Campus SocietiesPage 
MICHIGAMUA was founded in the fall of the year 1901 by a few members of the junior class of that year. One of the charter members, "Pontiac" Fred G. Dewey, wrote:
"On a night toward the close of the first semester a dozen or more juniors sat down for dinner in an already ancient hostelry, the Arlington Hotel. Then and there the aims were unanimously ratified and the choice of the formal details entrusted to committees.
"With the opening of the second semester the Tribe of Michigamua took its place among the campus organizations complete with Sachem, Wiskinke, and a Keeper of the Wampum. Names were bestowed on the braves to distinguish them from the palefaces. One of the redskins recalled a tune learned in the foothills of the Ozarks and to this were fitted the original verses of the Michigamua song. Critics have questioned the authenticity of the Indian music.
"A new Sachem supplanted the first at the beginning of the senior year and gave way to a third who sat at the head of the council table during the second semester. Meantime the idea took form that Michigamua must not perish from earth at Commencement but that the boon must be passed on in trust to others. Ten young bucks were chosen from the Class of 1903. Whitmore Lake was selected as the meeting place for the historic powwow. And there on a cloudless day in June the old braves enjoined on the young warriors observance of the tribal customs, intoned the chant for the last time, doffed the headdresses and passed on the great peace pipe."
The practice of initiating a certain number of the junior class to perpetuate the organization has been continued to the present day. The charter members of Michigamua were: Arthur Merritt Barrett, Philip Everette Bursley, Robert H. Moon, Frank William Copley, Richard D. T. Hollister, Merritt Charles McNeil, James Strasburg, William F. Temple, Claude Thorne Tuck, Henry W. Willis, John W. Woodhams, Fred G. Dewey, Chasen W. Brooks, Henry J. Brown, Arthur G. Browne, Harry S. Durant, Walter T. Fishleigh, Earl Heenan, Roscoe B. Huston, Dan A. Killian, Benjamin C. Loder, Ralph Van Deman Magoffin, Charles S. Matthews, George W. Maxey, Thomas G. Mayhugh, Lauren E. Mills, Hugh H. Parrish, George Fontaine Schmid, Daniel D. Schurtz, Herbert C. Smith, Neil W. Snow, Louis Nap. Udell, Stuart W. Utley, and Milo A. White.
With the passing of time and the ever-changing collegiate customs and ethics, in certain artificial ways the "Tribe," as it is called on the Michigan campus, has also changed — although it has fundamentally remained the same. For instance, election to membership now has more concrete rules of order than in the beginning. At first the "Tribe" was made up of a carefree group of friends who used to meet at the library every night to study and later ran a relay, among themselves on the campus, ending up with a party of cider and doughnuts at a local emporium or someone's room. Most of them were independents, and whether or not they were athletes or scholars made little difference — they were good fellows.
But the situation changed. The University enrollment began to break into the higher thousands and membership Page 1920into Michigamua came to be based on accomplishments on the campus. No longer did every student know every other student. In a sense, mass production of the automobile had pushed the horse and buggy out of the picture. Consequently, today, to become a "Brave" of the Tribe a "Paleface" must achieve prominence among his fellows in some particular extracurricular activity. If he is connected with athletics he must become captain or senior manager. If he works on any one of the publications he must win the business managership or editorship. Presidency or recording secretaryship of the Michigan Union, prominent office in the Interfraternity Council, editorship of the engineering Technic, scholastic honorary societies, etc., all of these activities at least put one's name before the student body and, consequently, the active "Braves" of Michigamua.
Now, although it is practically impossible to be elected to "Tribe" without some office or campus position, there is no hard and fast rule in this respect, and there are cases of "just plain good fellows" being selected to membership. Furthermore, attaining any one of the aforementioned positions does not assure the student that he will be selected. Essentially, and above all else, a young man chosen must be at heart a true Michigan man in the eyes of the initiating "Braves."
Other than students elected members of the faculty have from time to time been chosen as "honorary sachems" in recognition of long years of outstanding service to the University. Among such men have been R. M. Wenley, J. Bursley, F. H. Yost, H. M. Bates, M. L. Niehuss, and H. D. Crisler.
The actual initiation is called "Rope Day." Late in the spring the nucleus of the new Tribe are informed, individually, of their election by a personal midnight call of a band of "howling fiends" who throw the "young bucks" out of bed, pound them heartily on the back, and place in their hands a "birchbark," that is, the invitation. The next afternoon the "young bucks" gather to await the coming of the Tribe. In due time the "fighting braves" appear, daub the "young bucks" with red paint, throw them on the ground, tie them to a long rope by one hand, and force them to "duck-walk" across the campus to the Union, ascend seven flights of stairs into the Union Tower to the "Wigwam of Michigamua," slapping them upon their bare backs all the while. In the "Wigwam," a beautiful birchbark room, they formally become "Braves" of Michigamua and are given Indian names by which they are always known in connection with the Tribe. The "Wigwam" is decorated with paintings, hides, and items symbolizing Indian life.
Michigamua, as an organization, has representatives in every powerful group on the campus, and during the school year at its weekly meetings discusses conditions concerning the University. If the matter lies within its power Michigamua takes action to better the University in some small or large way — for example, in the establishment of the Michigan Union. Many other beneficial movements have had their motivation from the Tribe. But the name of Michigamua does not appear publicly. The "Braves" have always had the policy of working in the background through some other organization.
Thus, although Michigamua has changed, the same undying spirit of Michigan exists today as it did in the original "Tribe," and the members today might well be the same spirited group that pledged to one another: "The object of this tribe shall be to foster a spirit of Page 1921loyalty for our Alma Mater and promote good class fellowship…"
On a spring evening of each year, the members of Druids, garbed in their traditional gowns and hoods, with torches in hand, march from the Forest room in the Union to the Druid rock where some twenty neophytes await the ordeal of initiation. Finishing this informal part of the proceedings, the members, singing the "Men of Druids" song, lead the "Awenyds" back to the Forest room, where formal ceremonies are held. With these at an end, a new class is welcomed into the society to carry on the purpose and traditions of Druids.
The organization was established in 1909-10 by twenty men as the Senior Honorary Society of the Literary College, with eligibility to membership based upon meritorious services to the University and selection by the members. Professor Arthur L. Cross and the late Dean John R. Effinger were chosen as the first two honorary members from the faculty, remaining active until their deaths. Druids counts among its alumni the late Supreme Court Justice Frank Murphy and Dean Earl Moore, of the School of Music.
The purpose of Druids is to coalesce the aims and efforts of its members so as to serve the University better by lending the united support of the society to each member in his fields of activity.
Sphinx, junior men's honorary society, was founded by members of the junior Literary Class of 1906. The purpose of the founders was to establish a junior society which would be devoted to furthering class spirit and good fellowship and which would lead in the activities of the junior Literary Class.
Since its founding many well-known athletes and men who have been active in the student publications, the Union, and so on, have passed through its ranks. Among its members have been Dean Walter Rea, Bennie Oosterbaan, Tom Harmon, and Ron Kramer. About the middle of the 1920's Sphinx disappeared from the campus for a short time, but returned again in 1926.
The Sphinx signifies an Egyptian group headed by the pharaoh, and the members meet in the temple of the pharaoh. Each member has an Egyptian name.
Originally, the organization was composed of members of the junior class of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, but as the University expanded all colleges of the University, except the College of Engineering, came to be represented in its ranks. The court of the Sphinx serves to maintain a source of leadership service to the University.
In 1956 Sphinx had twenty-eight members. A room for Sphinx is provided in the Michigan Union Tower. This is its first permanent home. The society in 1956 began a campaign to raise money to decorate the room so that it might be available for Sphinx alumni returning to the University.
The colorful initiation ceremony of Sphinx takes place in the spring in front of the Library, when the neophytes, covered with brick dust, bow before the temple of the pharaoh and wade around in the Cooley Fountain pool — "looking for the River Nile."
Mortar Board is a national senior women's honorary society. It was Page 1922founded in 1906, its formation being an outgrowth of the existence, on numerous college campuses, of senior women's honor societies whose purpose was to serve. Through the pioneering efforts of four such local societies — at Swarthmore College, Cornell University, Ohio State University, and the University of Michigan — the national organization called Mortar Board came into being.
The purpose of Mortar Board is to provide for the co-operation between societies, to promote college loyalty, to advance the spirit of service and fellowship among university women, to maintain a high standard of scholarship, to recognize and encourage leadership, and to stimulate and develop a finer type of college woman.
Tapping is carried on similarly in all ninety-six chapters of Mortar Board. The members, dressed in black caps and gowns and carrying lighted candles, tap newly chosen women after closing hours. The members march through the house where the prospective member lives, singing "Thy Ideals" and awakening other girls living in the house. The members continue singing as they place a mortar board on the girl's head and give her an invitation to become a member. The next day, the new member must wear her mortar board wherever she goes. Mortar Board taps in the spring. Between five and twenty-five girls may be tapped each year.
Some time later the girls are initiated, they then sign the chapter membership list and learn of Mortar Board traditions. They receive their black and gold Mortar Board pins inscribed with the Greek letters Pi Sigma Alpha. New members attend regular meetings with the old members until new officers are elected for the following year. New members of Mortar Board are chosen by present members of the society.
As a first step in the selection of members, letters are sent to various campus organizations, house mothers, and faculty members requesting personal recommendations for qualified girls. Members of Mortar Board may also submit recommendations. The qualifications of the girl specify what she has done, how she carried out her responsibilities, and how she worked with subordinates and leaders.
