New Zeta Phi Beta Chapter Fosters Community for a Lifetime
A college campus often offers an immediate family for students fortunate enough to make those kinds of close connections. Noelle Morgan ’22 knew a Zeta Phi Beta sorority chapter at WPI could offer that kind of transformative support system—so she started one.
After nearly three years of coordination and work, the Zeta Phi Beta, Inc., WPI chapter launched with a showcase ceremony and an induction this spring. Motivated by a firsthand insight of the powerful bonds within Greek communities, Morgan navigated the complicated process of working with WPI and the national Zeta organization to establish the sorority at WPI. Despite having to do some of the tasks while students were working remotely during COVID, she persevered and everything fell into place right before her graduation.
Throughout her childhood, Morgan says she was intrigued by the strangers who greeted her parents like old friends based entirely on the letters they were wearing on their clothes. “They would run into strangers on the street, and it was like instant family,” she recalls. “I experienced how much of a community it can foster among strangers, let alone a community in a college. I wanted that at WPI.”
Morgan, who graduated in May with a BS in electrical and computer engineering, knew having that kind of security and support in college would benefit her. And starting the historically Black Greek-letter organization at WPI would be an advantage to the university as a whole.
“This was to make sure there was a community for Black and Brown women on campus—to have a sister to look after you and support you,” she says. “This is what I wanted to create here. If something happens, you have someone you can contact and someone who can take care of you in ways that other people might not know how to do. I hope this encourages other Black and Brown women to choose WPI for their undergraduate degree because they do look for that when looking at colleges.”
When the sorority begins its first full academic year this fall, Morgan will participate as a graduate member of the organization while Marissa Desir ’23 will lead as the chapter’s first president. Desir, who learned of the sorority and jumped at the chance to get involved, says the feelings of pride and excitement permeated the new chapter, other chapters of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and the other organizations of the National Panhellenic Council. “Once becoming a WPI student, I know how difficult it can be to find a community that’s welcoming for Black women,” Desir says. “We hope the Psi Phi [the official chapter name given by the national Zeta organization] chapter can cater to members who yearn to express their true selves and uniqueness.”