The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.


Student Branch of the Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences

THE aeronautical societies at the University of Michigan have always performed the function of uniting enthusiasts of aeronautics into a strong progressive group.

The history of these clubs, from which our present organization known as the University of Michigan Student Branch of the Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences has emerged, preceded the founding of the Department of Aeronautical Engineering by some seven years. Although the exact date of the founding of the first club is unknown, reference can be found to an aeronautical society as far back as 1909.

The first Aero Club benefited from the very considerable interest of Dean Herbert C. Sadler, then professor and chairman of the Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, and from Professor Felix W. Pawlowski, who originated the first courses in aeronautical engineering at the University.

The activities of the club were as varied as they were extensive. A wind tunnel was constructed to study the behavior of various bodies in wind currents, and two gliders were designed and built by the members during the years 1911 to 1914. In 1915 the club was presented with a 1912 Model B Wright hydroplane, and in 1916, with a 35,000 cubic foot capacity free balloon. These were donations to the club from Russel Alger of Detroit and Frederic W. Alger ('18e) of Clarkston.

In 1925 the club's balloon was entered in the Detroit News Race and placed second. A part of the prize money was used to secure membership in the Balloon Section of the Detroit Flying Club. This enabled students to make flights in the balloons of that organization, and a number of successful trips were taken. In 1928 the club's activities were officially divided into a Balloon Section, a Glider Section, and a Motor Plane Section. The new Motor Plane Section proved its worth in 1930 by the fact that two men from this section were sent as delegates to the Collegiate Air Tour of the East.

At a meeting of the aeronautical engineers held on October 2, 1934, it was decided to form an Aeronautical Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, to be associated with the Mechanical Engineering Division already in existence. This was the first time the Aero Club had been affiliated with a national engineering society, and membership in it was subject only to the charter regulations of the national organization.

On May 19, 1936, at a combined meeting of the Aero Branch of the A.S.M.E. Page  1948and the I.A.S., the A.S.M.E. branch petitioned the I.A.S. to absorb the club under the name "University of Michigan Student Branch of the Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences." The national organization accepted the request and the Student Branch was founded. Membership to the branch is open to all students interested in aeronautical engineering.

The branch sponsors regularly scheduled technical meetings at which are presented guest lecturers and film showings. Field trips are made to aeronautical industries and government laboratories, and an annual picnic is held with the aeronautical engineering faculty. The University of Michigan Student Branch has established a record of active as well as successful participation in the annual regional conferences, organized by the various senior sections of the Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences, which give student members an opportunity to present papers in competition for cash awards. First award papers, graduate and undergraduate from each conference, are published annually. Student members may subscribe, at special rates, to the Aeronautical Engineering Review and the Journal of the Aeronautical Sciences. After graduation, any student member will automatically qualify for transfer to associate membership in the Institute.

American Institute of Chemical Engineers (Student Branch)

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers was not organized until 1908, which is in itself an indication of the youth of the profession. A Committee on Chemical Engineering Education was created at once, and this committee has had an important influence. Its functions were entirely advisory until, in 1923, the institute instructed it to survey the curricula at the schools offering programs in chemical engineering and report those which it considered as offering satisfactory courses taught according to acceptable standards. The report of the committee as adopted by the institute in 1925 listed fourteen schools in the United States as acceptable, and among them was the University of Michigan.

At the annual meeting held in December 1922, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers amended their constitution so as to form student chapters. At this same December meeting an application from the Chemical Engineering Society of the University of Michigan for admission as a Student Branch received favorable action.

Any student of the Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering is eligible for membership. The affairs of the chapter are conducted by student officers elected each semester and are supervised by a counselor who is a faculty member appointed by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

About forty meetings are held each academic year. Thirty of these consist of luncheon meetings at which the sixty to eighty students prepare their own sandwiches. Usually, a movie of general or technical interest is shown, but occasionally a panel discussion is held. About eight evening meetings, with speakers from chemical engineering firms, are held. The speakers come from throughout the country, including both the West and East coasts. A discussion period, followed by refreshments, permits great informality at these meetings. About four field trips a year are held. Usually, chemical process plants in the Detroit industrial area are inspected.

Each year a different university is host for a regional meeting of the student chapters in the area of Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, and Ohio. There is also a full-day student chapter program at each annual meeting of the American Institute Page  1949of Chemical Engineers, indicating the great interest of the parent organization in the student chapters. Whereas this student chapter stood alone in 1922, in 1956 it was the senior of 102 chapters.

American Society of Civil Engineers (Student Chapter)

The student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers at the University of Michigan was founded by twenty-four members of the senior engineering class of 1923 through the instigation of Professor Henry E. Riggs. Professor Riggs was the chapter's faculty adviser for 1923-24.