In order to be eligible, girls must be second-semester juniors or first semester seniors during the spring semester when tapping takes place. Girls chosen must be outstanding in service, scholarship, and leadership and must be willing to give time and effort to being active Mortar Board members. A girl must also have a grade point average three-tenths of a point higher than the all-campus women's average, figured through the fall preceding tapping.
Each year, Mortar Board has fundraising activities as well as service projects. Cinema Guild movies are sponsored as a source of income for the society. Mortar Board members serve as ushers for the movies and wait on table at the League as a service project as well as a source of income. The Mortar Board Society aided the Gorham Company in campus research on a new pattern. Mortar Board members were hostesses at the first alumnae tea held in the home of President and Mrs. Hatcher in 1955. The group has aided the local chapter of the League of Women Voters and has raised money to complete the Alice Crocker Lloyd Drama Collection in the League Library.
Mortar Board sponsors a State Day, when girls from other chapters in the area visit to discuss common topics of interest, to share ideas, and to get to know each other. Mortar Board, with the other senior honoraries, sponsors a Career Day Conference for all women on campus. On this day outstanding representatives Page 1923of many fields of interest are on hand to inform and advise students. Mortar Board is currently working on a project of organized tours of the University of Michigan campus and the Ann Arbor area for foreign students.
Each year Mortar Board gives a one hundred dollar scholarship to a deserving girl who is about to enter her senior year. Each year, also, national Mortar Board gives at least one Katherine Wills Coleman fellowship for graduate work. This is named for a former national president. The fellowship carries an award of five hundred dollars. Any active member of a chapter is eligible if she can quality as a candidate for an advanced degree in an accepted university.
From its beginning, Mortar Board spread over the campuses of America, always aiming to serve the ideals of discriminating service, responsible leadership, and the application of scholarly principles to personal and general problems.
Members of the secret society of Owls could rightly lay claim to belonging to the oldest organization of its type on the Michigan campus. Launched in the early spring of 1860, it went out of existence with World War I in 1918 following a history which offers in itself innumerable commentaries on life about a university campus. The affection of its members for Owls has been one of its characteristics — a characteristic which brought it back into activity after several lapses. Repeated promptings have come at various times from alumni, urging still another "revival," so finis cannot be written to the story of Owls until all of its present living alumni have ceased their pleas.
Rigid adherence to historical data prompts the observation that only by inference does there exist a link between the society launched in 1860 and the Owls of the forepart of the twentieth century. Sometime during the years immediately following 1869 that first organization ceased to exist — so the written records indicate. In 1899 there was launched Gamma Delta Nu, familiarly known as Owls. Less than ten years later its members were referring to the Owls of 1860 as their founders, though some among those who wrote the constitution of Gamma Delta Nu deny any knowledge of a relationship.
In the years from 1913 to the closing period of its active life, all "fledglings" were taught that Owls was launched during Civil War days, though the members of that time were in error in their interpretation of the stimulus to organization. The story then passed by word of mouth from old to new members described the foundation as having been prompted by the desire of students on the Michigan campus to be of assistance to the widows and children of fellow students killed in the Civil War. It was this interpretation which prompted the Owls of 1916 to launch a practice which has existed — though handled by other agencies — to the date of this writing, namely the Christmas Goodfellow program on the campus.
The story of Owls is told in the "Owl Book," a cherished and hallowed relic of the society, though but a scribbled and disorganized record of less than twenty years of its existence. This book, after many disappearances and many searches, is now a part of the Michigan Historical Collections.
The Owls society, brought into existence in the early spring of 1860 by members of the class of '61, was modeled on the Yale senior societies. It is said to have been stimulated by Professor Andrew D. White, himself a member of Skull and Bones at Yale. Membership Page 1924was recruited from the rosters of the Greek letter fraternities on the campus, and records state that one of its purposes was the breaking down of the barriers of misunderstanding and enmity existing among these societies. It was secret in act and form, not even having a known name. Its symbol was an owl, which gave it the title by which it was generally known.
Almost immediately after it was formed it was attacked both by the campus at large and then by the very secret societies it was supposed to aid. Shortly, certain of these societies forbade allegiance to it by members, and in its latter years, about 1868, many of its members were nonfraternity men. It disappeared from campus about 1870.
Gamma Delta Nu came into existence with a membership recruited from the senior class of 1899. It was composed of nonfraternity men who were congenial and who sought a vehicle for their enjoyment of one another's company. From 1913 to 1915 the society lapsed into comparative inactivity, but was brought back to full bloom by the one member left on the campus. As this man had joined a social fraternity in the interim, he reverted to the original principle of Owls and recruited the membership from fraternity men. Thus Owls had completed the cycle.
With the coming of World War I the membership, almost to a man, enlisted for service. Many never returned to the campus, receiving their degrees "in absentia," and Owls passed out of existence.
The Senior engineering honorary society Vulcans was organized in 1904, in order, as is stated in the preamble of the constitution, "to promote good fellowship and bring about better acquaintance amongst the congenial members of the senior engineering class of the University of Michigan."
The society was named after the Greek god who first welded together iron and steel. The emblem is an anvil bearing the word "Vulcan" and the class year.
Three kinds of membership were established: active, graduate, and honorary. Scholarship is not the sole requirement for initiation; a candidate must be popular and active in both scholastic and social affairs in the College of Engineering to be considered for membership. Junior students who fulfill these requirements are voted on by the active members and their initiation is conducted late in the spring. For eligible senior students who have been passed by in the spring initiation is held in the fall. No definite annual number of new members has been set, but a limit of about twenty members a year has been established by precedent.
Meetings are held in the Vulcan room in the tower of the Michigan Union every second Sunday evening. Aside from providing its members with this form of fellowship and inspiration, the society's principal active function is to participate in student affairs of the College of Engineering and of the University as a whole, in co-operation with the other honorary societies on the campus.
Triangles, junior engineering honorary society, was founded in the year of 1907 by "Stimmie" Stimson, with the purpose of promoting good fellowship and maintaining college and class spirit. The charter membership consists of twenty-two students chosen from the junior engineering class and honorary members chosen from the faculty. The original charter provided for the election of officers Page 1925each semester, and this as well as the other general policies of Triangles has remained unchanged since the founding of the Society.
In maintaining college and class spirit the endeavors of the society have been many. The members have been leaders in various charity and relief drives. They have supported the Goodfellow drives and Red Cross relief projects with earnest work.
The requirements for selection of members are of such a nature as to encourage activity in the many extracurricular activities offered at the University of Michigan. Prominent men from athletics, student publications, and political activities have always been chosen, thereby co-ordinating all class activities into a cosmopolitan group.
Each year members are chosen from the sophomore class in May. These men in turn choose in the following fall additional men. More men may then be elected by the society as a whole if they deem such action fit. Active membership ceases at the end of the junior year, seniors having been made passive. This system has been in effect since the founding of the society and has worked very satisfactorily. Honorary members have been elected from time to time.
Members of the society benefit by a closer association with the faculty members and as a consequence gain a broader education.
The Engineering Council
The Engineering Council of the University of Michigan was the outgrowth of a need which was felt by members of the faculty and of the student body of the College of Engineering. It was formed under a constitution during the year 1927 and has served as a linking factor between faculty and students. It has also co-ordinated the various engineering societies, has served to perpetuate the time-honored traditions of the College, and has promoted the general welfare of students of engineering. The Council was discontinued in 1947 because of a financial misadventure with an ice show. Soon thereafter an Engineering Steering Committee was formed, and in 1954 this became the reactivated Engineering Council.
In former years there were a number of student organizations maintained for the purpose of reading papers and holding discussions along various scientific lines, all acting more or less independently of each other. The Engineering Council represents all departments of the College of Engineering through designated members from the several student branches of professional societies: ASCE, ASME, AIEE-IRE, AIChE, SAE, IAS, SAM, and Quarterdeck. Honor societies, Tau Beta Pi and Vulcans, are represented by one member each. In addition to these, members are elected from the engineering classes, as follows: each of the four class presidents and five members at large elected by the Council, and one member from the senior class to serve for one year, the editor of the Michigan Technic, and three members from the College of Engineering faculty.
All student members of the Engineering Council must have a general average grade of at least 2.0 and must not be on probation. Each such member is to be a full-time undergraduate student registered in the College.
Members are required to attend all meetings, serve on committees to which they are appointed, and, when requested by the council, make written reports of activities under their supervision. The regular meetings of the council are held twice a month on a fixed schedule.
A majority of the members elect constitutes a quorum, and a majority of the members present at any regular or special Page 1926meeting of any group determines the approval for that group.
The officers of the council consist of a president, a vice-president, and a secretary-treasurer. Their duties are such as usually pertain to these offices.
The duties of the Engineering Council are to supervise any meetings, competitions, or functions in which engineering students participate; to represent the student body of the College of Engineering in any discussions with other colleges or schools; to promote frequent social entertainments amongst engineering students; to present petitions or requests of the students in connection with the College of Engineering to the proper faculty or administrative authority; and to advance the interests of the students, the College of Engineering, and the University of Michigan in all ways within its power, particularly, by co-operating with the Student Government Council, the Engineering Honor Council, and the constituent engineering societies. The council plays an important part in the management of the Engineers' Slide Rule Ball and the Engineering Open House, and is always at the beck and call of the dean in any of the activities of the College of Engineering.
