Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education (PhD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Michael T. Miller

Committee Member

G. David Gearhart

Second Committee Member

John W. Murry, Jr.


Fraternity, Greek Life, Motivation, Panhellenic, Sorority


College campuses provide students with endless opportunities to become members of various student organizations that provide leadership, accountability, a sense of belonging, personal growth, and development. Many colleges have provided students with the opportunities to join social Greek fraternity and sorority organizations. The foundation of social fraternity and sorority organizations are built on principles such as sisterhood, brotherhood, scholarship, service, philanthropy, and leadership. Many traditional college-age women who desire to become members of a social sorority organization all participate in a formal recruitment process. There are various motivations that traditional college-age women have for joining social sororities on college campuses worldwide. The purpose of this study was to identify the personal motivations of traditional college-age women who joined Panhellenic sororities.

Data collected for this study used a quantitative approach through a paper survey created by the researcher and titled “The Survey of Sorority Membership.” This study collected data from participants concerning individuals' personal motivations for participating in the formal Panhellenic recruitment process to join a sorority at a case study institution. The survey that was used in this study was created based on existing literature that discussed the importance of social sororities and literature related to the Personal Investment Theory. There were 1,150 participants who were members of a Panhellenic sorority that participated in this study.

The study used five research questions that guided this research. Data were analyzed and supported with descriptive statistics that displayed participants' responses based on the year they went through formal Panhellenic sorority recruitment. The data indicated that traditional college-age women who participated in the formal Panhellenic recruitment process were to meet new people, thought it would be fun, and wanted to be involved in a social sorority on campus. In addition, the data showed that the top three personal motivations of traditional college-age women were to develop friendships, enhance their overall college experience, and the sisterhood aspects that sororities offer to students.

Results from this study are significant information for student affairs practitioners on college campuses who work directly with social sororities to understand the personal motivations that traditional college-age women have in participating in the formal Panhellenic sorority recruitment process. The findings in this study have essential implications for developing a model that benefits those who participate in the formal sorority recruitment process and those who develop the overall recruitment process.