Omega Chi Epsilon is the National Honor Society for Chemical Engineering. The Society promotes high scholarship, encourages original investigation in chemical engineering and recognizes the valuable traits of character, integrity and leadership. It serves both undergraduate and graduate students and fosters meaningful student-faculty dialogue. The name is based upon our motto: Ode Chrototos Eggegramai which means "In this Society, professionalism is engraved in our minds". The letters OXE, or their Greek equivalent of WCE, represent Order of Chemical Engineers. The key (see image top left) represents the objectives of Omega Chi Epsilon.
The four arms of the Maltese cross represent the first four objectives:
1. RECOGNITION - to recognize excellence in chemical engineering
2. INVESTIGATION - to promote original investigation and innovation in chemical engineering
3. SERVICE - to provide service the chemical engineering department or school and its student body
4. COMRADESHIP - to promote comradeship among chemical engineers
These four are bound intimately together by the fifth,
5. PROFESSIONALISM - to promote honesty, integrity and social responsibility: the hallmarks of professional ethics represented by the circular maroon crest in the shape of a globe, reminding us of the world-wide scope of chemical engineering.
The gold Greek letters, Omega, Chi, Epsilon, are inscribed on a white band encircling the globe. The crossed retorts, the integral sign, and the bolt of lightning represent the three main tools of the chemical engineer: chemistry, mathematics, and physics.
A group of chemical engineering students at the University of Illinois met in 1931 to form an organization which would recognize those juniors and seniors who displayed academic excellence and leadership in their profession. They designed a key, petitioned for and received recognition from the University of Illinois administration, and became the Alpha Chapter of Omega Chi Epsilon. One year later, students at Iowa State University petitioned Alpha Chapter for a charter, which was granted, and the Beta Chapter was formally organized.
By its tenth anniversary, another five chapters had been formed. Records for the thirtieth year (1960-61) show 105 persons initiated from 10 chapters. In its Golden Anniversary year, 1980-81, Omega Chi Epsilon received 705 members from 39 chapters.
The current membership includes over 20,000 men and women from 67 chapters. In 1967, the Society became a member of the Association of College Honor Societies.