The Barrister's Society
In the spring of 1904, several members of the junior class of the Law School conceived the idea of establishing a senior honorary society for the Law School. On May 24, 1904, a meeting was held at Newberry Hall to discuss the formation of such a society. At this meeting a committee of five men, W. E. Wilcox, E. R. Conder, W. R. Lloyd, O. L. Crumpacker, and D. D. Williams, was appointed to draft a constitution and bylaws. A week later the constitution and bylaws were approved, and an election of officers took place. Thus was born the Barrister's Society.
The object of the society, as stated in its constitution, is "the social and professional advancement of its members and of the Law School." The general intention was to supplement the work of the classroom with social as well as intellectual activity in a more congenial atmosphere, and with this end in view, the Barristers have functioned. In its first year, the society held biweekly meetings. It was customary at those meetings to have several members of the society deliver papers on current topics of the law and Barrister ideals. However, this practice was apparently abandoned after several years.
The Barristers flourished without interruption down to 1938. During these years the society was active socially, holding banquets, luncheons, and parties quite regularly. For many years the Barristers cosponsored with the Vulcans and Druids an annual "BVD Dance" until it fell into disfavor with the dean of students and had to be discontinued. In 1938 the Barrister's Society was suspended by the dean of students for one year. After a year in limbo, a more discreet Barrister's Society emerged. Soon World War II depleted the ranks of the society, but it managed to keep alive through the years of the war.
The postwar years brought about the establishment of new traditions and functions for the Barristers. In the spring of 1947, the Barristers sponsored the Crease Dance and published the Raw Review, and the Wig and Robe Dance was sponsored in December, 1947. These dances proved to be successful, and they have been held since then under the auspices of the society. In the fall of 1947, the black string bow tie made its appearance as the hallmark of membership. In recent years the Barristers have Page 1927made a substantial yearly contribution to the operation of the Case Club, and a scholarship fund has been established to assist deserving Law students not qualified for Law School scholarships because of grades. The basic objectives of the Barrister's Society have probably changed little from the ideals of its founders fifty years ago, but particular "traditions" have come and gone and new ones have been created to fill their places.
Each spring the members select men from the junior class who have distinguished themselves through their leadership in various Law School activities, through scholarship and good fellowship for membership in the society. The new members are inducted into the Barristers in the traditional initiation ceremony, marked by the wearing of the judicial wigs and robes by the old members. The new men continue the functions of the society into the following year, and during the following fall semester, they select additional members of the senior class for membership in the society.
The membership rolls are filled with the names of men who have later distinguished themselves, and the hopes of the charter members, that "an organization be founded which would become an agent for good to the Law School and its members," have been realized, as attested by the fact of its continued existence for more than five decades.
In 1914 a group of medical students gathered to form an honorary society. They selected the name of Galen, a famous Greek physician who lived about 1800 years ago, for the organization. Samuel W. Donaldson ('16m) and Hubert R. John ('16m) were instrumental in the formation of the society and did much of the preliminary organizational work. Other members of the group in its first year were Albert C. Furstenburg, '15m, now Dean of the Medical School; Maurice R. Lohman, '15m; Frank P. Hunter, '15m; Walter I. Lillie, '15m; John W. Sherrick, '15m; Alonzo C. Smith, '15m; Clarence A. Christensen, '16m; Frederick Harrison,' 16m; Edgar V. Beardslee, '16m; Evan G. Galbraith, '16m; George J. Curry, '15m; Glen J. Wilmore, '16m; Harold R. Henderson, '16m; Loren K. Meredith, '16m; William M. Dugan, '16m; John J. O'Leary, '16m; J. Bradford Seeley, '16m; and Richards E. Amos, '15m.
In the beginning the new society did not have the broad interests later developed. It was organized primarily to fill the need for a liaison agency between students and faculty of the Medical School. Meetings were held at different medical fraternity houses. Faculty men were invited to become honorary members. The new society began to form a closer bond between the students and faculty.
From modest beginnings the society has developed a comprehensive program of service to the University and to the children in its Hospital perhaps unequaled by a comparable society anywhere. Galen Medical Society, supported by the generosity of students and townspeople, has broadened its original interests to brighten the lives of thousands of individuals.
On the night of November 3, 1927, William W. Thomas ('28m) suggested at a meeting of the society that a tag day be held to raise money to "help the poor kids in University Hospital at Christmas time." Out of this suggestion has come happiness to many thousands of children.
Thoms was appointed to head a tag day committee that same evening, with Fred M. Doyle ('28m) and Glenn A. Carmichael ('28m) as his associates. In Page 1928the following month Galens held its first tag day, followed by its first annual Christmas party for shut-in children in the University Hospital.
Tag days have been held by members of Galens annually ever since in order to provide Christmas cheer and year-long vocational and recreational interest to children in the Hospital. Another source of revenue for the society is the Galens newsstand, operated at the Hospital, and the annual Caduceus Ball and Medical School Smoker also produce income which goes into the general fund.
The society has set up a loan fund to assist medical students, and Galens scholarships are also available. The society has donated money to obtain much-needed surgical equipment for a hospital in England. Contributions have been made to the Hospital Bulletin, to the Internship Committee, to the photography shop at the Hospital for the purpose of increasing medical knowledge by study of photographs, to the maintenance of a physiotherapist for polio cases, and to numerous other projects.
In February, 1928, the society received a letter from Miss Dorothy Ketcham, then Director of the Social Service Department of the Hospital, outlining the need for a prevocational shop and for recreational facilities for children confined to the Hospital. Members of Galens foresaw the enormous value of such an investment and arranged to provide funds for its inception.
The Galens Shop was begun in 1928. It is now regarded as the finest venture of its kind in any general hospital. Financed through the generosity of University students and Ann Arbor townspeople the shop was founded and carefully nurtured through the years by Galens and Miss Dorothy Ketcham.
All children who are confined to the University Hospital are welcome to the Galens Shop. When they are physically limited in their movements the materials of the shop are brought to their bedside. The project has immeasurable therapeutic value.
Self-sufficiency is the keynote of the shop's program. Under the careful guidance of a thoroughly trained instructor, the children are free to select what they desire from the multitude of tools, work projects, toys, games, books, and records. The program attempts to help the children attain self-sufficiency through individual expression. They learn to design and create things which produce inner satisfaction. They express themselves through materials and tools. And they learn the all-important faculty of sharing their experiences, working together, and encouraging each other.
The materials and tools provided in the shop are many and varied. There are jig saws, a lathe, a sander, a drill and circular saw — all equipped with safety features and run by electricity. There are innumerable hand tools, all readily accessible to the children, and work tables, paint facilities, drying racks, and plenty of books and patterns designed to stimulate ideas.
Out of the Galens "Fun Fund" have come books, games, manipulative toys, many kinds of dolls, trains, and endless other toys and educational tools. A complete record library, designed especially for the children, is maintained. The wonder, amazement, and sheer joy of finding these things at a hospital have been expressed in the eyes and voices of thousands of sick children.
Initiates into Toastmasters, all-campus honor society, are told that the organization is the second oldest of its classification at the University. Priority, they are advised, goes to Owls, though Owls became inactive shortly after World War I and has been unknown to undergraduate generations since that time. Thus far no advocate has come forward Page 1929to dispute the contention made by the members of Toastmasters.
Toastmasters came into existence in 1897. There was no formal launching of the society; it merely began in an informal way and grew to man's size. Early members gave to Paul A. Cowgill the right to the title of founder. Cowgill had been a student at Michigan State Normal College at Ypsilanti before entering the University, and there had gathered together a group of students who enjoyed making speeches after having partaken of a meal. Originally those "meals" had been the contents of boxes of delicacies from "home."
The scheme proved so enjoyable that when Cowgill entered the University he sought to perpetuate the idea. He was successful, for the informal gatherings which he engineered were relished by the participants. Formal organization was the natural consequence and Toastmasters was in full swing.
The society took a unique place on the campus. Though classified with class honor societies, it made little pretense to being other than a rather selfish, social organization. The members gathered regularly for a dinner. The appointed chairman of the evening took charge after the menu; announced topics for "toasts" only a few seconds before the member was to respond; and at the close of the toast program a "critic" made scathing comment on the after-dinner-speaking mannerisms of his fellows.
Toastmasters became, consequently, a valuable training ground for extemporaneous speaking. The meetings were enjoyable, for there was sought for membership the witty and the alert student. Alumni pride in membership in Toastmasters is general among those who have appeared on its rosters. This alumni pride resulted in the reviving of the club in 1934 after a period of inactivity between 1921 and that date.
HONORARY SCHOLASTIC SOCIETIES
Phi Beta Kappa
ALTHOUGH the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts is the oldest unit of the University on the campus, dating from 1841, and for the first years offered only a classical program, the local chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was not established until 1907. The Alpha chapter of Michigan was an outgrowth of a society, which had started in the spring of that year, known as the Alpha Honor Society. It was founded by Phi Beta Kappa men on the faculty, who looked forward to the time when a chapter of the national society should be granted. For many years the need for formal recognition of intellectual and scholarly achievements of students had been keenly felt by both students and faculty alike, and at times this interest had been openly expressed but without results.
In the autumn of 1907 the National Council of the United Chapters granted to the members of the society, who were on the faculty of the University of Michigan, a charter for a chapter to be known as the Alpha Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa in the state of Michigan, the first in the state. Twenty-four names of these faculty members appear on the charter.
