News Archive

Catch Up with Sigma Xi's First Chapters

August 08, 2016

To celebrate Sigma Xi’s 130-year anniversary in 2016, learn about the first ten chapters and see what many of them are doing today.

Chartered in 1886: Cornell University Chapter
Ithaca, New York

In 2015–2016, many of the Cornell Sigma Xi Chapter's graduate student members applied for both Grants-in-Aid of Research and internal Cornell Sigma Xi mini grants. At their annual mini symposium they celebrated research by previous student grant winners. The chapter held a curriculum vitae workshop and a research poster session for undergraduates. They also welcomed new graduate students to their chapter leadership team.

ShirleyAnnJackson_NationalMedalofScienceChartered in 1887: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute  Chapter
Troy, New York
Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Sigma Xi member, received the National Medal of Science in May 2016 from U.S. President Barack Obama. The medal is the highest honor for scientific achievement bestowed by the U.S. government. Image courtesy of Rensselaer.

Union College pictureChartered in 1887: Union College Chapter Schenectady, New York

More than 80 Union College undergraduate researchers from 12 different disciplines took Sigma Xi’s pledge to join the Society in the spring of 2016. Many of these students had presented their findings at regional and national scientific conferences as well as Union’s own Steinmetz Symposium. Andrew Glaser, a senior biochemistry major, was awarded the chapter’s annual Sigma Xi Research Prize for his investigation of how the industrial chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) binds to a protein in human blood. The image shows one of the poster sessions at Union College's 2016 Steinmetz Symposium. Image courtesy of Harvey Vlahos of Vlahos Communications. 

Chartered in 1890: University of Kansas Chapter
Lawrence, Kansas

The KU Chapter of Sigma Xi is working to engage local students and community members in research activities. For a number of years, they have partnered with the KU Office of Graduate Studies and the KU Center for Undergraduate Research to provide student research awards for meritorious contributions at KU’s annual Graduate Research Competition and Undergraduate Research Symposium. This fall, they will sponsor a workshop on sharing scholarly activity with the public.

Chartered in 1895: Yale University Chapter. New Haven, Connecticut

Chartered in 1896: University of Minnesota Chapter
Minneapolis, Minnesota

The University of Minnesota Chapter recently held its 120th Annual Meeting. To celebrate, the chapter looked back at its history, creating a poster of buildings and streets on campus that have been named for members. “Our task now is to see that this tradition of excellence and service continues,” wrote Nancy Herther, the chapter’s president.The chapter is working on goals to increase its membership and its service to students and the university. 

Chartered in 1897: University of Nebraska Chapter
Lincoln, Nebraska

The University of Nebraska Chapter hosted Dr. E. William Colglazier at its annual luncheon and chapter meeting in April 2016. Colglazier is the editor-in-chief of Science & Diplomacy and senior scholar in the Center for Science Diplomacy at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The title of his talk was, "The Role of Science, Technology, and Innovation for Diplomacy and Sustainable Development." Approximately 70 members attended the luncheon hosted jointly by UNL’s Sigma Xi Chapter and Office of Research and Economic Development. 

Ohio State Chapter Grant Recipient Chartered in 1898: Ohio State University Chapter
Columbus, Ohio

For more than a decade, the Ohio State Chapter has awarded Grants-in-Aid of Research to student researchers. This year, three undergraduates received $500 and three graduate students received $1,000 (one of the recipients of the chapter's Grants-in-Aid of Research program is shown to the right). The chapter also presented the $200 Student Innovator of the Year Award. They also select students for awards at State Science Day, sponsor a Meet a Scientist program with local schools, co-sponsor monthly Science Cafés, and recently initiated informal seminar/lab visits, called Science ‘n’ Suds, to encourage cross-talk among members. For the 117th time, their annual banquet brought together scientists and engineers to recognize the top student researchers on campus. 

Chartered in 1899: University of Pennsylvania Chapter
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Although the University of Pennsylvania Chapter is in need of revitalization, Pennsylvania as a state has more than 10 active chapters, including the West Chester University Chapter, which earned its charter in April 2016.

Chartered in 1900: Brown University Chapter
Providence, Rhode Island  

For many years, the Brown University Chapter has held Sigma Xi’s title for the chapter that inducts the most new members.