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Sunday February 5th

‘Home is finally here’: UNC introduces NPHC’s new 'Legacy Plaza'

Zack Hawkins, the director of development for UNC Student Affairs, provides welcoming remarks to the dozens of people gathered in celebration of the opening of the NPHC Legacy Plaza on UNC's campus. The plaza represents the University's nine historically Black fraternities and sororities for their contributions to the campus community.
Buy Photos Zack Hawkins, the director of development for UNC Student Affairs, provides welcoming remarks to the dozens of people gathered in celebration of the opening of the NPHC Legacy Plaza on UNC's campus. The plaza represents the University's nine historically Black fraternities and sororities for their contributions to the campus community.

On Friday, the UNC National Pan-Hellenic Council hosted a ceremonial ribbon cutting for the Legacy Plaza, a monument honoring UNC’s nine historically Black fraternities and sororities. 

The NPHC Legacy Plaza is located in the Student Academic Services Building courtyard and spans approximately 750 square feet. 

Each of the nine columns bordering the plaza represents one of the University's historically Black fraternities and sororities, and they are arranged in chronological order according to when the chapters were chartered. 

The plaza recognizes the nine chapters for their significant contributions to the campus community in scholarship and public service. 

Zack Hawkins, the director of development for UNC Student Affairs, provided welcoming remarks to the dozens of people gathered in celebration.

“Today’s purpose is to celebrate the completion of the structure and the project funded by alumni with generosity from the University,” he said. 

After years of donations, alumni now have a place on campus where they can reflect on each organization’s accomplishments and legacies within the campus community.

“This day was only a dream for many in the early 1970s, and, for many, has been in the works for over a decade,” Hawkins said. “And so today, home is finally here.”

The word "home" was used to describe the experience between each of the chapters and their members during the ceremony.

UNC’s vice chancellor for student affairs, Amy Johnson spoke on behalf of the University to recognize those who made the project a rewarding experience for those involved. 

“We have new members who join the community every year, and we experience struggles and setbacks. But the building effort doesn't stop,” she said. “We work to grow and learn from each other to listen to each other, to teach each other and to support each other.”

UNC’s South Campus was once a central hub for Black students on campus, and most Black students lived in dorms like Hinton James, Morrison or Ehringhaus. 

Now, the Legacy Plaza stands in the middle of past and present decades of Black history. 

The ground the plaza stands on was and will remain a haven fostered by generations of Black students on the predominantly white campus. Johnson said this history was an important factor to her and several other co-leaders in initiating the project.

UNC junior and NPHC president Jordyn Earl reflected on the diligence that the council has had in creating this monument and recognized Black students around campus who are current members of the “Divine Nine.”

“We are here today to honor the legacy of the NPHC and to celebrate the hard work, dedication and excellence of our council on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill,” Earl said. “We hope to continue to trail-blaze on this campus and worldwide in the areas of service, scholarship, brotherhood and sisterhood.”

Attendees were impressed by the progress the NPHC has made at UNC over the years. Members of the sororities and fraternities left a mark that will permanently stand at the University. 

Teresa Artis Neal, a UNC trustee, spoke at the ceremony to convey her perspective on the creation of the plaza and her current work with the nine Greek organizations.

“When we think back to the history of the founding of all of our Greek organizations, they were founded by people who were tremendously courageous, who were leaders, who believed in excellence,” Artis Neal said. “For me, they inspire us each day to continue the legacy that they began.”

Dozens of people gather in celebration of the opening of the NPHC Legacy Plaza on UNC's campus. The plaza represents the University's nine historically Black fraternities and sororities for their contributions to the campus community.

 

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