Although the oldest "Greek letter" society, originally organized in 1776, it is no longer in any sense of the word a secret body. Its founders were really and avowedly bound together to devote themselves to the encouragement and recognition of undergraduate scholarship Page 1930and its responsibilities. Since 1883 the various chapters have been united in a representative organization, the members of whose council meet every three years to transact general business. Its helpful traditions and stimulating personal associations have contributed materially to the friendship and fellowship of scholars.
One of the few references to the early period at Michigan reads:
Nearly fifty years ago a movement to organize a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at Michigan was set on foot, but the absence of a marking system and the indifference or hostility of the Faculty defeated the project. It is to be regretted that there exists among us no society instituted for the purpose of high scholarship in classical studies; and perhaps the obstacles in the way of founding such a society are not insurmountable.
(The Michigan Book, 1898, p. 184.)
Phi Beta Kappa was not mentioned in the "Minutes" of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts of that period. According to record, the faculty on July 10, 1848, forbade the students to organize a literary society. It is possible that this society could have been a proposed chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, but it is more likely that the organization was to have been a local society with an active undergraduate program.
An unsigned and undated history of the Alpha chapter of Michigan reads as follows: "The official historian of the University remarks that as 'an indication of its free spirit … it is characterized by the total absence, from the beginning, of a marking system, and of a hierarchy of college honors, and the sole reliance upon natural incentives to secure study and win scholarship.'" These words explain two difficulties which so long attended the introduction of a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa into the University of Michigan: its aim of fostering scholastic distinction was felt to conflict with the educational ideal of the University, and in the absence of a marking system it was argued that the appropriate machinery was lacking for selecting students with accuracy and fairness. Apparently, the gradeless recording system resulted from a belief that distinctions, even on the basis of scholarship, were out of place in a state university. Many educators, however, were of the opinion that grades encouraged high scholarship, and no doubt many members of the first University of Michigan faculty were well aware of and concurred in this view. Although not positively known, it is believed that their decision to dispense with grades sprang from sincere conviction and that the choice was made for the purpose of preserving democratic equality.
No account of a preliminary discussion of grades has been preserved, for the marking of passed, not passed, or conditioned had become established in the five years before the record of faculty meetings was begun. This record shows that the members of the faculty were men of stern temperament who were more disposed to give a student demerits for inattention to his studies than to hold out inducements for superior work. The task of a faculty member, as thus conceived, was to hold the student unremittingly to the performance of his duty. On January 9, 1865, Professor Alexander Winchell wrote in his diary: "Had call from Tutor Adams in reference to a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in the University." Winchell was absent from many of the faculty meetings in that eventful year, and apparently nothing came of the suggestion.
President Angell was greatly surprised Page 1931at the absence of grades when he came to the University in 1871, but soon became an earnest advocate of the practice which he found here. Various comments on the subject are made in his annual reports. The quality of the class work, he said, proved that the mature student did not require grades as an incentive. The upperclassmen, in particular, were studying not for marks or credits, but "with a sincere devotion to learning seeking in a most generous and earnest spirit the broadest and deepest culture obtainable here." Students who might otherwise have suffered from a planless program under the freer elective system, which he favored, by the lack of grades were thus spared the temptation of choosing courses simply to obtain a high average. Although President Angell was a member of Phi Beta Kappa (Brown University, 1849) and served as a member of the first senate (1883-92), he did not early encourage the establishment of a chapter on this campus. By 1883, when the United Chapters were organized, Phi Beta Kappa was represented by a total of twenty-five chapters, the "West" being represented by three in Ohio — Adelbert College of Western Reserve University, Kenyon College, and Marietta College. The geographical distribution of chapters rapidly changed, however, in the decade 1887-96; six of the sixteen added during that time were in the Middle West, and of these, four were in state universities younger than the University of Michigan.
The traditional indifference of the University toward recognition of exceptional scholarship persisted outwardly, but with the passage of time and the increase in the material prosperity of the state, different ideas of education arose. Students who had done good work here were resentful when former high-school classmates proudly displayed Phi Beta Kappa keys won at other institutions. This injustice was recognized by faculty members who as undergraduates elsewhere had been elected to the society.
In 1898-99 definite action was taken. A petition, signed by both undergraduates and graduates, requesting the establishment of a chapter was handed to Professor Henry S. Carhart to be presented to the proper authorities. Although it failed of its purpose, it precipitated much discussion.
Professor Robert M. Wenley reported on the objections (Mich. Alum., 6[1899-1900], p. 47). In outline, among his principal points, were these:
- I. Theoretical or even imaginary objections.
A. The judgment of the world may reverse that of the society; hence, an election to Phi Beta Kappa has no value.
- Answer: All academic judgments are subject to the same risk, but this by no means lessens the value of education or the rewards which are conferred upon outstanding students.
B. Election to Phi Beta Kappa from the senior class tends to place too much emphasis upon the first degree.
- Answer: If this means that it might weaken the incentive to seek distinction by doing graduate work, it should be noted that the very students earnest and able enough to enter Phi Beta Kappa are the ones most likely to proceed with graduate work and that the best graduate schools are in those institutions in which Phi Beta Kappa maintains a chapter.
C. It will cause undue rivalry among the students.
- Answer: The student body at the University of Michigan is far too large to suffer from such rivalry, and scholastic honors must compete with those bestowed for participation in such activities as athletics.
D. The age-old difficulty, women.
- Page 1932Answer: The constitution of Phi Beta Kappa does not prevent the election of women members; in fact, several chapters have made such elections and still survive.
- A. The judgment of the world may reverse that of the society; hence, an election to Phi Beta Kappa has no value.
- II. Practical difficulties.
A. The lack of a grading system, which many think absolutely necessary to the proper conduct of elections of Phi Beta Kappa.
- Answer: The society is able to adapt itself to existing conditions.
B. The difficulty of making a choice under the existing conditions.
- Answer: The task is not impossible, and the society will undertake it.
- A. The lack of a grading system, which many think absolutely necessary to the proper conduct of elections of Phi Beta Kappa.
An event which fostered the cause of Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Michigan was the abolition in 1901 of the four time-honored degrees of bachelor of letters, bachelor of philosophy, bachelor of arts, and bachelor of science in favor of an omnibus bachelor of arts degree and an almost completely elective program of studies. In a few years the effects of the greater freedom became noticeable. Less serious students sought the path of least resistance; others were overwhelmed by their own ambition. Out of the confusion emerged the necessity for encouraging high scholastic achievement.
The Michigan Chapter of Sigma Xi was established in 1903. For a few years thereafter, membership was open to seniors in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts who had done the greater part of their work in science and had excelled in scholarship. This award for superior students in science made the lack of a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa the more conspicuous. The final successful attempt to establish a chapter came from the students themselves. A feeling was growing among the more serious undergraduates that higher scholarship would be promoted by such academic distinction as Phi Beta Kappa could confer. At length in 1906 a new movement was begun under the leadership of two organizations, Quadrangle and Mortar Board, made up of members chosen on the basis of high scholarship and literary achievement. A petition was prepared in which the following points were brought out:
- 1. That investigation has made clear that the desire for some formal recognition of scholarship and personal worth is strong throughout the student body.
- 2. That the University of Michigan recognizes merit along other lines but makes no formal acknowledgment of intellectual and scholarly attainments of the students.
- 3. That Phi Beta Kappa selects its members in the senior year, when the students of the University have demonstrated their ability and their personal worth.
- 4. That Phi Beta Kappa has a chapter in all the other large colleges of the country, and so helps to uphold a certain standard of scholarship and character in the college world, and it seems accordingly desirable that the University of Michigan, as a recognized power in education, should contribute her support to this end.
- 5. That Phi Beta Kappa confers distinction without material advantages.
- 6. That Phi Beta Kappa is a democratic institution, in that its methods are known to every student and it is not exclusive, since its honors are open for the competition of all.
- 7. That the plan under consideration does not necessitate a definite grading or marking system.
On January 30, 1907, a meeting of the faculty members of Phi Beta Kappa was called to consider the question of organizing a chapter at the University of Michigan. The names of the eleven professors who responded to this first call were: Arthur G. Canfield, Arthur Fair-banks, John A. Fairlie, Francis W. Kelsey, Alfred H. Lloyd, Joseph L. Markley, Frederic L. Paxson, Walter B. Pillsbury, John S. P. Tatlock, Hugo P. Thieme, and Robert M. Wenley. Mr. Page 1933Lloyd was elected temporary chairman and Mr. Fairlie temporary secretary. The student petition was then read. On the motion of Mr. Paxson those present formed themselves into the Alpha Honor Society of the University of Michigan, and a president, a secretary, and an executive committee of three were elected. After conferring with President Angell a constitution for the present honor society was drawn up, and a formal application was forwarded to the senate of the United Chapters requesting its endorsement for a charter. This application was signed by Henry C. Adams, Henry S. Carhart, Arthur L. Cross, William V. N. Garretson, William H. Hobbs, Herbert A. Kenyon, Edward H. Kraus, John F. Shepard, F. M. Taylor, W. H. Wait, H. L. Wilgus, and Max Winkler, in addition to the eleven who had organized the Alpha Honor Society.
