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Phi Gamma Nu
Founded February 17, 1924 (1924-02-17) (85 years ago)
Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
Type Professional (Business)
Colors Cardinal Red and Gold
Flower Red Rose
Headquarters 6745 Cheryl Ann Drive
Seven Hills, Ohio, USA

Phi Gamma Nu (ΦΓΝ) is a national professional fraternity with the intent to prepare its members for professional endeavors in a business workplace. The organization cultivates professional behavior in it members through a variety of activities and committees. The organization promotes professional excellence through activities such as resume critiques, mock interviews, and etiquette dinners. Phi Gamma Nu requires members to spend time on philanthropic endeavors. Along with these activities, the organization also stresses the importance of social interaction and camaraderie of its members. [1] It is this last organizational feature that differentiates Phi Gamma Nu from other business fraternities. First and foremost, social events form the majority of Phi Gamma Nu activities. There are over ninety undergraduate and over twenty alumni Phi Gamma Nu chapters nationwide that adhere to this doctrine.[2]



Phi Gamma Nu was originally founded on February 17, 1924 at the Chicago campus of Northwestern University.[2] The original founder members were Sylvia Pekar Arnold, Elizabeth Conroy Fleming, Marge McInerney Hawes, Mary Chard Nalbach, Helen Vogel Purcell, and Celeste Weyl.[3]

Phi Gamma Nu was founded as a sorority for women pursuing studies in business. The sorority spent the next 50 years operating much the same way, but the dynamics of the organization changed to a co-ed format in 1974 due to the Title IX act. While Phi Gamma Nu began accepting male members in 1974, it was not until 1981 that the National Chapter Congress changed the name of Phi Gamma Nu Sorority to Phi Gamma Nu Fraternity to comply with Title IX.[4]

Some famous members from this fraternity include Dr. Lillian C. Budd, Dr. Virgil Loughbred, Robert E.J. Snyder, Joe Higgens, Nancy Barker, Honorable Barbara J. Hackett, Linda Batway, and Kate Rand Loyd (Phi Gamma Nu 2006, 14).

Three Pillars

Three pillars form the organizational goals of Phi Gamma Nu. Each organization event is directed towards a pillar. Overall, four aims and purposes reflect the intent of the Phi Gamma Nu pillars.

1. Professional

“To foster the study of business in colleges and universities.” [5]

“To promote professional competency and achievement in the field of business.” [5]

Professionalism is a standard of behavioral guidelines for a business atmosphere. This standard includes concrete actions and speech etiquette, but it also encompasses a mindset guiding ones mannerisms. Phi Gamma Nu builds active professionalism through the following activities resume critiques, etiquette dinners, business presentations, cover letter workshops, company information sessions, mock interviews, and recruiter question and answer sessions. <ref</ref>

2. Social

“To uphold the interests of our Alma Mater throughout the encouragement of high scholarship, participation in school activities, and the association of students for their mutual advancement.”[5]

To ensure the stability and well-being of the chapter, social events are an important aspect of Phi Gamma Nu. A variety of different activities help build strong brotherhood. Some activities include movie nights, game nights, study hours, scavenger hunts, apple picking, and bags tournaments.[6]

3. Philanthropy

“To further a high standard of business ethics and culture in civic and professional enterprise.”[5]

Beyond social and professional pursuits, Phi Gamma Nu encourages its members to actively participate in philanthropy. Active community service helps build a sense of communal ethics and culture. Activities to build this pillar include participating in Adopt-a-Highway, animal shelters, soup kitchens, womens shelters, and food pantries. [6]


1. Selection

The recruitment period for Phi Gamma Nu occurs once each semester. During membership selection, rushes participate in a series of interviews with Phi Gamma Nu actives and are evaluated on their professional mannerisms, speech skills, and logical reasoning. Phi Gamma Nu actives must vote on whether a rush satisfies these requirements before a rush initiates. To be considered for Phi Gamma Nu, a rush must either major or minor in the college of business. While doing so, the rush must have a cumulative GPA at least 2.5. [2]

2. Participation

Once initiated into Phi Gamma Nu, an active must still maintain several responsibilities. Varying from chapter to chapter, a point system requirement enforces an active participation and attendance at Phi Gamma Nu events. Furthermore, the active must attend at least one event from every pillar of Phi Gamma Nu. Financial obligations must also be met. If any of these criteria are not fulfilled, the active must appear before the executive board and face expulsion from the fraternity. On the founding date each year, Founder’s Day is observed. Celebration and attendance of Founder’s Day ritual is required for all chapters. At ritual, the National President reads the annual message to the chapters, and all present members renew the oath of Phi Gamma Nu (Phi Gamma Nu 2006, 17).

3. Scholarship

  • Scholarship Key is awarded to the senior business major to be graduated with the highest scholastic average (Phi Gamma Nu 2006, 17).
  • Scholarship Certificate is awarded annually to the senior member of each collegiate chapter who has attained the highest scholastic average in their respective chapter (Phi Gamma Nu 2006, 17).


Although Phi Gamma Nu has chartered more than 100 chapters in its history, 12 are currently active. The most recent chapter was opened at the University of Maryland on May 9, 2009.

Notable Chapter and Member Accomplishments

1. Delta Theta Chapter

  • The Pennsylvania State University's Dance Marathon (THON) is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world.[7] As of 2006, the Delta Theta chapter of Phi Gamma Nu has been the top independent (non-paired) fundraising organization of the event for 16 years. In 2006 alone, PGN Delta Theta raised more than $61,000 to benefit children with pediatric cancer and pediatric cancer research. [8]

2. Beta Pi Chapter

  • On November 18, 2008, the Beta Pi chapter of Phi Gamma Nu ran the first annual "Mr. Business" competition at the University of Illinois. This event was a College of Business-wide program, which featured two male members of Business Council and the four business fraternities on campus: Phi Gamma Nu, Alpha Kappa Psi, Delta Sigma Pi, and Phi Chi Theta. Proceeds of the event were donated to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Champaign County, an organization that mentors children in the community ages 6 through 18.

3. Alpha Psi Chapter

  • The Alpha Psi Chapter of Phi Gamma Nu at Ohio University started Business Olympics within the College of Business. The Business Olympics is a day-long competition where teams of 3-5 students from College of Business Organizations go head-to-head in four different business related competitive activities. Alumni and company recruiters will be judge each of the events.





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