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Title:Sigma Epsilon Rho Honor Society records
Call Number:A33

Historical Note

Sigma Epsilon Rho Honor Society recognizes academic excellence. The greek letters translate into "SER," an acronym for Scholarship, Ethics, Research. The organization gained its fraternity charter on April 11, 1927 and accepted undergraduates and alumni of the School of Commerce and Finance. The fraternity inducted 15 members its first year - 8 graduates and 7 undergraduates. In 1935 a beta chapter was founded by 17 students at the Providence, Rhode Island Division of Northeastern. Although membership had reached 56 by 1940, the fraternity suffered a period of near inactivity between the years 1940-1950. Sigma Epsilon Rho was revived in 1951 – a new president was elected, the bylaws underwent a major revision, and monthly meetings of the Executive Committee began. The first membership directory was issued in 1954. Beginning in 1962, cash awards were given to top students. This was changed to a scholarship program which lasted from 1965-1972. In 1974 Sigma Epsilon Rho established the Honor Society Scholarship Awards which continue to this day.

As the organization of Northeastern's academic departments and the student body changed, so did Sigma Epsilon Rho's membership. Prior to 1961, initiates were solely drawn from the Evening School of Business (formerly the School of Commerce and Finance). After the Evening School of Business was dissolved in 1960 and University College, in cooperation with the day College of Business Administration, assumed responsibility for evening business classes, the bylaws were revised to reflect new membership criteria. They were revised again in 1972 when the society began to nominate female students for membership. Sigma Epsilon Rho Fraternity was also renamed Sigma Epsilon Rho Society to reflect this change. Today, the organization is the honor society of University College. The goals of Sigma Epsilon Rho are much the same as they were in 1927: "to encourage academic success, to promote the advancement of its members, and to support high moral, professional, and scholastic ideals" ("Sigma Epsilon Rho Honor Society" pamphlet, box 1, folder 2).
1927Charter granted by President Speare.
1928Gold fraternity keys awarded.
1932Practice of awarding books to students for high scholastic achievement began.
1935Beta chapter began at Providence Division.
1940Period of inactivity began.
1951Fraternity revived.
1952Practice of photographing and issuing publicity releases of induction ceremonies began.
1953Major revisions to the bylaws made. President's Annual Letter and Audited Treasurer's Report instituted. Regular meeting of Executive Committee began.
1954First membership directory published.
1955Sigma banner obtained.
1956Beta chapter dissolved. Annual Dinner Dance began. Ritual accouterments designed and acquired.
1957Voices of Sigma (newsletter) first published.
1960Establishment of University College. Merger of the College of Business Administration with the former Evening School of Business.
1962Cash awards for top students instituted.
1965Third directory issued. Cash awards changed to scholarship program. Book awards discontinued.
1966Bylaws revised to clarify membership requirements.
1967First Northeastern-Sigma Epsilon Rho Program (NUSERP) on "Frontiers of Education."
1968Bylaws revised to increase student membership. Fourth directory issued. Northeastern-Sigma Epsilon Rho Program (NUSERP) seminar on "Community Schools." Scholarship program discontinued and a plaque for the top student was substituted.
1970Fifth directory issued.
1972Bylaws revised to allow the admission of women. Name changed from fraternity to society. Annual "Evening at the Pops" began.
1973Large numbers of members placed on the inactive list.
1974Northeastern-Sigma Epsilon Rho Program (NUSERP) seminar on "Career Opportunities for Women" leads to Women's Center Project. Sigma Epsilon Rho Honor Society Scholarship Awards initiated.
1975Revised bylaws printed.

"Sigma Epsilon Rho Honor Society" pamphlet. 1975. (Box 1, folder 2).