National Pan-Hellenic Council celebrates 12th anniversary of campus garden

The National Pan-Hellenic Council garden contains a walking path that holds much meaning and memory. Abby Roper | Photographer

By Olivia Eiken | Staff Writer

Sept. 24 marks the 12-year anniversary of the National Pan-Hellenic Council garden. The garden serves to commemorate the significant role that Black Greek-letter organizations play in fostering community, leadership and service on Baylor’s campus.

The NPHC executive board was founded in 2007, with the implementation of the garden in 2011 — four years later. At the time, there were seven active Black Greek-letter organizations recognized by plots in the garden: Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Omega Psi Phi, Kappa Alpha Psi, Delta Sigma Theta, Phi Beta Sigma and Zeta Phi Beta.

This month, Sigma Gamma Rho and Iota Phi Theta were added to the garden, completing the representation of all Divine Nine organizations.

Humble junior Makayla Williams serves as president of the NPHC and is an active member of Zeta Phi Beta. She noted the significance of plots to NPHC organizations and what they mean to each of the associations represented.

“One of the most prominent symbols of Black Greek-letter organizations on college campuses are plots,” Williams said. “Most are brick or concrete structures that are built to commemorate the organization. Colors also play an integral part in plots and are representative of the organization. Other types of plots contain national and local founding dates as well as the names of the charter members of the organization.”

The NPHC garden represents the acknowledgment of multicultural organizations and the impact they have on student life and campus culture.

MiSchelle Edwards serves as senior coordinator of fraternity and sorority life as well as NPHC adviser. Edwards said she strongly believes the designation and commemoration of the garden demonstrate Baylor’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.

“By creating a physical space to recognize NPHC organizations, Baylor sends a clear message that it values the contributions and experiences of all its students, regardless of their cultural or ethnic backgrounds,” Edwards said. “It fosters a sense of belonging and actively encourages conversations about diversity. … It serves as an inspiration for future generations of NPHC members, while highlighting the opportunities for personal growth that these organizations offer.”