A toga party is a Greco-Roman-themed costume party where attendees wear a garment inspired by ancient Roman clothing (normally made from a bed sheet) with sandals. The costumes, party games, and other entertainment often adhere to the Roman or Greek theme. Toga parties are associated with keg parties and excessive drinking, and attendees typically tend to be college or university students.
First lady Eleanor Roosevelt held a toga party in 1934 to spoof those that compared her husband President Franklin D. Roosevelt to "Caesar".
The earliest known college toga parties took place in the United States in the early 1950s. Toga parties are recorded in the yearbooks for Theta Delta Chi (1952)and the University of Michigan's Acacia Fraternity (1953). Another early toga party took place in 1953, when Pomona College students wore togas and ivy wreaths, and brought their dorm mattresses to freshman Mark Neuman's home on Hillcrest Avenue in nearby Flintridge.
For the eight decades before Greek-themed parties became known as "toga parties" in the 1950s, similar parties were generally called "bed sheet and pillow slip" parties (or simply, "pillow slip" parties), in which attendees wrapped themselves in sheets and pillow cases, were regularly held by fraternal orders (like the Masons, Odd Fellows and Elks), civic organizations, and church groups.In 1882, the Terpsichore Society of the Ohio State University held a "pillow slip party" which may arguably be considered the first known college toga party.
Although they are called "toga parties", attendants rarely wear togas, which were intricately draped garments made from large semicircles of fabric, instead wearing articles that more closely resemble chitons.
The Guinness World Record for the largest toga party is 3,700 participants. The event, organized by the University of Queensland Union and the Queensland University of Technology Student Guild, was held on 24 February 2012 at Riverstage in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
A toga party was depicted in the 1978 film Animal House , which propelled the ritual into a widespread and enduring practice. Chris Miller, who was one of the writers of Animal House, attended Dartmouth College where the toga party was a popular costume event at major fraternity parties (such as Winter Carnival and Green Key Weekend) during the late 1950s and early 1960s.
A toga party was also briefly described in Tom Wolfe's 1968 story "The Pump House Gang", although somewhat different from the version in the film. Toga parties are also seen in the first episode of season four of the television series Greek and in the fourth episode of Silicon Valley .
"The World's Largest Toga Party" was the tagline of WrestleMania IX.
A cloak is a type of loose garment worn over clothing, mostly but not always as outerwear for outdoor wear, serving the same purpose as an overcoat, protecting the wearer from the weather. It may form part of a uniform. Cloaks have been and are worn in countless societies. Over time cloak designs have been changed to match fashion and available textiles.
The toga, a distinctive garment of ancient Rome, was a roughly semicircular cloth, between 12 and 20 feet in length, draped over the shoulders and around the body. It was usually woven from white wool, and was worn over a tunic. In Roman historical tradition, it is said to have been the favored dress of Romulus, Rome's founder; it was also thought to have originally been worn by both sexes, and by the citizen-military. As Roman women gradually adopted the stola, the toga was recognized as formal wear for male Roman citizens. Women found guilty of adultery and women engaged in prostitution might have provided the main exceptions to this rule.
The stola was the traditional garment of Roman women, corresponding to the toga that was worn by men. It was also called vestis longa in Latin literary sources, pointing to its length.
Kappa Alpha Theta (ΚΑΘ), commonly referred to simply as Theta, is an international women’s fraternity founded on January 27, 1870, at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. It was the first Greek-letter fraternity established for women. The fraternity was founded by four female students, Bettie Locke Hamilton, Alice Allen Brant, Bettie Tipton Lindsey, and Hannah Fitch Shaw. The organization has 147 chapters at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. The organization was the first women's fraternity to establish a chapter in Canada. Theta's total living initiated membership, as of 2020, was more than 250,000. There are more than 200 alumnae chapters and circles worldwide.
Phi Kappa Theta (ΦΚΘ), commonly known as Phi Kap, is a national social fraternity that has over 35 active chapters and colonies at universities across 21 U.S. states. The fraternity was founded on April 29, 1959, at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, with the agreed-upon merger of two older Catholic fraternities, Phi Kappa and Theta Kappa Phi. Phi Kappa was founded exactly 70 years prior in 1889 at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, while Theta Kappa Phi was founded later in October 1919 at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Elbert Duncan Thomas was a Democratic Party politician from Utah. He represented Utah in the United States Senate from 1933 until 1951. He served as the Chair of the Senate Education Committee.