On March 8, 1907, the senate of the United Chapters unanimously recommended to the Council that a charter be granted for a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Michigan. On the strength of this action, the Alpha Honor Society then proceeded to apply to seniors in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts the same estimates and tests of personality, character, and scholarship that would have been applied had the election been made to a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, and on May 8, 1907, elected to membership ten men and nine women.
On May 28, 1907, a reception in their honor, followed by a dinner, was held in Barbour Gymnasium. Professor Alfred H. Lloyd, president, presided. Professor Herbert C. Sadler, as representative of Sigma Xi, welcomed the new organization to the University community; the other speakers of the evening were Professors Cross, M. L. D'Ooge, Fairbanks, Hobbs, R. Hudson, and Kelsey.
The National Council of the United Chapters, on September 12, 1907, adopted the recommendation made by the senate in the previous March.
Two months later, on November 13, 1907, the Alpha chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa of Michigan was installed by the president of the United Chapters, Professor Edwin A. Grosvenor of Amherst College. The names of President Angell and the twenty-three faculty members who had signed the application appear on the charter. Students from the senior class of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and members of Sigma Xi were guests at the ceremony, which took place in Sarah Caswell Angell Hall. The Michigan chapter thus founded comprised sixty-four members. The men and women of the class of 1907 who had previously been admitted to the Alpha Honor Society were formally elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and the Alpha Honor Society ceased to exist.
The installation of a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa marked one of the most important changes which had taken place at the University in many years. There was placed before the student body a definite challenge which could arouse ambition and quicken interest in scholarly achievements. Unfortunately, some of the old prejudice still lingered. Professor Alfred H. Lloyd, to whose tact, energy, and enthusiasm much of the credit and success for its establishment was due, wrote:
Real democracy must do all in its power to put all men, as well as all the interests and affairs of men, on equal footing in the sense of securing to all equal opportunity, but it can never do without excellence and the cordial, public recognition of it. What renders conscious excellence or publicly recognized and applauded excellence unworthy and undemocratic is, not by any means the excellence itself nor the consciousness or applause of it, but the unconsciousness of its responsibilities. In short, equal opportunity, public recognition of excellence, and public Page 1934service make the real democracy.
(Mich. Alum., 14 [1906-7], pp. 100-103.)
A delicate and difficult task confronted the new organization. Since the election of alumni was permitted by the rules of the United Chapters, it was agreed that good students of former years, who had been denied recognition by the tardy arrival of the chapter, should receive the honor, even if late. The charter members needed assistance in this evaluation, and they accordingly elected eleven other faculty members, all of whom had been graduated from the University and, by reason of their long association with the students, were in a position to render valuable advice. They were Professors Wooster W. Beman, Charles H. Cooley, Martin L. D'Ooge, Joseph H. Drake, Richard Hudson, Moritz Levi, Fred N. Scott, Claude H. Van Tyne, Allen S. Whitney, Dean Myra B. Jordan, and Dean John O. Reed.
From the long list of graduates from the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, prior to 1907, recommendations for alumnus membership were made. It was necessary, to some extent, to consider achievement subsequent to graduation, but in making the selections the members of the committee kept constantly in mind the fact that excellence in undergraduate scholarship was a prime prerequisite for election to Phi Beta Kappa. Therefore, so far as older teachers were willing to trust their memories and college records were available, undergraduate scholarship was the determining factor. All in all 452 elections of alumni were made before the chapter decided in 1932 to discontinue elections to alumnus membership. The action was taken not because of any waning of desire to give due recognition but because the loss of many older members of the faculty had made it increasingly difficult to obtain fair means of judgment. Another reason was the growing feeling in the society at large that the practice of electing alumni might easily be carried to excess.
The charter permits the election of honorary members, but the chapter has always been wary in availing itself of this privilege. In the fifty years of its existence only five such elections have been made.
Quite properly, inasmuch as the fraternity was organized with the purpose of giving recognition to high scholarship among undergraduates, the chapter has devoted its energy chiefly to making as careful and discriminating a choice as possible from the classes which have graduated since 1907. The primary ground of distinction is manifested by excellence in scholarship, as well as the qualifications of character and personality stressed by the parent organization. Furthermore, it is expected that only students who have taken at least one-half of their work in languages, literature, fine arts, history, political and social sciences, mathematics, philosophy, and science other than applied science may be considered as candidates.
At first, only seniors in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts were elected, but when the School of Education was opened in 1921 its seniors also were made eligible, since so much of their work was done in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. In 1927 the chapter voted to elect yearly not more than fifteen juniors of exceptionally high academic standing. Since 1930 graduate students who meet the rigid requirements have also been eligible for election; an amendment passed at the 1928 triennial council meeting made such elections possible. The first students from the School of Music were chosen in 1942.
On May 9, 1908, the first annual banquet Page 1935was held at the Michigan Union, at which the principal address was given by Professor George H. Palmer of Harvard University. The election of new members takes place once a year in the spring, and the initiates are honored at a banquet with a guest speaker and two student speakers, one representing the women initiates, the other the men. All in all, to June, 1956, a total of 3,561 elections have been made: 452 alumni members, 5 honorary members, 206 graduate students, 2,366 seniors and 313 juniors from the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, 162 seniors from the School of Education, and 57 seniors from the School of Music.
In addition to the students who have been elected, all members of the faculty who have been chosen by this or any other chapter are considered active members of the Alpha Chapter of Michigan. Members of other chapters of Phi Beta Kappa, living in the vicinity, may affiliate with this chapter.
The selection of members is based on experience that undergraduate scholarship is a good test of both ability and character. It is impossible to avoid occasionally missing an eligible student. Sometimes, men of great ability make poor showing in their college work, but in the long run the intellectual leaders in a class are at its head, and these are they whom Phi Beta Kappa wishes to add to its list. Since the Alpha chapter of Michigan was ushered into the University community, it is believed that high ideals of scholarship have been materially promoted.
The Society of the Sigma Xi is a national organization, the aim of which is the furtherance of scientific research by the banding together of workers who have contributed, or may be expected to contribute, to the advancement of knowledge in any science. It was founded at Cornell University in 1886 through the merger of two independent movements started there — one for the encouragement of pure science, which had originated in the field of geology and had later been broadened under the name Society of Modern Scientists, and the other a local engineering society called Sigma Xi. The new Sigma Xi soon became a national society designed to promote all scientific research, but, spreading first to schools of engineering, it emphasized the applied aspect of science until it had become established in large endowed and state universities of more general scope. At the end of fifty years, sixty-eight regular chapters were functioning, besides thirty-four clubs or associations not possessing the privilege of electing new members.
In May, 1903, thirty-five members of the faculty and graduates of the University of Michigan obtained the charter for a chapter of Sigma Xi. The local organization declined a proffered Greek letter in favor of the simple designation the "Michigan chapter." Under this name it was installed June 4, 1903, with Professor J. Playfair McMurrich as president. The Michigan chapter later relinquished to the University of Missouri all claim to the letter M or its equivalent.
At one of its earliest business meetings (March 24, 1904), before selecting any students for membership the society voted to admit women. This vote was promptly reconsidered, but promptly reaffirmed, and of the twenty-nine students and five faculty members elected at that meeting, six were women.
Election to membership was conducted, in the early years, by vote of the entire chapter upon recommendations from committees in the various colleges and schools. As the University rapidly Page 1936grew, this method became so unwieldy and erratic that in 1913 the council of the chapter was made the final electoral body. For many years regular nominations for membership were made only in the spring, with additional fall elections in the two years 1921 and 1922. At present nominations are made in November and initiation is in March.
The conditions of membership have changed from time to time. At first the election of students was based, as it was at most other institutions, principally upon scholarship. Undergraduate members were drawn from the upper 10 per cent of the seniors who had done most of their work in science. Phi Beta Kappa, whose University of Michigan chapter was installed in 1907, did not elect seniors pursuing chiefly scientific courses; in effect, therefore, the two honor societies were complementary. A formal proposal to refuse for Sigma Xi any senior who had been elected to Phi Beta Kappa was defeated in 1910, and again in 1919; nevertheless, several students were rejected in 1920 on the specific ground that they had previously been elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
From the first, research was one of the prime qualifications for the admission of graduate students and faculty members to Sigma Xi. These two groups also differed from each other in the qualifications set up. Graduate students who held faculty positions were being chosen as from the faculty in 1915, but at least since 1920 they have been elected as graduate students.
Because Sigma Xi was founded specifically to promote scientific research, high scholarship as a sole requirement for undergraduate admission gradually came to be regarded as an anomaly. Should not the distinction between undergraduate members, with their scholastic requirement only, and graduate members elected on the basis of research, be replaced by a distinction between persons admitted after having conducted research and those who merely gave promise of so doing? The Michigan chapter went on record in 1914, and again in 1916, as favoring the new classification "associate membership" for those elected on the basis of promise, and in 1920, after suitable enabling revisions had been introduced into the national constitution, adopted the distinction.
With the growing insistence on research for admission to Sigma Xi, election of seniors in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts declined, until, by 1920, it had almost ceased. Even associate membership was not usually bestowed on seniors in that College, although it remained open to seniors in the College of Engineering. This gradual abandonment of senior elections in the Literary College left the students of science without an honor society, a condition later remedied to some extent by a change in the rules of Phi Beta Kappa whereby that society elected purely on the basis of scholarship, without regard to subjects, and further, in 1926, by the establishment of a chapter of Phi Kappa Phi at the University.
