Chi Epsilon was founded in the year 1923 on the campus of the University of Illinois. Its objective and purpose were then, and continue to be, to contribute to the improvement of the engineering profession by fostering the development and exercise of fundamentally sound traits of character and technical ability among undergraduate civil engineers. Chi Epsilon in contributing to such a development works to produce a higher standard of service to humanity, and this results in increasing the efficacy of the profession as an instrument of social betterment.
This goal is met in part by placing a mark of distinction on the undergraduate who has upheld the honor of the department by high scholastic ability. The academic requirements of Chi Epsilon are that a man be in the upper one-third of the senior class or in the upper one-quarter of the junior class. From this list of eligible men, the members of the society are elected by a majority vote of the active membership. Character traits, practicality, and sociability are considered in this voting procedure.
Chi Epsilon was installed on the campus of the University of Michigan in the spring of 1949. It was the twenty-fifth chapter in a rapidly growing national fraternity which now totals forty-eight active chapters within the continental limits of the United States.
Local activities are planned with a frequency of about two-week intervals throughout the year. Basically, the meetings are faculty-student get-togethers at which research and technical developments are discussed. Social gatherings are frequently a part of the agenda. At the semiannual initiation banquet those men newly elected to Chi Epsilon are introduced to the faculty of the department. The local group through pledge activities builds models and provides teaching aids for the staff of the Civil Engineering Department. Each fall the student group circularizes the alumni, and each spring a newsletter is sent out passing on the accumulated information to those who have left the campus. At frequent intervals an alumni reunion is held for those who care to return and renew old acquaintances as well as to pass on their experiences to the younger members of the profession.
These are some of the activities which resulted in the Michigan chapter receiving the award at the 1954 National Biennial Conclave as the most outstanding chapter in the country. We are proud of our tradition, and we are confident that in spite of the increasingly complex nature of the engineering work involved in ministering to the needs of society, Chi Epsilon will continue to play its part in strengthening the profession to meet the challenge.