National engineering society comes to Fairfield University

The School of Engineering at Fairfield University has initiated the process of establishing a chapter of Tau Beta Pi, the nation's oldest and largest engineering honor society, in order to recognize students and alumni for distinguished scholarship and exemplary character. Tau Beta Pi was founded 121 years ago and is the only engineering honor society in the country that represents the entire engineering profession. On Saturday, February 3 at 1 p.m. in Alumni House, the school will have its first induction ceremony into Tau Beta Phi-Fairfield, and past and present students will be inducted.

Evangelos Hadjimichael, Ph.D., dean, School of Engineering, said, "Our chapter, Tau Beta Phi-Fairfield, is the first step toward becoming a Tau Beta Pi member. We need to have at least 40 Bachelor of Science graduates from the School of Engineering in one particular year to make us eligible to join Tau Beta Pi. We are almost there. In the meantime, we will be known as the local Engineering Honors Society, Tau Beta Phi."

The motivation for establishing a Tau Beta Pi chapter at Fairfield centers on the school's continual striving for excellence and student achievement. Juniors must be in the top 10% of their class to be eligible, while seniors must be in the top 25% of their class. Jerry Sergent, Ph.D., chairman of the school's Electrical Engineering Program, said that this year's ceremony will induct alumni as well as current students, while ceremonies in years to follow will include solely the induction of juniors and seniors. School of Engineering faculty and staff thought it was essential to go back and consider alumni. "We have had many students on a par with students at top universities in the country, and we would like to honor our own with induction into this prestigious honor society."

According to Dr. Hadjimichael, engineering is all about creativity and innovation. Students who dedicate themselves to the study of engineering make a serious commitment to a demanding field of knowledge and study, and become steeped into the culture of creativity and innovation. "Those who become accomplished and excel in those intellectual pursuits and skills deserve special recognition through membership to Tau Beta Pi. They will serve as role models for the others, especially for the younger students, so that progressively we will develop in the School of Engineering a culture of engineering excellence for all."

Tau Beta Pi was founded in 1885 to recognize those engineering students who confer honor upon their alma mater through distinguished scholarship and exemplary character as undergraduates in the field of engineering, or by their accomplishments as alumni. There are collegiate chapters at 230 colleges and universities. Nobel Prize winners, astronauts, and scholars are among its ranks. Student member benefits include scholarships, fellowships, and career assistance, among other benefits.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647,

Posted on January 22, 2007

Vol. 39, No. 124

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