January 8, 2024

Guiding the Divine Nine: Member Adira Abdullah's Rise To National Leadership

Adira Abdullah (UNC Charlotte ‘22) is as well-rounded and hard-working as students come. A dedicated scholar pursuing double majors, leader in multiple student organizations, and an involved community member, Abdullah recently added another accolade to her list of achievements. She now presides over the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) as Second Vice President.

Adira Abdullah headshot

Abdullah, a Member of both Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., and Phi Sigma Pi, has been preparing for this moment. Now serving on a national scale, Abdullah’s efforts are going far beyond her local and regional involvement. In her role as Second Vice President on the National Executive Board of Directors for the NPHC, her leadership now extends to over 1.5 million lifetime members of fraternities and sororities worldwide.  

The NPHC, founded in 1930 at Howard University, governs nine historically African American Greek organizations known as the “Divine Nine.” The fraternities and sororities were founded out of a need for access to Greek Life for students who were being denied the rights and privileges awarded to white students. Abdullah’s introduction to the Divine Nine came before she stepped foot on her college campus: her mother is a Member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., and her father is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

“It is truly an honor and blessing to hold such a significant national role,” Abdullah says. “Whether it involves implementing innovative programs, fostering a sense of unity among members, or leading initiatives that align with NPHC's values, I am eager to contribute to the overall success and well-being of sisterhood and brotherhood.”

Abdullah with her Phi Sigma Pi big, Kennedy Thornton
Abdullah with her Phi Sigma Pi big, Kennedy Thornton

As an undergraduate, Abdullah brings a fresh perspective to her position, focusing on implementing innovative ideas and fostering collaboration at the undergraduate level. Her dedication to community service and making a positive impact resonates with the values of all NPHC organizations.

Abdullah currently also serves as the Northeastern Region Youth Services Coordinator for Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing regional youth programs and assisting undergraduate members by providing workshops, conferences, and trainings to ensure their success on their campuses. Abdullah's national position qualifies her as the highest-ranked undergraduate member across all NPHC organizations. 

Within Phi Sigma Pi, Abdullah has served on the Eta Xi Chapter’s diversity committee and played a vital role in reviewing and revising the Chapter’s bylaws. In addition to the leadership experience she’s gained, she has met several of her closest friends through the organization, whom she describes as her “biggest motivators.” 

“My experience with Phi Sigma Pi has been nothing short of exceptional. Within the fraternity, I have made meaningful connections and established lasting friendships,” Abdullah said. “Phi Sigma Pi has provided me with a platform to engage with a diverse group of incredibly intelligent individuals who share a commitment to academic excellence.”

Abdullah with her fellow NPHC National Executive Board Members.
Abdullah with her fellow NPHC National Executive Board Members.

As an engaged student and member of her campus community, Abdullah has become a pro at effectively managing her time and alleviating stress while remaining committed to multiple organizations. She has found that allocating specific days for dedicated focus on one or two activities or organizations each week has been instrumental in achieving balance. She has also incorporated a designated "me day" every week to prioritize self-care, which has proven effective in stress management.

By intentionally refraining from classes or work on Fridays, with the exception of an occasional meeting, I prioritize personal well-being,” she says. “This intentional break allows me to engage in activities that bring me joy and spend quality time with loved ones.”

Abdullah is excited about the opportunity to make a meaningful impact and enact positive change in her new role. Her ultimate goal is to attend law school and become a criminal defense and police misconduct attorney, representing underrepresented minority groups and advocating for a more equitable and just society.

Learn more about the National Pan-Hellenic Council here.