Celebs Who Joined Fraternities And Sororities

There is more than just one path to fame. While many celebrities begin their careers as teens or even kids (see: everyone from the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon), others pursue very normal university degrees like, say, marketing or engineering. Still others drop out of college to pursue their craft, while some return to school after finding fame.

Of those actors, musicians, athletes, and even members of royalty who decided to attend university, many ended up also joining Greek organizations on campus. Years after graduation, these former fraternity brothers and sorority sisters fall into two camps: the ones who still rep their letters with pride, and those who rarely mention their Greek membership at all. If you've ever been curious about which mottos and secret handshakes famous people learned during their time in college, you've come to the right place — we dish on the fraternities and sororities celebs were initiated into once upon a time.

Cole Swindell was a proud Sigma Chi at Georgia Southern

Read any bio of Cole Swindell and one of the first things that comes up is that he was a brother of Sigma Chi fraternity at Georgia Southern University — the same organization that fellow country artist Luke Bryan belonged to several years before him. Swindell is super proud of his Greek letters, but he actually almost joined a different frat! "I remember going through rush, a lot of my friends ... that I looked up to, a lot of guys who played football at my high school went to Georgia Southern and they were all in a different fraternity," he told The Magazine of Sigma Chi. "And so when I went to Georgia Southern, I just assumed that's the fraternity I was going [to join]."

But fate had other plans: When Swindell rushed Sigma Chi, he felt immediately at home and found himself confused. Should he join the same fraternity as all his friends or go for the exciting other one that made him feel so welcome? In the end, he wouldn't have had it any other way. "Thank the Lord I chose Sigma Chi, because it's done a lot for me and I can imagine all the undergrads out there, hopefully we've got some country music fans that are coming to my shows and stuff, because, you know, without Sigma Chi, I don't... I can't say that I would have ever reached my potential," he added.

Meghan Markle is a sister of Kappa Kappa Gamma

Before Rachel Meghan Markle was a member of the British royalty, she was royalty in her sorority. During her time at Northwestern University in Illinois, the now-Duchess of Sussex was offered the high honor of serving as her chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma's recruitment chair — and if you have any experience with Greek life, you'll know that's one of the most important roles you can have within an organization.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Markle also lived in the Kappa house for a while as an undergrad. When asked ahead of Markle's wedding to Prince Harry, her sorority sisters said she was "lovely," "kind" and "wonderful." Interestingly, Markle isn't listed on Northwestern KKG's "Notable Kappas" page — though it's possible that this was a PR decision.

That said, when the future Sussexes got engaged, Markle's sorority did release one of her composite pictures (via People). Then, sisters of Kappa Kappa Gamma turned up at Windsor to celebrate Markle's wedding day on May 19th, 2018. The sorority shared a photo of the ladies in the crowd on Facebook, writing, "Congratulations to our beautiful sister, Meghan! Did you see Kappas singing 'Oh, Pat' in the crowd? Kappa Kappa Gamma sends our best wishes to the newlywed couple for a lifetime of happiness together!" The chant in question, "Oh, Pat," is traditionally sung on sisters' wedding day, according to BestLife.

Will Ferrell, a Delta Tau Delta, wants to abolish Greek life

Unfortunately, though Greek life often creates a lifetime of memories for its members, it's also not without its controversies. When outrage broke over a video of University of Oklahoma Sigma Alpha Epsilon brothers chanting a horrific racist hymn, former fraternity brother Will Ferrell felt strongly that the upsides of Greek life in no way justified the inherent inequality in fraternities. "The incident in Oklahoma, that is a real argument for getting rid of the system altogether, in my opinion, even having been through a fraternity," Ferrell said as part of a Q&A with The New York Times. "Because when you break it down, it really is about creating cliques and clubs and being exclusionary."

Still, Ferrell admits he loved his time in Delta Tau Delta at the University of Southern California. "I was lucky in that the one I was in, we were really kind of the anti-fraternity fraternity," he said. "We couldn't get anyone to vote on anything, but if you needed 40 guys to show up and build a 20-foot-tall papier-mâché version of the Matterhorn, we were there and ready."

