Chi Epsilon (χε) is the national civil engineeringhonor society in the United States. It honors engineering students who have exemplified the "principles of scholarship, character, practicality, and sociability...in the civil engineering profession." There are currently 136 chapters, of which 130 are active, where over 110,000 members have been inducted.
According to the Constitution and Bylaws of Chi Epsilon, this organization is "dedicated to the purpose of maintaining and promoting the status of civil engineering as an ideal profession." Its objective and purpose is to uphold competence, sound engineering, good moral judgement, and a commitment to society in order to improve the civil engineering profession.
The society was founded on May 20, 1922 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign when two groups of civil engineering students independently petitioned for establishment of an honorary fraternity. As soon as the local organization was on its feet, plans were put into motion to bring Chi Epsilon to the national level. On February 23, 1923, a certificate of incorporation was issued by the State of Illinois. When a second chapter was established at the Armour Institute of Technology on March 29, 1923, Chi Epsilon truly became a national society. Rapid expansion soon after resulted in a total revision of government. The society is now governed by student officers at each chapter who act through a National Council. The headquarters are located at the University of Texas at Arlington. The society's English motto is "Conception, Design, Construction", which retains the letters of Chi Delta Chi, one of the original petitioning groups.
The colors of Chi Epsilon are purple and white. The official badge is a key made in the likeness of the front of an engineer's transit, the instrument of a surveyor. The official news publication of Chi Epsilon is also called The Transit, and is published semi-annually in the spring and fall of each year.
Undergraduate, graduate, alumni, and faculty in civil engineering are all eligible to become members provided some basic requirements are met. Undergraduates must be in the top third of their class and completed at least half of the civil engineering curriculum leading to a bachelor's degree. The selection of members is based upon Scholarship, Character, Practicality, and Sociability, the four primary requirements of a successful engineer. All candidates must participate in a formal initiation ceremony. After becoming a regular member, anyone who has attained eminence through their accomplishments in the profession may become a Chapter Honor Member. The next level of elevation is National Honor Member.