Tau Beta Pi - an honor society in Engineering
National Engineering Honor Society
Integrity and Excellence in Engineering
The Tau Beta Pi Association, national engineering honor society, was founded at Lehigh University in 1885 by Dr. Edward Higginson Williams, Jr., 'to mark in a fitting manner those who have conferred honor upon their Alma Mater by distinguished scholarship and exemplary character as undergraduates in engineering, or by their attainments as alumni in the field of engineering, and to foster a spirit of liberal culture in engineering colleges'. -- Preamble to the Constitution.
An honor society is an association of primarily collegiate members and chapters whose purposes are to encourage and recognize superior scholarship and/or leadership achievement either in broad fields of education or in departmental fields at either undergraduate or graduate levels.
The honor society has followed the expansion and specialization of higher education in America. When Phi Beta Kappa was organized in 1776 no thought was given to its proper field, since all colleges then in existence were for the training of men for 'the service of the church and the state.' With the expansion of education into new fields, a choice had to be made, and the society elected to operate in the field of the liberal arts and sciences. Although this was not finally voted until 1898, the trend was evident years earlier, and 1885 saw the establishment of Tau Beta Pi.
Tau Beta Pi is the only engineering honor society representing the entire engineering profession. It is the nation's second-oldest honor society, founded at Lehigh University in 1885 to mark in a fitting manner those who have conferred honor upon their Alma Mater by distinguished scholarship and exemplary character as students in engineering, or by their attainments as alumni in the field of engineering, and to foster a spirit of liberal culture in engineering colleges.
Qualifications for membership:
Scholarship (top 1/5 for senior class and top 1/12 of junior class) and exemplary character.