As there were a great many social societies on the campus at that time, the chapter was founded as an honorary society for civil engineers of the junior and senior years. Another engineering society, the Web and Flange, was also in existence, but it was absorbed by the student chapter a few years later.

The object of the society was to further the professional improvement of its members and to encourage intercourse with men of practical science. A student was required to have a 2.6 average and the unanimous approval of the active members in order to be accepted. From 1924-33 Professor Chester O. Wisler was adviser of the society.

In March, 1933, the society was changed from an honorary to a semihonorary group of civil-transportation engineers of the junior and senior classes. The scholastic requirements were changed to a 2.0 average, and the approval of the majority of the members was required for acceptance.

Sophomores in civil or transportation engineering became eligible for membership with the approval of the executive committee in 1936. In 1940 membership was opened to all students enrolled in the civil or transportation engineering departments and having a sophomore standing or higher; thus the society ceased to exist as an honorary group and became a professional organization.

Professor Lawrence C. Maugh was faculty adviser to the group from 1933 to 1940. Since then W. J. Emmons, Earnest Boyce, J. C. Kohl, and Donald Cortright have been faculty advisers. Professor Robert B. Harris was faculty adviser in 1957.

American Institute of Electrical Engineers and Institute of Radio Engineers

Before 1910 the American Institute of Electrical Engineers was a national organization in name only, active largely in the New York City area. About 1910 the suggestion of Professor C. F. Scott, of Yale University, led to the establishment of sections of the A.I.E.E. in the larger cities and to the establishment of branches in schools and colleges which offered adequate curriculums for training in electrical engineering. The University of Michigan branch was founded about 1906 under the guidance of Benjamin F. Bailey.

A second national electrical engineering professional society was formed somewhat later — the Institute of Radio Engineers. The University student branch is a joint organization with AIEE and IRE.

By joining the local branch students become affiliated with either one of the national professional organizations and learn something of their ideals, problems, and work. To foster interest in the organization, each national branch member receives the monthly publication of the society of his choice. Branch membership is open to any student registered in the electrical engineering curriculum.

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Chi Epsilon

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.

Eta Kappa Nu

Eta Kappa Nu is an electrical engineering society founded at the University of Illinois, on October 28, 1904, for closer co-operation among, and mutual benefit to, students and others in the profession, which by their attainments in college or in practice manifest exceptional interest and marked ability in electrical engineering.

The Beta Epsilon chapter at the University of Michigan was installed on April 23, 1937. There were eleven charter members, and the first president, Jerome B. Wiesner, was instrumental in its establishment.

To become a member, one must manifest interest and ability in electrical engineering, have a scholastic average of B or better, and be elected by the active chapter. The general activity of the society is to promote scholarship and to aid the faculty and student body in the Page  1951advancement of the profession of electrical engineering.

Quarterdeck Club

The Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering has had an honorary society since 1905. In October of that year the six members of the senior class organized a club to meet monthly to read papers and discuss subjects connected with the work of the classroom. The members called themselves the Indoor Yacht Club and selected a pin design which is still used.

After a few meetings the enthusiasm for serious papers faded out, and for the next two years the club continued only as a social group. It was revived with a more serious purpose and program under the name of Quarterdeck Club in the autumn of 1908 and has maintained that character ever since. The club preserves a file of the papers written by members for presentation at its meetings.

The society initiates members twice a year. Its admission requirements are upon a sliding scale: men with sixty-five hours of credit or more must have a grade average of C or higher, but an average higher than C is required of candidates with less than sixty-five hours of credit, the better students becoming eligible earlier in their college careers. A student whose grades average 3.5 points (halfway between B and A) at the end of thirty-three hours of work may be admitted, whereas another may become eligible with only a B, or three-point, average at the end of fifty hours, or with an average one-third of a grade above C (2.33) upon the completion of sixty hours.

Phi Delta Kappa

On January 24, 1906, the initial chapter of a professional organization for men specializing in education, known then as Phi Kappa Mu, was established at Indiana University. Within four years two additional chapters were set up in other institutions. Meanwhile two other similar fraternities had made their appearance. One, known as Phi Delta Kappa, was established at Columbia University on May 13, 1908, and the other, Nu Rho Beta, at the University of Missouri on February 23, 1909. Since all of these organizations resembled one another closely as to purposes, their amalgamation was effected on March 1, 1910, under the name Phi Delta Kappa. This action was essential, because all of them had pretensions national in scope. The parent chapter at Indiana was designated Alpha, the one at Columbia became Beta, and the other at Missouri, Gamma.

