Sigma Xi and the University of Nebraska Chapter (No. 007)
Sigma Xi was founded in 1886 as an honor society for science and engineering at Cornell University. Today, it is an international research society whose programs and activities promote the health of the scientific enterprise and honor scientific achievement. There are nearly 75,000 Sigma Xi members in over 500 chapters at colleges and universities, industrial research centers and government laboratories.
In addition to honoring scientific achievement, Sigma Xi also endeavors to encourage support of original work in science and technology and promote an appreciation within society at large for the role research has played in human progress – both within the US and worldwide.
Membership in Sigma Xi is by nomination. Those who have shown potential as researchers are invited to join as associate members. Full membership is conferred upon those who have demonstrated noteworthy achievements in research. Each year the Society initiates nearly 5,000 new members. Over the course of the Society's distinguished history, nearly 200 members have won the Nobel Prize and many more have earned election to the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering.
The University of Nebraska Chapter was organized in 1897, becoming the seventh chapter of Sigma Xi. The Charter Members who founded the UNL chapter were among the leading faculty at the University:
Erwin H. Barbour (Geology)
Charles E. Bessey (Botany)
Laurence Bruner (Entomology)
Albert L. Candy (Mathematics)
Fred W. Card (Horticulture)
Ellory W. Davis (Mathematics)
T. Littleton Lyon (Agriculture)
Hudson H Nicholson (Chemistry)
Robert B. Owens (Electrical Engineering)
Charles R. Richards (Mechanical Engineering)
Oscar V.P. Stout (Civil Engineering)
Goodwin D. Swezey (Astronomy)
Henry B. Ward (Zoology)
Today our chapter has approximately 300 members from across the campus and is growing. Its members represent the natural sciences, the engineering disciplines, the agricultural sciences, mathematics and statistics, and the social sciences.