Meanwhile, his DTD chapter proudly lists Ferrell as a notable alumnus on its website, and the actor also regularly features on the fraternity's social media. In 2013, they shared a photo on Facebook of Ferrell at an alumni event. In 2016, they shared a black and white photo of the fraternity members in 1989. "Can you spot Will Ferrell?" they wrote.

Kristin Chenoweth was all about Gamma Phi Beta's ideals

Kristin Chenoweth joined Gamma Phi Beta during her time at Oklahoma City University, according to MyChapterRoom. The sorority's core values are "love, labor, learning, and loyalty" — and Gamma Phi sisters from OCU certainly demonstrate these values as they continue to support Chenoweth's brilliant career from afar. They took to the chapter's Facebook page in 2020 to congratulate her and another fellow GPhi for their participation in an online concert for Stephen Sondheim. "Shoutout to two of our sisters Kristin Chenoweth and Kelli O'Hara! We can't wait to watch live this Sunday at 8pm!" they wrote.

Though Chenoweth hasn't addressed her experience as a sorority sister much, she has talked about how important OCU is to her. When she was choosing a college to study vocal performance at, she auditioned with a faculty member at OCU, Robin Brooks, who immediately saw Chenoweth's talent. "I didn't even audition or apply to another school," she told Oklahoma City University's YouTube channel. In March 2020, Chenoweth became OCU's artist in residence, per the university's website. "We are thrilled she will be working with students in masterclasses, lessons, and workshops and leading ongoing conversations on the business of Broadway and Hollywood," said the dean of the Bass School of Music. Later that year, she co-founded a Master of Fine Arts program at the school, per Broadway.com. Go Stars!

Jennifer Garner was a Pi Beta Phi angel in Ohio

There are a lot of things people want to know about Jennifer Garner — and whether she ever participated in Greek life is one of them. The actress answered some of the most googled questions about her for WIRED's "Autocomplete interview" video series. When asked, "What sorority is Jennifer Garner in?," she answered, "Pi Beta Phi, Ohio Eta chapter." In case you were curious, the Ohio Eta chapter is at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, where Garner completed her undergraduate degree in theater, according to Biography.

Amazingly, Garner then broke into song, performing one of her sorority's chants to perfection. Her sorority was extra proud to claim her as one of their own when the video came out, and shared it on Twitter and Facebook. Garner is also listed as one of their notable alumni on the official Pi Phi website.

The actress returned to Denison in 2019 to deliver the commencement address. "Chances are, if you're lucky, your life will be 65% happy," she said. "That's a big win and a likely score. That is fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. At some point, you will realize there is no finish line to cross. There is no moment when you're just supposed to be happy. While you wait for those moments ... your life is happening, and isn't it enough?"

Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined Alpha Epsilon Phi at Cornell

Did you know that legendary Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was once a sorority sister? While studying at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, Ginsburg pledged Alpha Epsilon Phi, which is a Jewish sorority, according to its website. Speaking to the Cornell Sun in 2014, Ginsburg talked about how religion influenced the Greek system at the school. "There were Jewish fraternities [and] Jewish sororities as well as Christian fraternities and sororities and that's the way it was," she told the outlet. "I hope that has changed."

At the time of her death in 2020, current AEPhi members reflected on Ginsburg's immeasurable legacy and what it meant to them in an interview with NewsChannel 9 WSYR Syracuse. "Even before I was in a sorority, I looked up to her as a role model," said AEPhi Abby Drucker. "It's just someone that we can cherish, someone that we can know who went that extra mile and that we can do the same as she did." Another member, Kayla Bakhshi, echoed this sentiment. "Being a part of AEPhi Cornell gives me that hope that one day, I can make a change in the world just like RBG did. ... She was a member of this sorority and she was someone just like any of us."

