Purdue Pi Tau Sigma is the beta chapter of the National Pi Tau Sigma Honors Mechanical Engineering Fraternity. The Purdue Beta chapter was founded in 1922 and was the third chapter to be instated.
The object of this organization shall be to foster the high ideals of the engineering profession, to stimulate interest in and coordinate departmental activities, to promote the mutual professional welfare of its members, and to develop in students of mechanical engineering the attributes necessary for effective leadership and the assumption of the responsibilities of a citizen in a democracy.
Pi Tau Sigma is a Mechanical Engineering Honor Society, instituted in order to establish a closer bond of fellowship among its members which will result in mutual benefit to those men and women in the study and in the profession of mechanical engineering. Pi Tau Sigma's core values are: Integrity (soundness of character and moral conduct), Service (serving the mechanical engineering profession and the community), and Leadership (being foremost and fostering initiative through example in a professional manner).
(source: Pi Tau Sigma National)
With the twentieth century came the realization that honor societies made a definite contribution to the department and that membership required active participation. Pi Tau Sigma came into being on March 16, 1915, at the University of Illinois. A similar organization embarked November 15, 1915, at Wisconsin, and other local organizations (such as the Carzeuran of Purdue) were soon to become active. The early leaders: Professors C. R. Richards, A. C. Willard, and 0. A. Leutwiler of the University of Illinois; G. L. Larson of the University of Wisconsin; G. A. Young of Purdue University; and J. V. Martenis of the University of Minnesota, stand out for their early contributions.
In ten years Pi Tau Sigma grew to six chapters in the Midwest (Illinois Alpha, Wisconsin Alpha, Purdue Beta, Minnesota Gamma, Illinois Delta, and Missouri Epsilon). In 1925 the expansion continued to the east with the Penn State Zeta Chapter being installed. Six years later the Texas Kappa Chapter, and the following year the Colorado Mu Chapter established chapters in the south and west. Also in 1932 the expansion continued southeast to Georgia Tech Nu Chapter. It was not until nine years later that the first chapter was installed on the Pacific coast (Oregon State Omega). In twenty-six years Pi Tau Sigma became truly a national honorary mechanical engineering fraternity with a total of twenty-five chapters. During the succeeding four years nine additional chapters were installed. From 1947 to 1958 forty new chapters were installed. The Chapter-At-Large was established in 1954. The installations completed through the spring of 1993 bring the total established chapters to one hundred and fifty-three. Two chapters have become inactive, one due to the discontinuance of the mechanical engineering program. Earlier, two established chapters in New York merged into one. At this time, 150 chapters remain active at different universities.