As early as 1915 the Michigan chapter of Sigma Xi sought, in conjunction with Phi Beta Kappa, to inaugurate some plan by which recognition of intellectual attainments should be given at the Commencement. The idea then germinated bore fruit years later in the Honors Convocation, which has become an established annual event.
The general program of Sigma Xi at the University of Michigan consists of five meetings a year. As compared with its work at other institutions, it has been voluntarily restricted because of the prior existence of the Research Club, which was providing some members of Sigma Xi with an opportunity to meet with representatives of research in the humanities.
The several meetings of the year culminate Page 1937in the initiation banquet in the spring. Some of the meetings between 1921 and 1925 were held jointly with the Junior Research Club. Until 1928-29 the principal feature of each meeting other than the business session was an address of general scientific interest. Many of the meetings since the fall of 1928 have been visits about the campus to places of interest to research workers — the various laboratories, departments of the Library and Hospital, the dictionary offices, and museum collections, including the Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments — where representatives of the departments concerned, acting as hosts, have discussed and demonstrated their work. The majority of speakers before the Michigan chapter have been members of the faculty or administrative staff, but more than one-third have been brought from other institutions.
The balance and range of scientific interests of the chapter can be inferred from the variety of subjects represented by its twenty-seven presidents, each of whom has served for two years. Seven have come from marine, electrical, chemical, sanitary engineering, and engineering mechanics, and seven from medical departments — bacteriology, biological chemistry, psychiatry, pathology, and anatomy. One president has been a pharmaceutical chemist, another an economic zoologist, and the other eleven were engaged in basic physical and natural sciences — mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, physics, zoology, psychology, paleontology, and mineralogy.
To the close of 1955-56, the Michigan chapter of Sigma Xi elected directly to membership 1,930 persons, promoted to membership 1,075 who had previously been elected associates either here or at other institutions, and elected 2,471 associate members who have not been subsequently advanced to membership in the Michigan chapter. The total number of different persons elected is, therefore, 5,476. Many others are or have been affiliated with the Michigan chapter after election elsewhere.
Phi Kappa Phi
The all-campus award for excellence in scholarship, outstanding character, and conspicuous service to the University is membership in the national honor society Phi Kappa Phi. This organization was established at the University of Maine in 1897 for the purpose of emphasizing the democracy and unity of American higher education. Its point of departure from the policies of other honor societies is that it recognizes no specific academic requirements. Any member of the University, regardless of his major subject or the college to which he belongs, is eligible for membership after his junior year.
Achievement in the various fields of learning, law, the classics, engineering, and medicine is indicated by the eight "points" or groups of rays on the emblem of the society which radiate from behind a flattened globe bearing the initials of the Phi Kappa Phi motto, Philosophia kratei photon — "the love of learning rules the world."
The organization of the University of Michigan chapter in 1926 came about as the result of a suggestion made to President Little by Clarence E. S. Bardsley, who later became professor of civil engineering at the University of Missouri and who was nationally famous for his work and writings in the field of engineering. Both Little and Bardsley were members of Phi Kappa Phi.
The petition for organization, signed by President Little, the deans of the several schools and colleges, and certain professors, eligible alumni, and members initiated elsewhere, was dated June 21, 1926. The installation took place on November 26.
Page 1938The value to the University of a national all-campus honor society was appreciated, especially by those schools and colleges of the University graduating relatively few students. Although individual schools have their own honor societies, the advantage of an emblem of scholarship easily recognized by people in all fields was realized.
Each year a list of candidates, with the names arranged in order of honorpoint rating, is prepared for the executive committee. The residence requirement is thirty hours credit. Only 7 per cent of the class may be elected to membership, and each candidate must rank scholastically in the highest one-fifth of the graduating class of his respective college or school. In the larger colleges of the University, selection has been almost entirely a reward for scholarship, and since no definite measures of character and personality are established, the election, which is made by the executive committee of the local chapter, includes the upper 7 per cent of the class. The smaller schools, colleges, and graduate divisions make specific recommendations, which the executive committee of the society usually accepts, of those in the eligible group. Since 1933, 5 per cent of the graduate students have been also elected each year.
The University of Michigan chapter of Phi Kappa Phi maintains a custom aimed toward encouraging undergraduate scholastic achievement. Every freshman named in Honors Convocation receives from the president of the local chapter a formal congratulation in printed script, similar in appearance to the notification of election.
From 1934 on three graduate scholarships were granted each year by the national society. Several of these scholarships were won by candidates from the University of Michigan.
By 1956 a total of 5,961 members had been initiated, a few faculty members, in addition to graduate students and seniors. Dues of $12 have sufficed to include the key, the certificate, a place at the initiation banquet, and a year's subscription to the quarterly Phi Kappa Phi Journal. A small financial surplus has also been maintained.
Sometime during 1899, or possibly earlier, the idea of a "literary" society began to interest at least three students. Christian Gauss was thinking of an "Omar Khayyam Club." Harold M. Bowman argued for the "Skull and Bones" plan. Clarence B. Morrill wanted something that would bring together those of intellectual interests who might not otherwise find each other in the crowd. Gauss graduated in 1899, to become Instructor in French; the other two were seniors in 1900. Quite likely others were concerned.
An early spring day of 1900 found Gauss and Morrill on the grass in front of the old Library. The subject returned, and Morrill proposed that something be started. They hunted up Bowman in the Library. Forthwith, Quadrangle was born. A second meeting soon was arranged, and shortly Corwin, president of the Senior Class, Slaughter, Assistant in Philosophy, McInnis, Assistant in English, and possibly others, were added.
Before further action, Wenley was called in, and soon he was entertaining eight founders of Quadrangle in his home. He contributed a good deal to the organization. Before coming to Michigan in 1896 Wenley had already been a member of a club of this type at the University of Glasgow, where he had been "University medallist in Philosophy and Theology, Fellow, 1884. President of the Students' Representative Council, President Page 1939of the Union, President of the Liberal Club, President of the Philosophical Society, Glasgow."
Under the title "Academic Tensions" Wenley's contribution to "The Quadrangle Book" gives, in delightful style, what is perhaps the only record of his knowledge and experience of university clubs. He tells how a number of students at Oxford rather spontaneously organized Old Mortality about 1860, naming their club after Scott's eccentric tombstone-carving character. A little later, when Glasgow was rising to her heights, the Old Mortality idea was adopted, and Glasgow's Witenagemot club came into being.
The 1900 Michiganensian prints the first list of members of the Quadrangle Club: Dons — Robert M. Wenley, George Rebec, and Benjamin P. Bourland. Members — Benjamin P. Bourland, Harold M. Bowman, Ira A. Campbell, Edward S. Corwin, Arthur L. Cross, Frank D. Eaman, Christian F. Gauss, Evans Holbrook, Edward C. Marsh, Lewis W. McCandless, Norman K. McInnis, Clarence B. Morrill, Harlow S. Person, George Rebec, Thomas L. Robinson, William D. Russell, Frederick B. Shoaff, Frank S. Simons, John W. Slaughter, James S. Symons, Harry I. Weinstein, and Lafayette Young.
In his "Academic Tensions" Wenley, to "help Quadrangle to become more conscious of itself," quoted from something a member of the Old Mortality Club had written: "By some of the members of the society its meetings are remembered as the very salt of their university life. The free discussion of everything in heaven or earth, the fresh enjoyment of intellectual sympathy, the fearless intercommunication of spirits, the youthful faith that the key of truth lies very near to our hands, gave a unique zest and charm to those meetings of students with students, before the inevitable parting of the ways of manhood has come." Wenley conferred on Quadrangle the privilege of "free discussion of everything in heaven or earth." Such discussion he had enjoyed as a student. And the quotation he gives speaks of "students with students" — hence, a liberal club for students.
As Holbrook pointed out, two of the faculty founders, Wenley and Rebec, were in philosophy, one, Bourland, in Romance languages. This gives the clue to the club's principal interests in early years — literature and philosophy. But change is inevitable. Fred N. Scott put his stamp on the club's trend of interest during the early period. Scott's effect was literary, of course, and one imagines there was less philosophy and more literature while he was active. It is safe to guess that Charles H. Cooley opened the door to let a little sociology trickle in. One does not need to guess about David Friday; economics would have a fair share of attention after 1908, if he and Henry C. Adams were to be kept interested. And if political science had been neglected up to 1910, Jesse Reeves appeared about then to set matters straight. History probably had naturally been given a fair deal; at any rate, it never languished for want of support after Claude Van Tyne's or U. B. Phillips' advent.
If the preceding paragraph seems to indicate faculty domination to the exclusion of proper mention of student interests and activities, it probably stands for a true picture. The faculty stayed on year after year; they are known, they are remembered, they have left their imprint. The students came and were soon gone, unless they could get nothing else to do and had to join the faculty. Moreover, from the very beginning, faculty members were handed a large share of control, to make sure of the election of none but high-standing students. However, Page 1940Quadrangle was a students' club, following Skull and Bones to the extent of electing fifteen students each year. And now, quoting from a letter from a founder, Clarence Morrill:
Membership is perpetual.… Consequently, our meetings along about 1906-8, when I last saw Quadrangle, were attended by many members of the faculty. This, however, I do not think repressed the baker's dozen of undergraduates, because of the character of our meetings. After a desultory dropping-in period, order was called by the Provost and a paper or brief lecture was presented by some member, usually a youngster, most often a graduate student. Once in a while we had wonderful talks from men like Scott, Wenley, McLaughlin, Cooley. Rebec was also an unfailing fount of ideas in conversation.
