The Alpha Chi Sigma Fraternity was organized at the University of Wisconsin at Madison on December 11, 1902 by a group of undergraduate students in chemistry:
- Raymond Tracy Conger
- Harold Everett Eggers
- Joseph Gerard Holty
- Alfred Emil Kundert
- Joseph Howard Mathews
- Edward Gustav Mattke
- Bart Eldred McCormick
- Frank Joseph Petura
- James Chisholm Silverthorn
The fraternity began to grow soon after, conducting two initiations within six months. The founders held a vision of creating a national fraternity from the beginning and Petura and Silverthorn were assigned the task of expanding the fraternity to other colleges. After a flurry of of rapid, two-way corespondence between the first chapter (later denoted as the Alpha chapter) and the Wisconsin Secretary of State, the fraternity was officially incorporated on January 22, 1904.
Now, nearly a century after those early meetings in the boarding house room of "Matty" Mathews, Alpha Chi Sigma stands as the Nation's only professional chemistry fraternity, sitll dedicated to the ideals and visions of the nine founders.
The story of the founding of Alpha Chi Sigma is probably best told by those who where there. In a 1913 article entitled "Reminiscences" appearing in the fraternity publication The Hexagon, founders Mathews and Kundert describe those first days. To read the article, click here.
The purpose of Alpha Chi Sigma is reflected in the Three Objects of the Fraternity, which express the true ideals of all its members:
- To bind its members with a tie of true and lasting friendship.
- To strive for the advancement of chemistry both as a science and as a profession.
- To aid its members by every honorable means in the attainment of their ambitions as chemists throughout their mortal lives.
Alpha Chi Sigma is one of a kind. Following the original concept for a fraternity as an academic organization, we are the only professional chemistry fraternity. More than 100 years old with more than 64,500 members, we bring together men and women pursuing a wide variety of chemistry-related careers.
Our past is prestigious. Not only are many of our members world-class scientists and engineers, but we sponsor a variety of scholarships and awards. Notable ones are the ACS Award in Pure Chemistry and the AIChE Award in Chemical Engineering. With our involvement in other chemistry and chemical engineering professional organizations, our members are a bridge between these various organizations.
Collegiate members benefit from a local group to not only help with their studies but also projects and activities that teach the roles of leadership and management. We also provide an opportunity to create lifelong friendships with others interested in chemistry. Sometimes it's just nice to walk into a room and be able to tell a chemistry joke.
As a Professional member, further opportunities for meeting other members can help with your employment, hiring and relaxation. Our Professional members appreciate meeting others involved in chemistry outside of their workplaces and often outside of their field of work.
Membership is for life.
Purely professional organizations have their place and Alpha Chi Sigma constantly encourages its members to become active in these organizations. Social fraternities also offer much to students. But only a professional fraternity, and Alpha Chi Sigma is the only national professional chemistry fraternity in the United States, can provide the college student and the professional in chemistry and related fields with the interests and bonds of a fraternity.
The Beta Gamma Chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma was founded on March 30, 1935 by the following people:
- L. Reed Brantley
- Glenn T. Seaborg
- Richard Lauterbach
- G. Ross Robertson
- William R. Crowell
- Herbert L. Aigner
- Harlan L. Baumbach
- Billee O. Blackburn
- Clyde L. Blohm
- Howard C. Bould
- Keith E. Brown
- Frank J. Doleza
- George H. Fielding
- Albert M. Herbrand
- Fred H. Kienzle
- Leo D. Levanas
- Donald P. Morgan
- Redvers G. Nicholson
- Frank Robert Ohly
- William Lee Spencer
- Stanley G. Thompson
- James F. Tomblin
- L. Starling Timble
- Robert J. Wells
- George Wilkinson
- Everett M. Wood
- Willis R. Battles
- Armand J. Bush
- Vance R. Cooper
- J. Leonard Dreher
- Raymond F. Evenson
- Clifford E. Himoe
- Zene D. Jasaitis
- Darrell W. Osborne
- Lloyd C. Pack
- Stanley E. Tierney
Our chapter has had a rich history, with many former members being recognized in the field of chemistry.
The following Nobel Prize Winners were former members of the Beta Gamma Chapter:
- Glenn T. Seaborg, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1951
- Bruce Merrifield, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1984
- Richard Heck, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2010
As a professional fraternity with close ties to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCLA, we are able to host many professional functions. Some of these include, but are not limited to:
- Hosting the annual Glenn T. Seaborg Banquet and sponsoring the Glenn T. Seaborg Award.
- Hosting a scientific research poster session in conjunction with the annual Glenn T. Seaborg Symposium.
- Sponsoring scholarships for undergraduate researchers.
- Helping with UCLA's annual Bruin Day by giving advice and information to potential UCLA undergraduates.
- Helping sponor the UCLA Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS) Chemistry Career Fair.
- Meeting members of the Los Angeles Professional Chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma.
An important mission of our chapter is to help host outreach events with other organizations at UCLA to interest students in science. Past events have included:
- Performing "magic shows" using basic chemical principles to garner the excitement of young students in science.
- Helping with the PITA Program (Promoting Individuality Through the Arts) to further chemistry and the field of science by helping to inspire low-income inner city kids from gang-ridden areas with low literacy rates. We hope to motivate these children to obtain higher level degrees, especially in the area of chemistry and science in general by showing them that science can be fun and interactive through unique learning opportunities.
- Participating in the annual outreach event hosted by the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and the Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP). The event was organized as a series of science workshops for students from Los Angeles inner-city high schools. Our chapter was responsible for developing and managing interactive workshops for the students. Three workshops were set-up, each one catering to 100 high school students. Throughout the event, the importance of lab safety was discussed, along with demonstrations of how quickly liquid nitrogen is able to freeze vegetables, balloons, ice cream and other objects.
- Efforts to celebrate National Chemistry Week. In 2010, the UCLA Student Members of the American Chemical Society held "Behind the Scence with Chemistry" event with the film, The Prestige, at Mount St. Mary's College, Doheny Campus.
If you would like for our chapter to assist with your science outreach project, please contact our Magic Show/Community Service Chair.
In addition to the many professional events, members share the benefit and joy that comes from our social events. Examples include:
- Intramural Sports
- Chapter Dinners
- Beach Trips
- Trips to Big Bear Lake
- Ice Skating
- Other Alumni Events
Alpha Chi Sigma, Beta Gamma Chapter
University of California, Los Angeles
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
1275 Young Hall