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Auburn National Pan-Hellenic Council reveals Legacy Plaza on campus

An informational plaque on the NPHC stands outside the ACLC on Sept. 12, 2022.
An informational plaque on the NPHC stands outside the ACLC on Sept. 12, 2022.

This afternoon in front of Auburn’s academic classroom and laboratory complex, the National Pan-Hellenic Council held a seminal reveal of the Legacy Plaza, which is dedicated to the historically Black greek life organization’s presence on campus. 

The Legacy Plaza erected nine markers recognizing the four sororities and five fraternities that make up the NPHC. These organizations are Alpha Kappa Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta, Alpha Phi Alpha, Phi Beta Sigma, Sigma Gamma Rho and Iota Phi Theta, respectively. 

Plaques commemorating the "Divine Nine" stand outside the ACLC on Sep. 12, 2022. 

The plaza also includes a central marker that will recognize donors and explain the significance of the landmarks. 

The event was livestreamed for those who could not attend the official reveal of the plaza. 

President Christopher Roberts spoke to the significance of the work done by the students to bring the Legacy Plaza to Auburn’s campus. 

“We’re here to celebrate today the legacy of Black greek culture at the official opening of the NPHC legacy plaza,” Roberts said. “A part of what makes this legacy so special is the idea that it was brought forth by the students to honor other students. In 2018. The NPHC and SGA partnered together to make this a reality.”

Roberts began his presidency in May 2022 and noted that one of his goals was to create a more inclusive working environment for students. The plaza will be “an enduring example that Auburn supports a diverse work environment where students will feel comfortable, valued and respected.” 

This year marks the 50-year anniversary of Black greek Life at Auburn University and NPHC has organized a weeklong celebration to commemorate the milestone. In addition to the reveal of the Legacy Plaza, they also held panels on diversity in the workplace and the history of Black greek life hosted by alumni. 

Of the speakers at the event, Madison Riggins who served as the president of NPHC in 2020, shared what her time at Auburn and involvement meant to her. 

"NPHC is a physical representation of Black excellence and community," Riggins said. "It is a group that I am so proud of because it upholds so many of my core values, including service and scholarship. The privilege of calling myself a member that has produced so many amazing people all over the world is truly an honor." 

The celebration of Black greek life on campus shows "the leaps and bounds we have made," Riggins said. 

NPHC will also be holding a tailgate in the newly opened plaza on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 3 p.m. 

President of NPHC and senior in mechanical engineering, Dontavious Hill, spoke about the years of work and collaborative efforts it took to get the project finished

“Today is a very special day for our community here at Auburn,” Hill said. “It is beautiful to see the support we have gotten all across campus. There are so many people, too many names to mention, who played a huge part in making this space possible, whether you support us financially, with your time and energy or with your good thoughts, thank you.”

In addition to the hands that make this ceremony possible, this plaza marks the first landmark dedicated to Auburn’s Black greek life anywhere on campus. 

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“The culture and significance of our chapters are ingrained into the DNA of Auburn University, so it is fitting that the plaza is here as a reminder of our impact,” Hill said. “As I think about how future generations will use this space, I get excited, I can’t wait to see yard shows, tailgates, picnics and most importantly I can’t wait to see new member presentation shows.” 

While the event was open to the public, many alumni attended the event to show their support and represent their ties to greek life. 

Patricia Taylor, alumna and a charter member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, came to the event to commemorate the landmarks. 

“I feel so much pride,” Taylor said. “To see the expansion of the African American community over the past few decades compared to when I was here in 1976. There was really just a handful of us, It was the Delta’s and then it came us, the AKAs and then Kappas and that was it there was maybe about 50 of us so it’s great to see how it exploded since I graduated.”  

This opening of the Legacy Plaza comes after the groundbreaking ceremony that took place in November 2021 which began the construction of these markers next to the Edge dining hall. 

My Ly | Content Editor

My Ly, senior in journalism, is the content editor for the Auburn Plainsman. 

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