After the supper a discussion followed which, at first, was general and followed the subject; but it inevitably wandered away and broke the meeting into little groups. It was in these group conversations that the wonderful intimacies between celebrated professors and callow undergraduates sprang up which gave Quadrangle its remarkable character, and which counteracted the tendency of mere numbers to swamp the individual in a university. Late in the evening a diversion occurred. Coffee, chocolate and buttered buns came up from Tuttle's — the real Tuttle's — and this broke up the little groups, which usually reassembled again. Then the older men went home to bed, while the youngsters wrangled over philosophical niceties into the wee hours.
Thus, even by 1908, Quadrangle was largely a faculty club, but the attendance was predominantly of undergraduates and instructors. Students have always been elected, with a minimum of perhaps ten in any one year; latterly, the number has exceeded fifteen a year. Also, the society began with philosophical and literary interests — so much so that each member, on contributing a paper, did his best to turn writer or philosopher at least for a night, no matter what his calling. But inevitably, the introduction of strong personalities has swung Quadrangle's attention through a wide range of human interests, even as "Old Mortality discussed everything in heaven or earth."
Early meetings were held in the Chi Psi house on Huron Street, also in a room over one of the State Street stores. For several years quarters were in the Groves Building at the corner of State and Liberty streets. About 1906 a move was made to the top floor of the Calkins Drug Store building on State Street, from which outlook Quadrangle frequently viewed the campus until 1920. The Union took care of matters for another two years. Thereafter, meetings were held at the homes of various faculty members until, in the 1930's, the club settled down in quarters assigned to it in the Michigan Union.
The Quadrangle Book mentioned above is a 1914 publication of contributions to "Q" — a private edition of 150 copies, one copy being kept in the University Library. "Q" occurred at the end of the evening, following refreshments, when contributions, which are anonymous, were read. In any one year there has been poetry of both kinds — good and bad — satire, wit, serious and hard thrusts at whatever may seem to the author to need bashing, humorous essays, and so on. Each year, on the average, the bound, typed manuscripts of "Q" have amounted to a fair-sized book. Many a now-famous personage has left his silliness at least partly behind by giving vent to it in "Q."
The conservative element on the campus in times past cast a wary eye at Quadrangle. At one time a Quadrangler incautiously recommended a man for a teaching position by saying he was a former provost of the club; it immediately developed that no good had been achieved, and there was considerable Page 1941defending to do. And how things — and men — can change! Wenley, the liberal who was a founding member, was met one day by a member on Wenley's return to the campus after World War I. The member wished to know if Wenley would be attending meetings. Not he. "That place," replied the philosopher, "is overrun with too many radicals."
Freshman Honorary Societies
Phi Eta Sigma
In order to encourage and reward high scholarship among the men students of the freshman classes, Thomas Arkle Clark, at the University of Illinois, conceived and developed the idea of Phi Eta Sigma. The fraternity came into existence on March 22, 1923. The seeds of the national organization were sown in the spring of 1926, and they began to bear fruit in the following fall when the University of Michigan petitioned for admittance.
On November 19, 1926, the University of Michigan chapter was installed by Dean Clark, W. Donald Forsyth, and S. S. Howe of the University of Illinois. Dean Bursley was elected to honorary membership and was chosen as the adviser for the chapter. President Little and Dean Effinger were initiated as honorary members, and forty-six freshmen met the membership requirement of at least half A and half B for a normal schedule. In the spring of 1927 Dean Bursley, who had been actively interested in the activities of Phi Eta Sigma on the campus since its inception, was elected grand vice-president of the first national organization.
Previous to 1928 the only motive of the organization was recognition of superior scholarship, and meetings were very informal and irregularly called. In 1928 Phi Eta Sigma undertook the projects of supplying freshman advisers at the beginning of the year for the new freshmen, and of formulating a plan to install the honor system in the projected University College. Upon the abandonment of the plan for the College the latter project was given up.
During the intervening years the main activities of the club have been smokers for freshman men and dinners at the Michigan Union for members. On these occasions speakers have been engaged. It has never been the intent or policy of the society to participate in campus activities or social life. Instead, Phi Eta Sigma brings the subject of scholastic attainment to the attention of the college freshman immediately upon his entrance into college and thus achieves its primary purpose of elevating standards of scholarship.
Alpha Lambda Delta
Alpha Lambda Delta was formed at the University of Illinois May 31, 1924, for the purpose of recognizing high scholarship among freshman women and of inspiring them to study. The University of Michigan chapter was founded in 1928, the fourth member chapter of the national organization.
Alice Crocker Lloyd ('16), Dean of Women from 1930 to 1950, was a charter member of the chapter at Michigan and served continuously as its faculty adviser. She was one of the six members-at-large on the National Council from 1936 until her death in 1950, and served as national vice-president in 1948.
Any freshman woman who in her first semester attains a scholastic average equivalent to at least half A and half B on a normal schedule is automatically elected to membership.
Since the principal function of Alpha Lambda Delta is merely to encourage the intellectually promising women students at a critical phase of their college careers, and to make underclassmen aware of the value of scholastic success, the society attempts no program except its annual Page 1942initiation banquet in the spring. At this time new members are given the privilege of wearing the emblem — a pin which represents a tiny candle — and they elect officers from among their own number. The officers, with the help of the faculty adviser, carry on business with national headquarters, arrange for delegation at national conventions, and issue invitations to those of the next freshman class eligible for membership. The outgoing officers, the only sophomores at the banquet, conduct the initiation and install their successors in office.
Tau Beta Pi
Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society, was founded in 1885 at Lehigh University. In 1904 Professor Henry H. Higbie came to the University of Michigan from Columbia University, where a chapter had recently been installed. He was influential in establishing Michigan Gamma chapter in the spring of 1906.
As a minimum requirement of eligibility the candidate for membership must be in the upper one-fourth of the senior class or in the upper one-eighth of the junior class and must also show promise of giving especially valuable and useful service to the engineering profession.
Achievement in industry is recognized by the conferment of membership with distinction upon prominent engineers. The custom at the University is to admit one such member each year.
The society's aim, as stated in the preamble to its constitution, is "to mark in a fitting manner those who have conferred honor upon their Alma Mater by distinguished scholarship and exemplary character as undergraduates in engineering … and to foster a spirit of liberal culture in the engineering colleges of America."
The plan for the engineering honor society of Iota Alpha was formulated by faculty members of the College of Engineering at New York University in the spring of 1919. The name consists of the initial letter of the first and last words of a phrase from Hesiod's Works and Days (line 288), translated "toil before achievement." The emblem, an elongated hexagon, represents a crystal, the fineness and purity of which symbolize the product of labor and discipline. On the face of the emblem are the letters Iota Alpha and a sprig of laurel, traditional mark of the recognition of achievement.
The founding of Beta chapter at Michigan in 1925 marked the beginning of a conservative program of national expansion adopted the previous year. Members are elected from senior and graduate students in November and initiated in January. They remain as junior members, however, until they are thirty years old and have completed seven years of professional experience in engineering. Junior membership then lapses, but one who has held it may be considered for full membership upon application. This device of the national organization was invented to eliminate "deadwood" and thus to keep the character of the society such as to deserve the respect of the more mature members.
The aim of the society is to stamp approval upon good work done by students, in all branches of engineering, yet place character and the promise of future usefulness upon a par with scholastic excellence. Efforts are made, especially, to stimulate young engineers engaged in practice, as well as to recognize by honorary membership prominent members of the profession.
The Michigan chapter became inactive in 1942 because of conditions brought about by the war, particularly the loss of graduate enrollment in the Page 1943University. There is at present no plan to reactivate the society.
Alpha Omega Alpha
Alpha Omega Alpha is a nonsecret, college medical honor society, membership to which is based entirely upon scholarship, moral qualifications being satisfactory. It was organized at the College of Medicine of the University of Illinois in Chicago on August 25, 1902, by William Root. It is the only organization of its kind in this country, and in medical circles holds a place comparable to the position of Phi Beta Kappa in literary colleges. The purposes of AOA are to encourage scholarship, personal honesty, and the spirit of medical research.
The Michigan chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha was the thirteenth formed and first met in 1907. Following the lead of the national organization, the local chapter has the policy of selecting not more than one-sixth of the senior class for membership, and five members of the junior class. The new members are presented to the chapter at an annual initiation banquet held in the fall. This meeting features an address by some well-known medical personality.
The other activities of the chapter center around the Student Day program, which is held each spring. This event gives recognition to those students who have participated in medical research. At the meeting these students present, in formal fashion, the results of their investigations to the faculty and student body of the Medical School.
Rho Chi, the only national pharmaceutical honor society, is regarded highly by pharmacists and professional workers in related fields. Chapters are authorized only in accredited colleges of pharmacy in the United States. The principal objective of Rho Chi is to promote the advancement of the pharmaceutical sciences through encouragement and recognition of outstanding scholarship. The society has a significant research fund from which grants are made and annually holds a convention at which outstanding speakers are heard.
The national society grew out of a local pharmaceutical group at the University of Michigan, called the Aristolochite Society. The parent organization flourished in the College of Pharmacy on the Michigan campus from 1908 until 1922, when it ceased to exist and a charter was granted by the state of Michigan to Alpha Chapter of Rho Chi.
