PI TAU SIGMA members are chosen on a basis of sound engineering ability, scholarship (upper 35%), personality, and probable future success in their chosen field of Mechanical Engineering. There are three grades of membership: Honorary, Graduate, and Active. Honorary members are technical graduates actively engaged in engineering work; or members of mechanical engineering faculties. Graduate membership is conferred upon persons who would have been eligible had Pi Tau Sigma been established earlier in schools not having chapters, or upon those continuing graduate study. Active members are selected from the junior and senior mechanical engineering classes at their respective schools whose mechanical engineering curriculum must be accredited by ABET.
History of Pi Tau Sigma
With the twentieth century came the realization that honor societies made a definite contribution to the department and that membership required active participation. Pi Tau Sigma came into being on March 16, 1915, at the University of Illinois. A similar organization embarked November 15, 1915, at Wisconsin, and other local organizations (such as the Carzeuran of Purdue) were soon to become active.
The early leaders: Professors C. R. Richards, A. C. Willard, and O. A. Leutwiler of the University of Illinois; G. L. Larson of the University of Wisconsin; G. A. Young of Purdue University; and J. V. Martenis of the University of Minnesota, stand out for their early contributions.
In ten years Pi Tau Sigma grew to six chapters in the Midwest (Illinois Alpha, Wisconsin Alpha, Purdue Beta, Minnesota Gamma, Illinois Delta, and Missouri Epsilon). In 1925 the expansion continued to the east with the Penn State Zeta Chapter being installed. Six years later the Texas Kappa Chapter, and the following year the Colorado Mu Chapter established chapters in the south and west. Also in 1932 the expansion continued southeast to Georgia Tech Nu Chapter. It was not until nine years later that the first chapter was installed on the Pacific coast (Oregon State Omega). In twenty-six years Pi Tau Sigma became truly a national honorary mechanical engineering fraternity with a total of twenty-five chapters. During the succeeding four years nine additional chapters were installed.
From 1947 to 1958 forty new chapters were installed. The Chapter-At-Large was established in 1954. By the spring of 1993 the total established chapters had reached one hundred and fifty-three. Earlier, two established chapters in New York merged into one. At the present, the number of chartered chapters stands at one hundred seventy-four.
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