Who We Are
Chi Epsilon is the National Civil Engineering Honor Society in the United States.
We honor engineering students who have exemplified the principles of "Scholarship,
Character, Practicality, and Sociability" in the civil engineering profession.
Chi Epsilon retains as its motto the Greek letters Chi Delta Chi, which
formed the name of the junior honor society founded in 1922 at the University of
Illinois and which is one of the roots of Chi Epsilon.
Chi Delta Chi
These three letters symbolize our English motto: Conception,
Design, and Construction. These are the three phases
of every creative project. Conception is inventive; it perceives
the opportunity to do something and recognizes the means of accomplishment. Fitting
that means of accomplishment to the specific case and planning a definite method
of work is Design. Construction is the actual
building. It makes a reality of the idea of conception and the plan of design.
Conception requires imagination and intelligence. Design
requires education and practical experience. Construction requires
energy, determination, and perseverance. In these functions, your adherence to the
principles of Chi Epsilon will serve you well.
In the spring of 1922 two groups of civil engineering students at the University
of Illinois, one calling itself Chi Epsilon, and the other calling itself Chi Delta
Chi, independently of each other, took steps to petition the faculty for permission
to establish an honorary civil engineering fraternity. As soon as the existence
of the two groups became known to each other, plans were immediately propagated
to merge the two groups. Dean M. S. Ketchum, Professor Ira O. Baker, and Professor
C. C. Williams, later all chapter honor members, gave moral support to the idea
of a departmental honorary fraternity and on May 20, 1922, the Council of the University
granted permission to the petitioning group of 25 charter members to found the CHI
EPSILON FRATERNITY. Upon the shoulders of the charter officers R. A. Black, president,
Wm. A. Gurtler, vice president, and H. T. Larsen, secretary-treasurer, rested the
burden and trials during the organization period, and it was due to the care and
foresight used by these officers in the formulation of the early plans for initial
organization and expansion that Chi Epsilon has been able to progress steadily.
Dedicated to the purpose of maintaining and promoting the status of civil engineering
as an ideal profession, Chi-Epsilon was organized to recognize the characteristics
of the individual civil engineer deemed to be fundamental to the successful pursuit
of an engineering career, and to aid in the development of those characteristics
in the civil engineering student.
Engineering, the application of scientific principles to the practical needs of
society, is assuming a constantly increasing responsibility for the well-being of
all people, and thus calling for competence of the highest order. This responsibility
can be discharged only by a professional group whose members are possessed of a
good basic technical ability, intelligence, moral integrity, and effective social
poise in their relationship with the larger community of which they are part.
To contribute to the improvement of the profession, Chi Epsilon fosters the development
and exercise of sound traits of character and technical ability among civil engineers,
and its members, by precept and example, toward an ever higher standard of professional
Chi Epsilon’s National Headquarters is currently located on the campus of the University
of Texas at Arlington. The Headquarters office is staffed by Dr. Thomas. M. Petry,
the Executive Secretary, assisted by Susan C. Brown, Office Administrator, Sichan
Lee, National Office Secretary, and Michele Singleton, Assistant National Editor.
The government of Chi Epsilon is administered by delegates from student chapters
and through the National Council. Delegates and the Council meet in Conclave on
a biennium basis, always on even-numbered years, to decide on the rules of
governance for the biennium. Day-to-day operations are then administered by the
Executive Secretary, at the pleasure of the National Council. The National
Conclave is always hosted by a member school.
There are ten
District Councillors, each representing a geographic district of the United States.
These districts are as follows:
- Great Lakes
- North Central
- Rocky Mountain