The 12 Sigma Tau chapters co-existing on campuses with Tau Beta Pi were merged into the Association, by initiation of their active members in early 1974. The official badge of the Association is a watch key in the form of the bent of a trestle, engraved on the reverse side with the member's name, chapter, and class. Since the founding of the Michigan Alpha chapter, Tau Beta Pi has grown steadily; there are now collegiate chapters at 238 institutions, chartered alumnus chapters in 59 cities, and a total initiated membership of 537,373. All individual email addresses on Tau Beta Pi websites are exclusively for use in the conduct of Tau Beta Pi related business. Late in the spring of 1885 he invited the valedictorian of the senior class, Irving Andrew Heikes, to membership and he accepted, becoming the first student member of Tau Beta Pi; but there was no time to initiate the rest of the eligible men from the class of 1885. For the purposes of this letter, consider the term chapter synonymous with the IRS definition of a club. The resulting organization is Tau Beta Pi, unchanged in name, purpose, governance, operating procedures, and membership requirements (except for the automatic Tau Beta Pi membership eligibility of all Sigma Tau members). The national organization is comprised of nearly 250 student chapters 40 alumni chapters, which together are divided into 16 districts across the United States. Records of essential dates were lost, but Mr. Stackhouse deduced that June 15, 1885, was the day on which the first undergraduate student was initiated. The official name of the society is The Tau Beta Pi Association, Incorporated. Learn about membership and the Association here (Photo Credit: Daniel McGlynn)It is the nation's second-oldest honor society, with 238 collegiate chapters, active alumnus chapters in 16 districts across the country, and over 535,000 members. Subsequent evidence, in the form of Mr. Heikes' original invitation to membership, discovered in 1943, confirmed this date. Founding member of the Association of College Honor Societies. A detailed account of the founding and early history of Tau Beta Pi was written by Edwin S. Stackhouse, Pennsylvania Alpha '86, after years of painstaking research work (THE BENT, April 1941). All individual email addresses on Tau Beta Pi websites are exclusively for use in the conduct of Tau Beta Pi related business. The creed of Tau Beta Pi, adopted in 1991, is Integrity and Excellence in Engineering. The parent chapter, Alpha of Pennsylvania, existed alone until 1892 when Alpha of Michigan was founded at Michigan State University. For the purposes of this letter, consider the term chapter synonymous with the IRS definition of a club. Tau Beta Pi is the only engineering honor society representing the entire engineering profession. Specifically, the association was founded "to mark in a fitting manner those who have conferred honor upon their Alma Mater by distinguished scholarship and exemplary cha… At the time of merger, it had 34 collegiate chapters and a total initiated membership of 45,000. The symbol of Tau Beta Pi is the bent, modeled after that of a trestle bridge. If a chapter has outside income that exceeds the 35 percent or 15 percent limits, its qualification for exemption under 501(c)(7) may be in jeopardy. Incorporation 1947 was a significant year for Tau Beta Pi. Tau Beta Pi - The Engineering Honor Society Founded in 1885 Tau Beta Pi is the second oldest honor society in the United States and accepts into its membership students from all engineering disciplines. A key element of a chapter is "commingling" of members who demonstrate a shared purpose or objective. Founder Edward H. Williams, Jr., was born at Proctorsville, Vermont, on September 30, 1849; he died at Woodstock, Vermont, on November 2, 1933. 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'. The Tau Beta Pi Association (commonly Tau Beta Pi, ΤΒΠ, or TBP) is the oldest engineering honor society and the second oldest collegiate honor society in the United States. Joining Tau Beta Pi means becoming part of an organization that is bigger than any one person or university. The Sigma Tau Foundation, Inc., was dissolved and its assets were transferred directly to Tau Beta Pi's Fellowship Fund. About Tau Beta Pi. Sigma Tau's national headquarters closed, and all of its records were transferred to the national headquarters in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Headquarters office of Sigma Tau in Lincoln, Nebraska, was closed on June 30, 1974, and its records were transferred to the Headquarters of Tau Beta Pi in Knoxville, Tennessee. R. C. Matthews served as Tau Beta Pi's Secretary from 1905 to 1912 and as Secretary-Treasurer from 1912 until his retirement in 1947. Tau Beta Pi is universally recognized as the preeminent engineering honor society that students of all engineering disciplines strive to join. Tau Beta Pi was founded in 1885 to mark in a fitting manner those who have conferred honor upon their alma mater by distinguished scholarship and exemplary character as undergraduates in the field of engineering, or by their attainments as alumni in the field of engineering, and to foster a spirit of liberal culture in the engineering colleges. Thus, with only a paper organization, he offered membership to qualified graduates of Lehigh and received their acceptances and enthusiastic endorsement. A chapter may receive up to 35 percent of its gross receipts from non-member sources. It comes from the fact that it was first designed, in the late eighteenth century, to include a pocket watch winding feature, hence key. Working alone he conceived an organization, gave it a name, designed its governmental structure, drew up its constitution, prepared its badge and certificate, established its membership requirements, and planned all the necessary details for its operation including the granting of chapters and the holding of conventions.