Rachel Lindsay still has tons of friends from Delta Sigma Theta

Before she was a lawyer and long before she was a Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay was a college student. While she was an undergrad at the University of Texas at Austin studying sports management (per Dallas Association of Young Lawyers), Lindsay joined the school's chapter of Delta Sigma Theta — a historically black organization founded at Howard University, according to its website.

But while some Greek life members forget all about their fraternities and sororities after receiving their diploma, Lindsay stayed loyal to her sisters, and still reps the letters with pride. In 2017, she posted a photo on Instagram of some of her friends attending one of their sister's wedding. The bride posed making a "delta" sign with her hands. Lindsay captioned the post, "Delta Sigma Theta supporting this beautiful bride #hawthorneaffair #weddingflow #icantwait #epsilonbeta." You love to see it.

Other famous Deltas include such huge names as Aretha Franklin, Andra Day, and Cicely Tyson.

Paul Rudd pledged Sigma Nu

Even though Paul Rudd still looks like he could be, say, a college junior, he actually studied drama at the University of Kansas in the late 1980s, according to Fox Sports — so even when a baby-faced Rudd played a slightly irksome UCLA student in "Clueless," he already had college done and dusted.

When real-life Rudd was an undergrad, he pledged the Sigma Nu fraternity at KU, as the organization's national website and Nu chapter website proudly boast. On Facebook, KU Sig Nu regularly posts shout-outs to this prestigious alum. In 2015, they celebrated his success with "Ant-Man," posting a photo of Rudd at a promo event for the movie. "Congrats to Paul Rudd (Brother and Nu #1783) for his performance in 'Ant Man,'" they wrote. "It's currently on its 2nd week atop the box office sales list."

Then, on April 6, 2016, the fraternity shared an incredible composite photo of a young Rudd with cascading long hair, alongside various photos showcasing his career. They captioned the post, "47 years old? You don't look a day over 30. Happy Birthday to our very own Paul Rudd (Nu #1783)!"

Jamie Chung was in Kappa Kappa Gamma at UC Riverside

Actress and TV personality Jamie Chung pledged the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority while attending the University of California, Riverside. "We would play flag football—that was the funnest week," she told Complex in 2009. "It turned into f*****g straight-up tackling. Like, 'I hate that b***h from Gamma Pheta Beta; I'm gonna tackle her.' We kicked a**!" Just so you know, "Gamma Pheta Beta" isn't a real sorority, nor is "Pheta" a real Greek letter.

When Complex asked whether sorority membership involved lots of pranks, Chung answered, "We didn't play many pranks; we just drank a lot." We're loving the honesty. The actress channeled her real-life experience into the horror movie "Sorority Row," in which she played Claire. "Claire is outgoing, and kind of goes with the flow," Chung said of her character at the movie's premiere. "Claire doesn't really care, she enjoys being the right-hand woman of Jessica, the queen b***h."

Jamie Chung has also starred in another college-themed TV mini-series, "Resident Advisors," which premiered in 2015. During an appearance on KTLA Morning News, she was asked about her own housing situation while at UCR. "I lived in the dorms, and I only stayed a quarter," she revealed. "It wasn't my thing, so I moved into an apartment."

Angela Kinsey had a lot of hair while she was in Chi Omega

Before Angela Kinsey was the uptight accountant at Dunder Mifflin, or the absentee mother in "Never Have I Ever," she was a proud sorority girl. Back in 2013, the actress shared an amazing throwback pic of her days in Chi Omega on Instagram, showing her and her sisters posing in formal black gowns — all sporting lots of curly hair. "#tbt Big hair at a #chiomega dance at #Baylor. So much hair!!! Must be Texas. ;) " Kinsey captioned the post.

Baylor University Chi O happily claims Kinsey as one of their coolest alums, regularly dedicating social media posts to the actress. "Fun fact: The actress Angela Kinsey from the TV show 'The Office' was a BAYLOR Chi Omega!" they wrote in 2011. In 2014, they reposted one of the stars' Instagram photos, where she looks fabulous in a Chi Omega crewneck. The caption reads, "Go Chi O! Thanks for the shout out #Repost from @angelakinsey —Morning hike before work and a lil shout out to my @baylorchiomega gals." They also shared a photo of Kinsey posing with one of their recruitment advisors during rush week in 2014. Clearly, the actress still cares a whole lot about the organization. Heartwarming stuff.