The movement thus begun has grown to unanticipated proportions. In 1956 there were eighty-four campus chapters and sixty-two field chapters in existence, with a total membership which approximates 63,000. Recently the national office, in charge of an executive staff, has been established in permanent headquarters at Bloomington, Indiana. The official publication is The Phi Delta Kappan, which appears monthly. It is now in the thirty-eighth volume.

Throughout the generation of its existence Phi Delta Kappa has emphasized a three-fold purpose, namely, research, service, and leadership. Through its individual members it is indirectly represented on practically all of the outstanding national and regional committees and governing bodies in education.

A chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, Omega, was established at the University of Michigan, March 12, 1921. During the thirty-five years of the chapter's existence, 1,606 local members have taken the fraternity's obligation. The growth of the Omega chapter has been a steady Page  1952one. Few undergraduate students have been initiated. This means that, generally speaking, the membership is characterized by two types of individuals: inexperienced graduate students with superior scholastic standing and experienced schoolmen with equally good scholastic records, who have matriculated for advanced degrees in the University. The chapter roll contains the names of many men who have achieved more than local eminence. Some are internationally known.

Phi Sigma

Phi Sigma is the only international biological honor society in existence. It is the sole representative of its field in the Association of College Honor Societies (the A.C.H.S.). Phi Sigma was founded at Ohio State University in 1915 and has grown solidly but conservatively ever since. Present initiates total more than 21,000. The elected membership and chapters are collegiate. All society policies and practices are determined by the members. Active members are mostly students and most of them are graduate students.

A governing council, elected at the biennial general meetings, is typically composed of individuals of professional rank. This council serves without financial reward to carry out instructions given in the constitution and imposed on it by the general meetings.

The object of Phi Sigma is to stimulate research in the biological sciences. Such stimulation is accomplished in many ways. All of these are strengthened by participation of the society in the A.C.H.S.

As a member of the A.C.H.S., Phi Sigma honors superior scholarship. This it does by selecting its members from superior students. It confers distinction for high achievement also through the annual Phi Sigma scholarship awards, which are made on each campus where there is a chapter. The awards are given irrespective of membership in the society.

The chapter of Phi Sigma on the University of Michigan campus is now the oldest and largest. This chapter, Beta, has played an important role in the general affairs of Phi Sigma. The following Michigan men have figured among the council officers of Phi Sigma: E. W. Sink was president in 1921 and 1922; Alexander G. Ruthven, President-Emeritus of the University of Michigan, was honorary president of Phi Sigma from 1930 through 1939; Professor A. I. Ortenburger, now at the University of Oklahoma, a Beta member as a graduate student, was council secretary and the backbone of all of Phi Sigma over the years from 1929 through 1946. He was succeeded by Henry van der Schalie, secretary from 1947 through 1950. In 1947 Karl F. Lagler became council vice-president, and since 1951 he has been president; in 1956 van der Schalie was elected council vice-president for a term of four years.

The history of Beta chapter of Phi Sigma dates from June 3, 1916. Many staff members in the biological departments of the University are members. The officers of Beta chapter are president, vice-president, corresponding secretary, recording secretary, treasurer, and editor. Student members are mostly graduate students who have shown research promise, who are biology majors, and who have a scholarship rating in the upper 35 per cent of their class.

The chapter plans its own program with a wide variety of activities ranging from the presentation of papers by members, and lectures and demonstrations by outside speakers, to field trips, biological photography salons, and other events. Meetings are monthly, in the Rackham Amphitheater.

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Phi Lambda Upsilon

The Delta Chapter of Phi Lambda Upsilon was established on the campus of the University of Michigan in 1909. Other chapters had already been formed at Illinois (1899), Wisconsin (1906), and Columbia (1909). There are, at present, 49 active chapters with a total membership of over 26,000.

Early in the year 1909, a group of graduate students felt the need for an organization of chemists to "encourage and support original research in chemistry, to raise the standards of scholarship, and to bring into closer personal contact students in the different branches of chemistry." In March, 1909, this group formed the Chemical Club of the University of Michigan. About ten men were present at this first meeting. F. E. Bartell was elected president of the club, H. A. Hard, vice-president, J. W. Robinson, secretary, and H. G. Walker, treasurer. Shortly thereafter, at the suggestion of Professor S. Lawrence Bigelow, the club made application for a charter of Phi Lambda Upsilon. The charter was granted and in May, 1909, the Delta chapter of Phi Lambda Upsilon was formally installed at the University.

The charter members of Delta Chapter were Floyd E. Bartell, James E. Harris, Glenn B. Britton, Harvey C. Brill, C. S. Robinson, H. A. Hard, L. P. Kyrides, H. G. Walker, G. H. Courey, and F. W. Hunter. Professor Bartell is the only charter member on the campus now.

