, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, which are represented at top universities and private colleges. These top three sororities come to mind as outstanding organizations with consistently excellent reputations. In the South, Phi Mu, Kappa Delta, and Alpha Delta Pi are considered strong regionally. They do not carry the national prestige of the other mentioned groups. A history of hazing scandals, condoned by the national organization, would remove the sorority from the top 10 in my opinion. Kappa currently has 35 organizations chapters on probation ranging from, hazing, drinking violations, destruction of private property, to group urinating in public, Kappa Kappa Gamma,’s national organization knows of serious hazing incidents, dating back to the 1980s, when the Kappas at Depauw University branded their pledges, without any repercussions. This is due to perception of image and closing chapters. This problem continues to grow, to 2016, when the administrations at the University of Connecticut, Rollins, Ohio State, and Washington State closed the Krappa chapters.
    Now SMU! It was revealed to be a covert and long stranding tradition of Kappa at many universities, to have the seniors dance in their bras and panties or topless, in front of the new pledges the first day they receive their bids to be provisional members. One of the 18 seniors expelled is suing the KKG national organization, and several alums who videotaped the dance, for over $1 million. Not a great show of sisterhood, or behavior of the top 10 chapter nationally.
    Many of the schools that made the top 10 do not make it at large universities competition there a smaller state schools and therefore have more members and chapters.

  2. Sarah Blanche says:

    Chi Omega member here. Really shocked to see that Kappa Alpha Theta was not included, as it is one of the largest sororities.

  3. this was not done right says:

    I agree with the FIRST comment. Kappa Alpha Theta should be on the list. They are at all three of the holy trinity of Ivy League Schools (Harvard, Princeton, Yale), at 16 of the top 20 universities in the country and was founded in 1870, before Kappa. Theta has every right to be on this list due to historical significance alone over KD, DZ and Zeta. Just because it other organizations have more sisters doesn’t necessarily make it better with public state schools that don’t even make the top 100 of nationally-ranked universities or liberal arts colleges. The list is also missing Gamma Phi…honestly people

  4. Sam says:

    What about the VERY FIRST sorority?! Gamma Phi Beta should top this list!

  5. Alex says:

    Gamma Phi Beta coined the term sorority it should def be on the list

  6. Joelle says:

    Who created this list? Besides being seemingly randomly selected, it also appears to have been written by an imbecile. It’s Condoleezza Rice with two Zs, and Claudia Kennedy was NOT the “Army’s first three-star general.” She was the first WOMAN to hold that position.

  7. Quality over quantity says:

    You don’t have a list without Kappa Alpha Theta.There’s a reason it was the first sorority at Harvard- class, academics, and tradition. Theta won’t go to schools that are weaker in academics… that’s why we aren’t the biggest. Quality over quantity.

  8. June Webb-Vignery says:

    I would suggest that looking at the top ten sororities geographically may alter this list.

  9. Sarah B. says:

    Why did you list all the National Panhellenic Conference Sororities?
    What happened to Alpha Omicron Pi. AOPi has some famous members, and
    is fairly strong nationally. Margaret Bourke White-Famous Photographer ; Heather Buck-Opera Singer ; Ed Sullivan’s Daughter-Betty Precht; Courtney Kupets-Olympic and World Champion Gymnast; Anne Byrn- “The Cake Mix Doctor,” Cookbook Author; etc.

  10. JH says:

    I don’t see how Theta wasn’t on here. I would say Pi Phi, Tri-Delt, Theta, DG, Chi-O, Kappa, AXO, Alpha Phi, are 9 that are fairly strong nationally, all with strong and weak chapters.

  11. jena says:

    Jennifer Garner (actress) and so is Jennifer Biddulph Maxwell, co-creator of the Power Bar (business) and Grace Coolidge (First Lady, and wife of President Calvin Coolidge were Pi Beta Phis.
    Are these “Top Ten” based on membership numbers?

  12. Lola says:

    While I won’t criticize the inclusion of only National Panhellenic Conference sororities since they are simply so much bigger than the black or multicultural ones I have to wonder about the critera used when creating this list. If the consideration is for older, large well respected groups where is the first secret society for women, now Alpha Delta Pi or the first Greek letter fraternity for women, Kappa Alpha Theta, or the first to use the word sorority, Gamma Phi Beta. Creating a list like this also does a great diservice to the spirt of cooperation in the NPC. Really it would be best simply to have a list of all NPC groups.

  13. Kelsey says:

    How did you chose these groups? There are notable omision For example Kappa Alpha Theta, Alpha Delta Pi, and Phi Mu.

  14. megan says:

    wait, chi omega just recently got its first black member?

  15. Melissa Finn says:

    Wow, this is INCREDIBLY offensive. There are TWENTY-SIX sororities that are members of the National Panhellenic Conference and all are outstanding organizations. To choose the “top 10” does a great disservice to the other sixteen, not to mention perpetuates nasty rumors and stereotypes. Every chapter is different at every campus. Your criteria seem to be who has the most famous members.

    And don’t get me started on the fact that you completely omitted the four members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (the historically black sororities) and any sororities that are historically Latin, Asian, or multicultural.

    I must request that this article be removed immediately – the content is extremely damaging to sororities and their members.

  16. SalmonPink/AppleGreen says:

    Alpha Kappa Alpha is the best sorority there is!

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