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Archives and Special Collections Finding Aids

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Collection Overview
Title:Sigma Epsilon Rho Honor Society records
Location Code:29/3, File Art 15, FF3/D2
Reference Code:A33
Extent:2.00 cubic ft. (2 boxes)
Scope and Content Note:The collection documents the financial administration of the Sigma Epsilon Rho Honor Society at Northeastern University. It contains information on fund raising, membership (present and future), special events, initiation ceremonies, and its founding.
Historical Abstract:The Sigma Epsilon Rho Honor Society at Northeastern University was established on April 11, 1927 in the School of Commerce and Finance (renamed the School of Business in 1928) to encourage academic success, promote the advancement of its members, and support high moral, professional, and scholastic ideals. The fraternity suffered a period of near inactivity between 1940 and 1950, but was revived in 1951. In 1957, the bylaws were rewritten to reflect the School of Business's incorporation into University College, home of Northeastern University's part-time adult and continuing education courses. Beginning in 1962, cash awards were given to top students. This was changed to a scholarship program that lasted between 1965 and 1972. In 1972, the society first nominated female students for membership. In 1974, Sigma Epsilon Rho established the Honor Society Scholarship Awards.
Language and Scripts:
Arrangement:Organized into 2 series: 1. Administrative Files; and 2. Realia.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Mackey, Alan.

  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.). School of Business--Societies, etc.
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.). School of Commerce and Finance--Societies, etc.
  • Sigma Epsilon Rho Honor Society (Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.)).

  • Business education--Massachusetts--Boston.

Restrictions:Records are closed for 25 years from the date of their creation, unless researchers have written permission from the creating office.
Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the University Archivist.
Related Materials:

NU Visual Collection - Sigma Epsilon Rho

Processor:Finding aid prepared by Amy Bosworth, April 2000

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).

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1. Administrative Files, 1955-1991
Volume:1.00 cubic ft.


The series documents the operation of Sigma Epsilon Rho through correspondence, minutes, and official publications. The collection contains the Voice of Sigma, the official newsletter of the fraternity. Researchers should note that several histories are found in folder 2.
1Audits1958-1967, 1990
1Background and Historyn.d., 1960-1975
1Amendments & Proposed changesn.d., 1953-1990
1Candidate Check List1975
1Citation for Dr. Ell1958
1Executive (6 folders)n.d., 1958-1991
1Nominating1960-1975, 1990
1Works Process1975
1Community Betterment Society1948
1General (2 folders)n.d., 1955-1991
1Membership (4 folders)n.d., 1958-1990
1Directories (3 folders)1957-1977
1Directory Datan.d., 1982
1Donationsn.d., 1991
1Events (2 folders)n.d., 1960-1990
1Event Checklistn.d.
1Exempt Purchaser Certificate1966
140th Anniversary1967
150th Anniversary1977
1Fund Raising1981-1991
1Initiation Ceremonyn.d., 1958-1990
1Long-Range Planningn.d., 1959-1961
1Meeting Noticesn.d., 1957-1991
1General (2 folders)n.d., 1957-1990
1Honoraryn.d., 1983-1987
1Northeastern University Publications1961-1990
1Officers and Committee Membersn.d., 1963-1991
1Presidents Reports1955-1968, 1975
1Scholarship Fundn.d., 1973-1991
1Scholarship Recipients (Restricted)n.d., 1977-2000
1Sigma Seminar PowerPoint2006
1Treasurer's Reports (3 folders)n.d., 1958-1991
1Voice of Sigma (2 folders)1957-1987
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2. Realia, 1927-1987
Volume:0.50 cubic ft


This series documents the society's initiation ceremonies through certificates and a video of Alan Mackey's honorary induction. Mackey was a faculty member and administrator at Northeastern (1952-1975). The series also contains memorabilia generated by the SER including stickers, trivets, a banner, a folder from the SER Book Fair, and SER's illuminated charter.
1, FF3/D2Certificates (3 folders)n.d., 1977
Art File 15, FF3/D2Charter1927
Art File 15Plaquen.d.
2Stickersn.d., 1973
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