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 fellowships among those who are striving and achieving in the highest ideals of our profession. Pi Tau Sigma is an honor society founded to foster the high ideals in the engineering profession, simulate and coordinate departmental activities, and promote the mutual professional welfare of its members. We are composed of the top fifteen percent of the junior and senior mechanical engineering students.
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: Professor 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, Perdue Beta, Minnesota Gamma, Illinois Delta, and Missouri Epsilon). In 1925 the expansion continued to the east with 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 Chapters-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 chapters in New York merged into one. As of 1994 150 chapters remain active.
Florida Sigma Omicron
Twenty-five honor students, under the leadership of the Mechanical Engineering Department Chairman, Dr. Robert B. Gaither, and Professor Joel S. Gilbert, petitioned Pi Tau Sigma for membership on January 31, 1968. Florida Sigma Omicron was installed on May of 1968, by a team of National Officers, headed by Mr. E. K. Springer, the National President.