In 1776, five students from the College of William and Mary began meeting secretly at a local tavern in Williamsburg, Virginia. They took on the name Phi Beta Kappa and developed their own handshake and initiation rites. More than two centuries after that first fraternity was founded, Phi Beta Kappa has morphed into an honor society. Yet more than 6,000 other fraternity chapters now operate on college campuses across North America.
Fraternities create lifelong friendships, open avenues for social service, and of course provide the space for epic parties. They are also at the center of many college debates today: sexual assault, underage drinking, hazing, among others...What’s often overlooked in these debates is the power behind those Greek letters: a network of loyal alumni - from top university donors to members of Congress. Fusion spent nearly a year investigating college fraternities and their influence on and off campus in the Naked Truth documentary Frat Power.
For more on how these organizations operate in Washington, read: Greeks on the Hill. Scroll through the find out how much money your representative receives from the Greek system’s biggest DC political action committee. The Real Deal on Frat Real Estate offers an inside look on what it takes to build the majestic Greek house. While Secret Societies gives you the low-down on the most exclusive of these associations and their hidden, and sometimes bizarre, rituals.