Over the years Rho Chi has grown into a nation-wide and influential organization. Alpha Chapter has been active throughout this period, and its members have served as officers and in various other capacities in the national society.
Students are selected from among the juniors, seniors, and graduate students working in pharmacy on the basis of scholarship and professional contributions to pharmacy. A scholastic average of B is required, together with approval by the dean of the College for recommendation to membership. Election is by ballot of the voting membership of the chapter, and affirmative votes must be cast by three-fourths of this membership.
Initiation is held in the spring, usually in co-operation with the honors banquet sponsored by the Student Branch of the American Pharmaceutical Association of the College of Pharmacy. Alpha Chapter does not hold monthly or other regular meetings.
Alpha Chapter sponsors a number of prizes and one scholarship in the College of Pharmacy. Prizes are awarded to outstanding Page 1944students in the freshman and sophomore classes at the spring dinner, and a $100 scholarship is awarded annually to the student who has shown the greatest scholastic improvement during the preceding year. The basis for this award is unusual in that emphasis is placed on over-all improvement rather than on a high average. A student who at one time may have been deficient in over-all average may be awarded the scholarship.
A comprehensive history has recently been published, "The Rho Chi Society," by Roy A. Bowers and David L. Cowen, in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education (19:244-84, 1955). The role of the University of Michigan in originating and helping to develop Rho Chi during recent decades is outlined in this history.
Tau Sigma Delta
To quote from the constitution: "The purpose of this society shall be to bring into closer relation the departments of Applied Arts such as Architecture and Landscape Design, to maintain a higher standard of scholarship in these departments and to supply a common tie between the similar departments of the several universities."
The society was founded here at Michigan in 1913, mainly through the efforts of Herbert L. Burgess, a student in the College of Architecture. Three other students in his class worked with him to establish this, the Alpha chapter. All four names appear on the constitution, Burgess, Fred B. Klein, Harold M. Penney, and Harry F. Weeks. Burgess designed the society insignia. There are now chapters at many other universities.
Eligibility for membership is dependent solely on grades and moral character. Students in the Graduate School are eligible for full active membership. Activities are restricted to monthly luncheons, at which time members of the faculty speak on current topics and trends in architecture, etc. Two initiations are held each year, one in the fall and one in the spring.
Order of the Coif
The American order that bears this name is the outgrowth of an earlier society known as Theta Kappa Nu. This society was founded at the University of Illinois in 1902 for the purpose of promoting scholarship among American law students. The Michigan chapter of Theta Kappa Nu came into existence on November 15, 1910, when a charter was granted to a group of students desirous of organizing an honorary scholastic society in the University of Michigan Law School. The charter members were Arthur J. Abbott, Howard L. Barkdull, McKee Robison, and John S. Prescott, of the Law class of 1911 and Samuel H. Roberts, who was a graduate of the Law Department at the University in 1907.
Theta Kappa Nu had a slow growth, and in 1910 had but six chapters. In the meantime, in 1907, there had been organized at the Law School of Northwestern University a local society having the same object, which took the name Order of the Coif. The undergraduate members of the Order of the Coif in 1910 accepted a charter from Theta Kappa Nu. In 1911 the delegates to a national convention of Theta Kappa Nu decided to submit to the chapters for adoption not only a thoroughly revised national constitution but also a recommendation that the name be changed to the Order of the Coif. The constitution and change of name were ratified by the chapters and, thus, in February, 1912, the first national organization of the Order of the Coif was effected. Today, there are in Page 1945existence forty-six chapters of the order.
The name for this order was derived from an English order of the same name that was one of the most ancient and one of the most honored institutions of the common law. The English order was a small and exclusive association of lawyers from whose members the judges of the Court of Common Pleas, the King's Bench, and the Exchequer were appointed. "Coif" was the word used to designate the cap which all the members of the order were compelled to wear. This close-fitting hood can be seen today in old engravings, pictures, and effigies of distinguished judges and serjeants. With the advent of wigs the "coif" became a piece of white lawn attached to the top of the wig.
The fundamental purpose of the American Order of the Coif is, "to foster a spirit of careful study and to mark in a fitting manner those who have attained a high grade of scholarship." Consistent with such a declared purpose, student membership is limited to those who, in their senior year, rank in the upper 10 per cent of their class. Each spring the faculty members of the order elect the new student members from this group. In addition, each chapter annually may elect one member of the legal profession who has attained distinction to honorary membership in the society. The Michigan chapter has frequently elected outstanding lawyers and judges to such honorary membership.
Membership in the Order of the Coif is the highest scholastic honor that can be bestowed upon the graduates of the University of Michigan Law School. The membership lists include the names of many men and women who later distinguished themselves as lawyers, jurists, educators, legislators, in government office, or in business. Through 1956 seven hundred students have been honored by membership in the Order of the Coif.
Sigma Alpha Iota
In the early spring of 1903, Mrs. Fredreka Howland, the wife of William Howland, head of the Vocal Department of the University School of Music, suggested that a musical sorority be organized which would aim for high standards of musicianship and for promotion of the highest type of music. A meeting was held in Mr. Howland's studio in Ann Arbor to discuss this idea. There was some talk of a musical club, but finally a sorority was decided upon as better fitting plans for close bonds of friendship. It was decided that only students of fine character and special musical talent combined with excellent scholarship would be eligible for membership. On June 12, 1903, Sigma Alpha Iota Musical Sorority was founded. Following are the names of the founders, who were graduate students and faculty members: Elizabeth A. Campbell, Frances Caspari, Minnie M. Davis (Sherrill), Leila H. Farlin (Laughlin), Nora Crane Hunt, Georgina Potts, and Mary Storrs (Andersen).
Minnie M. Davis was elected the first president of Alpha chapter. The first annual initiation was held March 7, 1904, at which time Mrs. William Howland was initiated as the first patroness and Blanche Abbott as the first active member. Minnie M. Davis presided at this initiation, which was held in her home. A banquet followed. Madame Louise Homer, the first national honorary member, was initiated by Alpha Chapter at the home of Elsa Stanley on May 12, 1904.
In order to have the sorority properly incorporated under Michigan state laws, articles of association were drawn and signed on December 1, 1904, by seven Page 1946active members and two patronesses of Alpha Chapter. The badge was designed by Edward F. Roehm of Detroit. It has a border of fifteen pearls encircling seven pipes of Pan. The enameled plaques of the Greek letters appear between the pearls at each side and top center. The charter was completed under the supervision of Elsa G. Stanley, president of Alpha chapter in 1904-5, who, with Elizabeth A. Campbell, installed eleven members of Beta Chapter, Northwestern University School of Music, Evanston, Illinois, on December 3, 1904.
From this well-founded beginning the growth of Sigma Alpha Iota has been steady and strong so that the national organization today consists of 105 college chapters, seventy alumnae chapters, and twenty-six alumnae groups in cities throughout the United States. SAI began as an honorary musical sorority, but changed to "professional" in 1922. The name was amended in 1928 to that used today: "Sigma Alpha Iota International Musical Fraternity for Women." The membership consists of college students, alumnae, patronesses, and honorary members. The object of this organization is to give moral and material aid to its members, to promote and dignify the musical profession, to establish and maintain friendly relations between musicians and music schools, and to further the development of music in America.
During World War II Sigma Alpha Iota planned for the period of reconstruction with rehabilitation services of music. Many portable instruments, including clinic organs, have been presented to veterans' hospitals for therapeutic as well as recreational purposes. Owing to the needs of foreign countries, music and music library materials have been sent to European countries. Similar aid has also been given to schools in the Philippines and in Korea.
Beta Gamma Sigma
In the field of commerce and business administration Beta Gamma Sigma is the only scholarship honor society recognized by the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business. The purpose of the society is to encourage and reward scholarship and accomplishment along the lines of business activity among students and graduates of colleges or courses in commerce or in business administration in American colleges and universities, to promote the advancement and spread of education in the science of business, to foster principles of honesty and integrity in business practice, and to encourage a more friendly attitude of the business public toward graduates of commercial courses.
The national organization of Beta Gamma Sigma is the outgrowth of a consolidation of three local honorary clubs, the Economics Club of the University of California, Delta Kappa Chi of the University of Illinois, and Beta Gamma Sigma of the University of Wisconsin, the last having been founded in 1907. The consolidation was effected in 1913.
Elections to membership are held each semester and are confined to members of the graduating class who rank in the upper tenth and from members of the junior class who are among the highest 2 per cent on the basis of scholarship. In addition, there are provisions for the election of alumni members and honorary members who have shown distinguished ability in the field of business. Graduate students may also be elected if they were not available for election as undergraduates.
The installation of the Alpha of Michigan Chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma was held on May 23, 1930, at the Michigan Union. The ceremony was conducted by Professor Hiram T. Scovill, of the University Page 1947of Illinois, member of the executive national committee of Beta Gamma Sigma, assisted by Professor Charles L. Jamison of the School of Business Administration of the University of Michigan, who is a charter member of the Alpha of Wisconsin chapter, and by Albert R. Mott, from the chapter of the University of Minnesota. At that time the following active charter members were initiated: Joseph E. Castner, Lemuel L. Laing, Kenneth G. Stuart, Milton J. Drake, Robert T. Beall, Clare E. Griffin, Ernest M. Fisher, Olin W. Blackett, William A. Paton, and Robert G. Rodkey.
DEPARTMENTAL SCHOLASTIC SOCIETIES
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.
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.
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 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.
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.