College literary societies

Demosthenian Hall at the University of Georgia, built in 1824
Members of the Miami University Erodelphian Literary Society, 1906.
Members of the Miami University Adelphic Association, 1913.
Members of the Arlington Training School's Jolly Junior Literary Society, circa 1913-1916
The University of Pennsylvania Philomathean Society Meeting Room circa 1913
The Philodemic Society Room in 1910
Philomathean Hall of Erskine College
Clio Hall of Princeton University
Demosthenian Hall at the University of Georgia
The Dialectic Society Chamber in New West at the University of North Carolina
Jefferson Hall at the University of Virginia

College literary societies in American higher education were a distinctive kind of social organization, distinct from literary societies generally, and they were often the precursors of college fraternities and sororities.

- College literary societies
Demosthenian Hall at the University of Georgia, built in 1824

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Demosthenian Hall, circa 1934

Demosthenian Literary Society

Demosthenian Hall, circa 1934

The Demosthenian Literary Society is a literary society focused on extemporaneous debate at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia.

University of Georgia

Public land-grant research university with its main campus in Athens, Georgia.

Public land-grant research university with its main campus in Athens, Georgia.

Lyman Hall, one of founders of the University of Georgia
Old College Building
Abraham Baldwin, one of the founders and first president of the University of Georgia
Mary Ethel Creswell, in 1919, the first woman to earn an undergraduate degree at the university
This postcard depicts Mary Lyndon Hall (built in 1938), named after the first female student at UGA to earn a graduate degree.
The Holmes-Hunter Academic Building
Zell Miller, UGA alumnus and former Governor and U.S. Senator who helped establish the HOPE Scholarship
The Peabody Awards (statuettes pictured) originated at, and are awarded by, the University of Georgia
Founders Memorial Garden
The Arch
Ilah Dunlap Little Memorial Library
Lumpkin House on Cedar Street on the UGA campus
Paul D. Coverdell Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences
Zell B. Miller Learning Center
Richard B. Russell Jr. Special Collections Libraries Building
A fountain in the State Botanical Garden of Georgia
Stegeman Coliseum at UGA hosted 1996 Summer Olympics events.
UGA students reside in Trinity College while at Oxford University.
The R/V Savannah research vessel at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography
University of Georgia dormitories on Sapelo Island.
Coastal Plain Experiment Station in Tifton.
UGA Health Sciences Campus Administration Building – Winnie Davis Hall
The College of Environment and Design building at the University of Georgia is a LEED certified structure that features 72 solar panels and water reclamation technology.
The first football squad at the University of Georgia in 1892.
The Olympic flag waves at the 1996 games.
UGA athletics logo
Uga VI, the official live mascot of the Georgia Bulldogs 1999–2008
The ringing of the Chapel Bell is a tradition held by students and alumni of the University of Georgia.
The Arch at the University of Georgia
United States Senator Saxby Chambliss
Terrell Davis, Pro Football Hall of Famer
Natasha Tretheway, United States Poet Laureate

The university has two of the oldest literary societies in the English-Speaking world focused on extemporaneous debate, the Demosthenian Literary Society and the Phi Kappa Literary Society.

Phi Kappa Hall, circa 1933

Phi Kappa Literary Society

Phi Kappa Hall, circa 1933

The Phi Kappa Literary Society is a college literary society, located at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, and is one of the few active literary societies left in America.

The fraternity system in North America began at the College of William and Mary in 1755.

Kappa Alpha Society

The progenitor of the modern fraternity system in North America.

The progenitor of the modern fraternity system in North America.

The fraternity system in North America began at the College of William and Mary in 1755.

The organization represents the middle link between secret societies, literary societies, and Greek-letter organizations like Phi Beta Kappa.

Henry William Ravenel

Clariosophic Society

Henry William Ravenel
Hugh S. Legaré
Wade Hampton III
John Murphy, fourth governor of Alabama

The Clariosophic Society, also known as ΜΣΦ (Mu Sigma Phi), is a literary society founded in 1806 at the University of South Carolina, then known as South Carolina College, as a result of the splitting in two of the Philomathic Society, which had been formed within weeks of the opening of the college in 1805 and included virtually all students.

