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."

At last count, 157 of the 172 established chapters remain active as of 2010.

Visit Pi Tau Sigma's International Home Page at http://pitausigma.net/.

California Sigma Eta

From The Story of Pi Tau Sigma (1915 - 1994).

"In the fall term of 1965, leading mechanical engineering students at California State University, Long Beach presented to the National Council of Pi Tau Sigma a petition for the establishment of a local chapter. The students were assisted in their endeavor by Professor R. W. Leutwiler, Jr., and Professor H. Unt, then Chairman of the Mechanical Engineering Department.

"Formal installation of the California Sigma Eta Chapter took place on May 13, 1966, with National President E. K. Springer, National Secretary-Treasurer J. W. Bayne, and Regional Vice-President D. R. Haworth officiating.

"Particular aims of the California Sigma Eta Chapter are to promote close student-faculty relationships and to improve scholarship in mechanical engineering. The chapter also cooperates with the A.S.M.E. student section. Our current project is to raise money for the California Sigma Eta Scholarship Endowment fund. The fund will serve to encourage chapter membership and participation for years to come."

Activity within the California Sigma Eta Chapter eventually began to slow down. The last initiation held by the original Chapter took place on April 15, 2001, and by the spring of 2002 the Chapter had gone inactive with the University.

In the fall of 2009, interest in Pi Tau Sigma at the University was renewed, beginning with a petition being circulated for the return of California Sigma Eta. After the petition was completed and eligible students recruited, the founding re-organizational meeting was held in room VEC-202 on March 24, 2010. The eighteen founders were initiated in October 2010 with Dr. C. B. Gilpin supervising the ritual on behalf of the National Council; Mr. A. G. Teagle-Hernandez, faculty advisor, was initiated as an honorary member.