To date, 1,318 men have been initiated to membership in the Delta chapter. The chapter has about 100 active members and 64 faculty members. Thirty new men were initiated during the 1956-57 school year to active membership.

Phi Lambda Upsilon is composed of male students majoring in chemistry or in chemical engineering or in other allied chemical fields, such as biological chemistry and metallurgy. Active membership consists of male graduate students and male undergraduate students above junior rank. To be active, members must be in residence at the chapter location and majoring in chemistry or active in research or administration of chemistry.

Active members are selected on two credentials. The first is that a candidate must have a high scholastic average. The National Council sets the minimum and the local chapter has the choice of its particular average which the student must meet. Having satisfied this requirement, the second is that the candidate must meet the approval of the present active group when it considers him as a prospective chemist, as an addition to the society, and as one whom they would welcome into the society.

The Delta chapter of Phi Lambda Upsilon holds regular business meetings throughout the year. The chapter also has two initiations each year and the annual banquet. Other activities include a spring and summer picnic and a Christmas party.

The chapter endeavors to be an active agent in building up contacts between the faculty and between the students as well.

Kappa Tau Alpha

Kappa Tau Alpha, a fraternity honoring scholarship in journalism, was organized at the University of Missouri in 1910, but did not become national until 1930. The Michigan chapter was the fifth to be established, in the year 1930-31, through the efforts of Professor John L. Brumm of the Department of Journalism. Charter members of KTA were David M. Nichol, Jack L. Goldsmith, Sally Ensminger, Virginia Gage, Elizabeth Gerhard, Catherine S. Howe, Mary Dunnugan, William C. Jacobs, Helen E. Musselwhite, Wilbur J. Myers, Ford W. Spikerman, Lee Rice, Alice Boter, Mary Alice Frederick, Sally Wilbur, Richard Prickett, Theresa Fein, Page  1954J. Truman Steinko, Virginia Murphy, and Ruth Gallmeyer.

KTA is organized for the recognition and encouragement of high scholarship among students of journalism in American colleges and universities in which there are properly conducted schools and departments of journalism. It is pledged to the support of high scholarship, the schools of journalism, and other projects for the improvement of the press. Kappa, Tau, Alpha — standing for Knowledge, Truth, Accuracy — are descriptive of its purpose.

Scholarship and character are the only qualifications for election. Juniors and seniors must fall within the upper 10 per cent of their class and not more than 10 per cent of the total junior-senior groups may hold membership at one time.

The chapter's chief contribution is the fostering of genuine comradeship and an esprit de corps among all students majoring in journalism. The program is broadly designed, with the emphasis on the stimulation of student interest in educational, professional problems as well as in controversial issues of the day.

Le Cercle Français

In 1956, the "Cercle Français de l'Université du Michigan" presented its fiftieth consecutive annual dramatic performance. The history of the Cercle Français is a long one: as early as December, 1902, a meeting was called to form a French club. Those at the meeting were enthusiastic. The object was "to form a French Society for increasing the study and interest in the French Language and Literature." Professor Arthur G. Canfield was made chairman of the committee in charge, and it was stated at the time that "it is intended to make this society a permanent part of student life. It is hoped that the organization will be strong and the benefits derived from it so great that once started, it will continue to prosper for years to come." On December 18 the first meeting of the Cercle Français was held for the election of officers. Early in 1903 a French lecturer, M. Mabilleau, was invited to talk to the group. As a preparation to his lecture, four lectures in French were given by members of the Department of Romance Languages.

The following year a course of public lectures on "Contemporary France" was given, and another French lecturer, André Michel, was invited to come to Ann Arbor, and on March 10, 1904, a "Soirée Dramatique" was given, comprising two short plays; another soirée took place on June 4.

Ever since those early days the Cercle Français has continued to function. Each year distinguished French scholars have been invited to deliver lectures under its auspices. Likewise, each year lectures in French have been given by members of the faculty.

The excellent presentation of Molière's Le Bourgeois-Gentilhomme under the direction of Professor Béziat de Bordes in 1907 inaugurated one of the most valuable traditions on the campus. Every year since that date the Cercle Français has presented a work of French dramatic art, classical plays alternating with contemporary successes of the Paris stage.

On many occasions special editions of the plays were published by members of the department for use in the classes, and to be preserved as souvenirs.

The play is generally given early in May, and concludes the year's program. The plays have been presented at the Whitney Theater, the Sarah Caswell Angell Hall, the Mimes Theater, and the Lydia Mendelssohn Theater.

