On this day in 1963, Iota Phi Theta Fraternity was founded at Morgan State University. It was founded by 12 men who were influenced by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Black Panthers. It is one of the Divine 9, a collection of predominantly Black fraternities and sororities.
The fraternity members participated in various protests and sit-ins throughout the city of Baltimore. The founders were distinguished from their peers as they were all non-traditional students. Older than their fellow students, many had served in the military, working full-time while attending classes and having families.
Iota Phi Theta now consists of more than 300 undergraduate and alumni chapters. The fraternity has become the fifth-largest, predominantly Black fraternity in the United States. As of now, there are over 70,000 members.