National Honor Society

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The National Honor Society, or NHS, is a nationwide organization in the United States and consists of many chapters in high schools. Selection is based on four criteria: scholarship, leadership, service, and character. The National Honor Society requires some sort of service to the community, school, or other organizations. The projects help students meet the required service hour total monthly. The National Honor Society was founded in 1921 by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. The Alpha chapter of NHS was founded at Fifth Avenue High School by Principal Edward S. Rynearson in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[1]

National Honor Society groups are commonly active in community service activities both in the community and at the school. Many chapters maintain a requirement for participation in such service activities.

In addition, NHS chapters typically elect officers, who, under the supervision of the chapter adviser, coordinate and manage the chapter as a student organization.


It is estimated that over one million students participate in the National Honor Society. NHS and NJHS chapters are found in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, many U.S. Territories, and Canada. They can also be found in areas of Asia; Pakistan being one with three schools maintaining an active chapter. They further can be found in International and American schools throughout the globe.


The NHS motto is noblesse oblige.[2] This is French for nobility obligates. According to the French Wiktionary, it has these meanings:[3]

1. Whoever claims to be noble must conduct himself nobly.

2. (Figuratively) One must act in a fashion that conforms with one's position, and with the reputation that one has earned.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ NASSP. "History of NJHS and NHS". Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  3. ^ "Definition of Noblesse Oblige". 21 November 2007. Retrieved 2008-10-31. 

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