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Euphradian Society

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The Euphradian Society, also known as ΦΑΕ (Phi Alpha Epsilon), a local society is a literary society founded in 1806 at the University of South Carolina, then known as South Carolina College.

The fraternity system in North America began at the College of William and Mary in 1755.

Fraternities and sororities

Fraternities and sororities, also referred to as Greek-letter organizations (GLOs) or, collectively, as "Greek life" in North America and the Philippines, are social organizations at colleges and universities.

Fraternities and sororities, also referred to as Greek-letter organizations (GLOs) or, collectively, as "Greek life" in North America and the Philippines, are social organizations at colleges and universities.

The fraternity system in North America began at the College of William and Mary in 1755.
The Kappa Kappa Gamma chapter house at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
Wesleyan College, a women's college in Macon, Georgia, was the birthplace of Alpha Delta Pi and Phi Mu sororities. Image circa 1877.
U.S. Air Force, Airmen, presumably members of Sigma Phi Epsilon, display that fraternity's flag in Iraq in 2009.
Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity members with Georgia Air National Guard Col. Ato Crumbly at a protest in Atlanta, June 2020
The chapter house of Alpha Delta Phi at Cornell University
The Alpha Sigma Phi chapter house at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Members of Phi Kappa Sigma at Washington & Jefferson College in 1872
A dramatized depiction of a fraternity initiation ritual
A "model chapter room" of Kappa Sigma
Ronald Reagan was initiated into Tau Kappa Epsilon at Eureka College. George H.W. Bush joined Delta Kappa Epsilon at Yale University.
A depiction of fraternity hazing from the early 20th century
Members of the Miami University chapter of Sigma Chi, including founders Benjamin Piatt Runkle and Daniel William Cooper plus an unidentified woman, pose for a photograph at a 1909 reunion.

Fraternities represented the intersection between dining clubs, literary societies and secret initiatory orders such as Freemasonry.

The Philolexian Seal, or Philogo

Philolexian Society

One of the oldest college literary and debate societies in the United States, and the oldest student group at Columbia.

One of the oldest college literary and debate societies in the United States, and the oldest student group at Columbia.

The Philolexian Seal, or Philogo

Philolexian is one of many literary societies that flourished at the nation's early colonial colleges.

Alpha Chi Alpha, 2007

Dartmouth College Greek organizations

Host to many Greek organizations, and a significant percentage of the undergraduate student body is active in Greek life.

Host to many Greek organizations, and a significant percentage of the undergraduate student body is active in Greek life.

Alpha Chi Alpha, 2007
Dartmouth Hall, circa 1834
The second physical plant of Kappa Kappa Kappa, located at 22 North College Street and occupied by the fraternity from 1894 to 1924. The fraternity added the "goat room" (meeting room) at the rear.
Dartmouth Beta House, circa 1920, would later become home to the Tucker Foundation.
Delta Tau Delta, shown here circa 1915, would in 1960 become today's Bones Gate fraternity.
Dartmouth Beta House, 2009
Bones Gate, 2007
Gamma Delta Chi, 2007
Theta Delta Chi, 2007
Tri-Kap, 2007
Sigma Phi Epsilon, 2007
Sigma Nu, 2007
Phi Delta Alpha, 1986
Chi Gamma Epsilon, 2007
Chi Heorot, 2007
Psi Upsilon, 2007
Zeta Psi, 2007
Alpha Xi Delta, 2011
Epsilon Kappa Theta, 2007
Kappa Delta Epsilon, 2007
Kappa Kappa Gamma, 2007
Sigma Delta, 2007
Chi Delta, 2007
Alpha Theta, 2007
The Tabard, 2007
Phi Tau, 2007
Alpha Delta, 2007
Delta Kappa Epsilon, circa 1915
The brotherhood and physical plant of Lambda Chi Alpha in the 1922 Dartmouth College yearbook, The Aegis
Sigma Alpha Epsilon, 2007
Phi Gamma Delta, circa 1915
Phi Kappa Psi, circa 1915

Social fraternities at Dartmouth College grew out of a tradition of student literary societies that began in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.