About Pi Tau Sigma


The Story of Pi Tau Sigma is placed in the hands of each member, when initiated, to set forth the objectives and create a closer bond of fellowship among those who are striving and achieving in the highest ideals of Mechanical Engineering.

The history and activities of each chapter are especially interesting to the members of each respective chapter, and to everyone who recognizes the contribution which honor societies make to the coordination of education and cooperation between faculty and students preparing for a profession.

Occasionally in the individual histories are allusions to the motives for sacrifices of an individual member. In 70 years of harmonious development from two chapters to 153, Pi Tau Sigma has enjoyed the cooperation of each member. The Tau Mu chapter of Pi Tau Sigma at the University of Maryland is strong because each year active members accept the responsibility of selecting new members and of performing the duties of their generation.

One of the goals of the society is to impart to its members some of the spirit of Pi Tau Sigma so that they can go on and do greater things than those accomplished in the past.

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 0. 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 in-stalled.

From 1947 to 1958 forty new chapters were installed. The Chapter-At-Large was established in 1954. The installations completed through the spring of 1993 bring the total established chapters to one hundred and fifty-three. Two chapters have become inactive, one due to the discontinuance of the mechanical engineering program. Earlier, two established chapters in New York merged into one. At this printing, 150 chapters remain active at different universities.

Selection of the Members

The proper selection of members for Pi Tau Sigma is the determining factor in the fraternity's success and in its continued high rating. The following factors should be considered in order to ensure the selection of worthy members: Scholastic Standing, Faculty Rating, and Members' Opinions.

A good scholastic record is required to make a student eligible for Pi Tau Sigma but otherwise it may afford little help in determining fitness for membership. One must rank in the top 35 percent scholastically.

The opinion of faculty members is valuable because of their contact with prospective pledges and also because of their experience in judging and rating students. The list submitted to them should be alphabetical and contain no scholastic records. A list of qualities to be rated might include: leadership, personality, trustworthiness, industry, dependability, and probable future success in Mechanical Engineering.

Members personally acquainted with a candidate should give opinions on the candidate's fitness for membership and the likelihood of the candidate being a worthy member of Pi Tau Sigma. Some qualities on which members may rate candidates are: soundness of principles and morals, honesty, personal cleanliness and neatness, loyalty, and social adaptability,

For details for Membership refer to Article 3 of the Constitution of Pi Tau Sigma.

©2017 Pi Tau Sigma Honor Society,  University of Maryland,  College Park

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Last Update: August 28, 2017