Georgia College will dedicate a newly-constructed garden plaza Saturday to honor the heritage of African-American fraternities and sororities on campus.
The dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting begins with breakfast at 10 a.m. at the new National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Historical Preservation Plaza located off Wilkinson Street beside Bell Hall.
“Our organizations mean a lot to us, and the fact that the university is willing to do this for us, means a lot too,” said senior Fidelis Folifac, a biology major and member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. Folifac is also NPHC president.
With the revival of Zeta Phi Beta at Georgia College in 2017, the university is one step closer to becoming home to all nine of the Divine 9. Currently, eight of nine historically-black fraternities and sororities are on campus.
The garden plaza is a symbolic way to acknowledge the historical and cultural significance of these NPHC organizations and their impact on campus. Plus, it gives Greek members a place to call their own.
“It will be great, because we can now have functions there, and we can bond there,” said junior Jazmin Hunt, a music education major and member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
“It will be great,” she said, “to see all the fellowship that will happen.”
Students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors can visit the site to reflect and learn about the struggles of educated African-American students, who fought for the right to associate on college campuses during racial segregation.
“Sometimes, when you are faced with adversity, it’s hard to see how you can push through,” said Stacey Hurt-Milner, director of the Cultural Center. “This plaza will serve as a consistent reminder to its members of the hard work, dedication and determination it took for their founders and charter members to exist on campuses, when they were not welcome.”
“But they were never defeated,” she said. “That unspeakable element of strength and fortitude will empower current and future members to steady their course and be resilient. The institution I call home believes and supports all that. How can I not smile proudly?”
Georgia College President Steve Dorman will speak at the dedication, along with NPHC student officials.