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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Toward a Definition of Brotherhood

What is brotherhood?  I’ve often found that it’s a difficult concept to put into words.  The dictionary just can’t seem to do it justice.  The same with sisterhood. 

A common answer I heard during rush was:  “it’s just something you have to experience to understand.”  I probably said that to recruits as well.

As I’ve moved along in my fraternity journey, I think it’s becoming easier for me to define. Brotherhood is not as vague and intangible as it once was for me. 

At this point, if someone were to ask me to define brotherhood in the fraternity sense, this would be my reply:

To read the rest of this essay, as well as many others, order your copy of Forever Fraternity: Essays to Challenge, Celebrate and Advance the College Fraternity


  1. My first attempt at a definition: Brotherhood starts with committing to and caring about, no matter what, a family you've chosen to join and which has accepted you, each for a lifetime, and then sharing the adventure ahead.

  2. You have captured this well. Thank you for sharing this vision.

  3. I believe this is an excellent article with many great explanations as to what Brotherhood is. Just as you said, Sisterhood is not easily explained either. Some people who are outside of the fraternity or sorority see it as an "obligation" whereas those who are apart of it see the bond as a privilege. I also agree that it is through our personal efforts that either creates or keeps the bond of brotherhood and sisterhood strong. Keep up the good work!

    Becca Wharton
    University of Louisiana at Lafayette- Greek Community

  4. Brotherhood is some but not all of things. In fact, brotherhood is almost none of these listed.
    Brotherhood is fighting a war not only because you love your country, but because you love your fellow soldiers. That is brotherhood.

  5. While reading this post I can fully relate with trying to figure out the definition of a brotherhood, I had an idea of what it might be but not a clear idea. Spending the time I have in the fraternity that I am a part of I have come tro experience many things. These things are both good and bad but in the end it made me realize the full definition of a brotherhood. Going through things both big and small with your fellow brothers and creating a bond that will last a life time is what I have come to realize is the definition of a brotherhood.

    Austin Delaney
    University of Louisiana at Lafayette- Greek Community

  6. This really helped my friend told me if I wannted to join and now I understand what it mean and I know what to do.