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Greek life started 11 years after the founding of the college in 1872. Like many groups of that era, Doane's Greek organizations evolved from literary, debate, parliamentary and friendship groups.

The first groups to evolve were Delta Kappa Pi Fraternity, which formed in 1883 and is the oldest fraternity in the U.S. west of the Mississippi, and Alpha Omega Fraternity in 1897, which is Doane’s longest continually operating fraternity. Tau Sigma Zeta was formed in 1922 and like several other Greek fraternities, flourished then disappeared from campus only to reemerge in the mid-60s and has remained active ever since.

Phi Sigma Tau Sorority was formed in 1907 from a group of friends who met to discuss events of the day and to practice parliamentary drill. In 1908 a "good friends club" became Gamma Phi Iota, and in 1916 Omega Psi Theta became Doane’s third and for a time last sorority until Chi Delta was formed in 1989.

Most fraternities and sororities took in about a dozen new members each year, however, membership rose and fell often with economic events. Prior to the stock market crash of 1929, almost all eligible Doane women were in sororities and two-thirds of men were in fraternities. Later many males left college to serve in World War II. Upon their return, veterans again joined the ranks of Delta Kappa Pi, Alpha Omega and the new Sigma Phi Theta Fraternity, formed by veterans seeking to socialize with others molded by their wartime experiences. In the early 1970s, Alpha Pi Epsilon formed.

Doane’s Greek groups have always been “local”, meaning they exist only on the Doane campus, although at times some had national aspirations. Nationals often had restrictions on membership tied to racial, religious and discriminatory practices which the college and groups refused to accept. Additionally, the rich history of each group and the large number of alumni with fond memories meant that eliminating successful local Greek groups for unknown national organizations made little sense.

To better govern themselves, several Greek governing bodies were created and have evolved into today’s Greek Council. Doane leadership understand and appreciate the role that Greek organizations played in the past and present in adding educational enrichment and support of the college. The Inter-Greek Alumni Association was created as an umbrella organization tasked with enhancing, rejuvenating, and increasing engagement for Doane’s Greek system well into the future.