Kamala Harris joined Alpha Kappa Alpha at Howard University

Like many high-ranking politicians before her, vice-president Kamala Harris was a sorority girl once upon a time. While studying at Howard University, Harris joined Alpha Kappa Alpha, a historically Black sorority, a fact of which she's immensely proud. "It's where I joined my beloved sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha—and I'm so excited to be celebrating our 113th Founders' Day today!" Harris wrote on Instagram in January 2021 alongside photos of herself loving life as an undergrad student.

Shelby D. Boagni, who went to Howard with Harris and is now a director for Alpha Kappa Alpha, explained to the Los Angeles Times that AKA membership probably helped Harris get to where she is today. "Our community expects us to take on a leadership role in a number of ways and they expect us to serve and they expect us actually to be fearless in our fight," Boagni said. "They expect us to show up when others won't. And that is what we've been doing for over 100 years." Basically, it should be a surprise to nobody that Harris has risen to such a prestigious office. She was trained to be a high achiever.

Shaquille O'Neal was in the greatest fraternity ever

Shaquille O'Neal is many things: athlete, sports commentator, actor, musician, philanthropist... But did you know he was once a fraternity brother? In 2018, O'Neal uncovered an amazing video of himself performing on stage alongside his Omega Psi Phi brothers from Louisiana State University. Posting the clip on Instagram, he wrote, "Happy founders day to the GREATEST FRATERNITY EVER. OMEGA PSI PHI #11/17/11 shout out to THETA KAPPA LSU BRUHZ, Gamma sig bruhz, CHI TAU BRUHZ, and TAU TAU BRUHZ remember this is 1997. Respect to all the MIGHTY MEN OF OMEGA PSI PHI."

Later that year, O'Neal received the Omega Psi Phi lifetime achievement award, according to Fox5 Atlanta, in part thanks to his charity work. "Community service has always been at the core of everything he does," a representative for the fraternity said. "He has protected, celebrated and enhanced the rich heritage of Omega and consistently strives to be the best Omega man he can be."

Carrie Underwood focused on philanthropy in Sigma Sigma Sigma

Like many a Southern girl, Carrie Underwood joined a sorority in college. At Northeastern State University in her native Oklahoma, she studied broadcast journalism and pledged the Sigma Sigma Sigma chapter on campus. But don't worry, there was no horrible hazing involved. When The Guardian asked her if she and her sisters had to "drink each other's sick to get in or something," Underwood was rightfully taken aback. "No. No, no. No," she said. "Basically, it's a group of girls on campus and we did a lot of philanthropy work and we're always raising money for something."

The singer then went on to talk about the lifelong bond she feels to her sorority. "I see them at shows everywhere," she told The Guardian. "I see my sorority sisters from other colleges, which is really cool. We always had a float in the parades, and we always went to the football and basketball games together and that made college more bearable." Even if Underwood didn't love college, she did pretty well academically — according to The Boot, the star graduated magna cum laude in 2006.

David Schwimmer joined Delta Tau Delta

Like his "Friends" character Ross Geller, David Schwimmer is a pretty smart guy. The actor attended the prestigious Northwestern University, where he joined Delta Tau Delta fraternity, according to the organization's Ohio Wesleyan University website. A Twitter user brilliantly uncovered Schwimmer's fraternity composite photo, in which he is sporting luscious brown locks.

Schwimmer discussed this hair during an appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." He and Colbert studied theater in college together and were in the same improv group there, so the talk show host felt empowered to comment on Schwimmer's hair. Colbert brought out a photo of the two of them and their improv buddies, in which you can clearly see the long hairstyle. "You have hair that Kylo Ren would love," Colbert quipped. Schwimmer then revealed that he cut his hair during his senior year. "I cut it for a show," he said. Without skipping a beat, Colbert asked, "It was uncastable?" Amazing stuff.