A group of chemical engineering students at the University of Illinois met in 1931 to form an organization which would recognize those juniors and seniors who displayed academic excellence and leadership in their profession.
They designed a key, petitioned for and received recognition from the University of Illinois administration, and became the Alpha Chapter of Omega Chi Epsilon. One year later, students at Iowa State University petitioned Alpha Chapter for a charter, which was granted, and the Beta Chapter was formally organized.
By our tenth anniversary, another five chapters had been formed. Records for the thirtieth year (1960-61) show 105 persons initiated from 10 chapters. In its Golden Anniversary year, 1980-81, Omega Chi Epsilon received 705 members from 39 chapters.
The current membership includes over 30,000 men and women from 80+ chapters. In 1967, the Society became a member of the Association of College Honor Societies.
The Society has benefited from the long time service of its national officers and faculty advisors. Pictured on this page are, from left to right, Professors Angie Perna, Toby Eubank, and Walter Walawender. Professor Perna served many years as National President, our representative to the Association of College Honor Societies, and faculty advisor for Eta Chapter. Professor Eubank served as National President and faculty advisor for Rho Chapter. Professor Walawender served many years as National Treasurer and faculty advisor for Alpha Epsilon chapter.
Records prior to 1957 are unclear. Early presidents were the student presidents of Alpha Chapter at the University Illinois.