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History of Sigma Gamma Epsilon


Sigma Gamma Epsilon Honor Society for Earth Science students was founded during the spring of 1915 in the home of William H. Twenhofel, Associate Professor of Geology at The University of Kansas. ΣΓΕ was launched nationally in the fall of 1915 with the admittance of Beta Chapter of Pittsburgh University, and today there are more than 100 chapters nation- wide. Originally a "male only" fraternity for geologists, metallurgists, mining, petroleum, and ceramics engineers, for nearly three decades ΣΓΕ has been open to all Earth Science majors and is composed primarily of geology students.

In 80 years, ΣΓΕ has weathered two world wars, a depression, and the rise and fall of the petroleum and mining industries. The society has always been composed of mainly undergraduate students who are active for a few years at the most and then move on to professional organizations such as GSA. During times of high student enrollment the society flourishes, but when times are bad, and the student numbers drop, continuity and traditions may be lost.

Much of the history of Sigma Gamma Epsilon can be read in the records of Alpha Chapter (The University of Kansas), which go back to the early spring of 1915, and in The Compass of Sigma Gamma Epsilon, journal of the society, which, in the early years, contained a letter from each chapter in every issue.