Semester of Graduation

Spring 2018


Master of Arts (MA)


Higher Education Adminstration

Document Type



It could be argued that one of the most segregated settings on a college campus today can be found amongst the sprawling mansions that line a university’s Fraternity and Sorority Row. While many Black students join Black Greek-letter organizations (“BGLOs”), a small number decide to rush and pledge White Greek-letter organizations (“WGLOs”). According to Matthew Hughey, a professor at the University of Connecticut who studies race in Greek life, only 3 to 4 percent of members of WGLOs are nonwhite (Hughey, 2007).

Historically, many WGLOs’ constitutions and policies included official “race clauses” that banned non-White students from membership; those clauses were eliminated by the 1960s and removed de jure” discrimination, but “de facto” discrimination remained (Hughey, 2007). The theories that serve as the theoretical framework for this study are Astin’s Involvement Theory and I-E-O Model and Cross’ Theory of Nigressence (Astin, 1993; Astin 1999; Cross, 1971; Cross 1991). Using a phenomenological approach, the researcher explores the experiences of membership in a traditionally, historically, and predominately White collegiate social organization and how those experiences influence the Black racial identity development of Black members of White Greek-letter Organizations who attended different Predominately White Institutions in the U.S. South. Findings are analyzed and applied, and recommendations for advising and future research are discussed.



Committee Chair

Blanchard, Joy