Dartmouth College is host to many Greek organizations, and a significant percentage of the undergraduate student body is active in Greek life. In 2005, the school stated that 1,785 students were members of a fraternity, sorority, or coeducational Greek house, comprising about 43 percent of all students, or about 60 percent of the eligible student body. Greek organizations at Dartmouth provide both social and residential opportunities for students, and are the only single-sex residential option on campus. Greek organizations at Dartmouth do not provide dining options, as regular meals service has been banned in Greek houses since 1909.
Phi Delta Theta (ΦΔΘ), commonly known as Phi Delt, is an international secret and social fraternity founded at Miami University in 1848 and headquartered in Oxford, Ohio. Phi Delta Theta, along with Beta Theta Pi and Sigma Chi form the Miami Triad. The fraternity has over 190 active chapters and colonies in over 43 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces and has initiated more than 277,000 men between 1848 and 2021. There are over 160,000 living alumni. Phi Delta Theta chartered house corporations own more than 135 houses valued at over $141 million as of summer 2015. There are nearly 100 recognized alumni clubs across the U.S. and Canada.
The Mother of Fraternities refers to two colleges: Union College and Miami University, both of which founded many early fraternities.
Sigma Theta Epsilon (ΣΘΕ) was an interdenominational national Christian fraternal organization whose last active chapter appears to have ceased operations in 2022. Its first name as an emerging national fraternity was Delta Sigma Theta in November 1941, but due to the threat of a lawsuit over that name by a sorority with prior use, in April 1949 the new name, Sigma Theta Epsilon Christian Fraternity, was chosen. Sigma Theta Epsilon traces its history from Phi Tau Theta (local)'s founding in April 7, 1925 at Lincoln, Nebraska and Sigma Epsilon Theta (local)'s founding on October 8, 1936 at Indiana University.
Phi Tau Theta (ΦΤΘ) was a national religious fraternity for Methodist men which through name changes and mergers became part of Sigma Theta Epsilon.
Clothing in ancient Rome generally comprised a short-sleeved or sleeveless, knee-length tunic for men and boys, and a longer, usually sleeved tunic for women and girls. On formal occasions, adult male citizens could wear a woolen toga, draped over their tunic, and married citizen women wore a woolen mantle, known as a palla, over a stola, a simple, long-sleeved, voluminous garment that modestly hung to cover the feet. Clothing, footwear and accoutrements identified gender, status, rank and social class. This was especially apparent in the distinctive, privileged official dress of magistrates, priesthoods and the military.
The preservation of fabric fibers and leathers allows for insights into the attire of ancient societies. The clothing used in the ancient world reflects the technologies that these peoples mastered. In many cultures, clothing indicated the social status of various members of society.
The North American fraternity and sorority system began with students who wanted to meet secretly, usually for discussions and debates not thought appropriate by the faculty of their schools. Today they are used as social, professional, and honorary groups that promote varied combinations of community service, leadership, and academic achievement.
The term Triad is used to designate certain historic groupings of seminal college fraternities in North America.
Phi Omega Pi (ΦΩΠ) was a national collegiate sorority operating in the United States from 1922 until 1946 when its chapters were absorbed by several larger sororities, and merged with the national sorority, Delta Zeta.
Alpha Gamma Kappa is the oldest and largest professional fraternal organization for students and practitioners of podiatric medicine in the United States. The fraternity was founded in 1939 at the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine in Chicago, Illinois.
Fraternities and sororities are social organizations at North American colleges and universities. Generally, membership in a fraternity or sorority is obtained as an undergraduate student, but continues thereafter for life. Some accept graduate students as well. Individual fraternities and sororities vary in organization and purpose, but most share five common elements:
Delta Beta Phi (ΔΒΦ), also called Delta Beta Phi Society, was a small national men's fraternity founded at Cornell University in 1878. The national disbanded in 1882 but was briefly restored through the 1920s.