Until his retirement from teaching in 1956, Professor Charles E. Koëlla had long been the mentor of the society and the director of its plays. Professor Denkinger is now director of the plays and Page  1955J. Carduner is the faculty adviser of the Cercle.

Besides the activities open to all, the better students of the department may be elected to membership in the Cercle Français. The active members of the Cercle meet to hear informal talks in French, play games, present short plays, and talk French.

Pi Lambda Theta

A natural consequence of the establishment of separate departments of education in American universities was the appearance of professional honorary societies for students of education. The first of these was Phi Delta Kappa, a society for men, which became a national organization in 1910. A similar society for women was organized in November of the same year.

Seven such societies for women were in existence by May, 1916. These groups united in 1917 to found a national honorary society for women in education. The name chosen was that of the oldest organization — Pi Lambda Theta, of the University of Missouri. The emblem, a key based upon the Egyptian ankh, or key of life, bears the colors blue and gold — to symbolize education and the warm spirit of friendship.

The objectives adopted by the organization are to foster professional spirit and to seek and maintain the highest standards of scholarship and professional preparation, especially among women; to work actively to further the cause of democratic education; to co-operate in the solution of problems which interpenetrate various fields of knowledge; to encourage intercultural understandings; to strive for a clear understanding of local, state, national, and international problems and to stimulate active participation in their solution; to develop a professional fellowship among women engaged in education; to encourage graduate work and to stimulate research in accordance with these purposes.

There are seven national officers, a consultant, and an editorial staff, as well as various standing and special committees. Life memberships, initiation fees, and national assessments have made possible the yearly grant by the national organization of three $2,000 fellowships — the Ella Victoria Dobbs Research Fellowship, and two P. L. T. fellowships; the creation of a loan fund for members; and the quarterly publication of the national organ, which was originally known as the Pi Lambda Theta Journal. In 1953 the name was changed to Educational Horizons. This contains articles of general interest by distinguished men and women in the field of education, as well as information about the various active university chapters and the alumnae chapters.

Xi chapter of Pi Lambda Theta was established at Ann Arbor, December 9, 1922. Dean Jean Hamilton, Jean Thomas ('22), Miss Leila Gerry, national secretary, Miss Margaret Cameron, and Natalie Jordan ('23) were the speakers at the banquet. Among the initiates were the following officers: president, Natalie Jordan; vice-president, Harriet Blum; recording secretary, Margaret Chapin; corresponding secretary, Mrs. Ivaleen Smith; keeper of the records, Margaret Welker. Professor C. O. Davis sponsored the group.

From its beginning Xi chapter has been closely associated with the national organization. Members have held national office or national committee memberships; Marguerite Hall, at one time president, was national treasurer from 1943 until 1946; she was also chairman of the advisory committee to the editor of the Journal. Mrs. Catherine Greene held the office of national corresponding secretary. Ruth Lofgren, president, 1953-54, is currently research editor. Shata Ling, Page  1956president, 1954-56, has served on the publication and on the nominating committees.

In 1926 Xi chapter adopted a scholarship award program. There is also a revolving loan fund for graduate student members.

Meetings of the Xi chapter are held once a month, except in January, when a newsletter is sent to all members. Once each semester, and also during the summer session, an invitational tea is held for prospective members. Those who are invited to membership must have a high scholastic average (B or above), must be recommended by two members of the faculty, and must give evidence of professional experience or interest. Initiation ceremonies are held three times during the calendar year. On each occasion approximately twenty-five candidates are initiated.

The activities of Xi chapter have been many and varied. In some years the programs have been built around such interests and hobbies as modern plays, music, and art. The members have also been aware of a responsibility for community service. In 1939, stimulated by Professor Edmonson, they made teacher recruitment one of their most valuable contributions to the University and to neighboring school systems. This feeling of responsibility persisted throughout the war years.

In 1953 Xi chapter adopted a project which has proved interesting and worth-while. The members have worked closely with the English Language Institute in helping to interpret American life and education for a group of foreign students who are English teachers in their native lands. These students come to Michigan each fall for four months of intensive training in English and methods of teaching it. Pi Lambda Theta members help them to find rooms in private homes and help with their entertainment while they are in Ann Arbor. In 1955 and 1956 a series of interviews between the foreign students and Ann Arbor public school students was conducted with Mrs. Shata Ling as moderator. These were recorded on tape. One set of tapes was sent to the State Department in Washington, and each student received a recording of his own interview.

As a high point in the chapter's activities, the national Biennial Council was held in Ann Arbor, August 22-26, 1955. This was attended by officers, delegates, and visitors from both the active and alumnae chapters.