Installation of New Chapters of Sigma Zeta

Chairperson: This meeting will now come to order. As [name of office] and acting with the authorization of the Executive Council, I declare this meeting open for the installation of [Name of Chapter]. [Name of person and office] is authorized to act as recorder and conductor of this meeting.

Chairperson: Mr./Ms. Conductor, please present the faculty to be initiated.

Conductor: (calls names and asks that they come to the front.)

Chairperson: It is a pleasure to welcome you who represent the various fields of science and mathematics. As faculty members you are the leaders in science at [name of institution] and upon you rests a great portion of the responsibility for making sure that the ideals of Sigma Zeta are realized here. These ideals include the encouragement of sound scholarship and the recognition of those students who, by following your instructions and counsel, may excel in their scientific pursuits. As teaching members of [name of new chapter] of Sigma Zeta, you will be charged with the responsibility of fostering in every way possible the goals and ideals of Sigma Zeta.

Recorder: The key with the letters, books and retort in relief on the background of the open book, carries much symbolism of the society to student members. To you, as sponsors of these students, may it serve not only as an emblem of membership, but also as a symbol of your commitment to the ideals of the Society.

Chairperson: I welcome you as charter members of the [name of local chapter] of Sigma Zeta and charge you with the responsibility of promoting the goals and ideals of the national organization of Sigma Zeta. In recognition of your membership in Sigma Zeta, we will now present you with your certificates.

Chairperson: Conductor, will you now present the student candidates.

Conductor: Mr./Ms. Chairperson, and faculty members of the [name of new chapter] of Sigma Zeta, it is an honor to present the following candidates for initiation as active members of our chapter. [Call the candidates foreword].

Chairperson: It is a pleasure to welcome you, whose achievement in scholarship and interest in the sciences has qualified you for membership in [name of new chapter]. Sigma Zeta was founded in 1925 at Shurtleff College in Alton, Illinois by three members of the science faculty. At first the organization was a local recognition society for Shurtleff science and mathematics students. However interest in the activities of this group spread to other colleges. In 1926 the National Charter of Sigma Zeta was announced and Beta Chapter was installed. The object of this organization is to draw the superior students from all fields of science and mathematics together as a unified group for a greater exchange of ideas in order to promote the advancement of scientific knowledge. It is our belief that you candidates for active membership in [name of local chapter] will successfully carry out the objectives of the society.

Recorder: Before presenting to you the certificate of membership in our society, I would call your attention to the symbols that appear on the key. The key itself symbolizes your opportunity to unlock the doors which lead to "Truth." The form of the key seems to suggest the open book of nature, the source of all scientific learning. A book is open to indicate that no knowledge is closed to anyone who diligently seeks it. The closed books represent accumulated scientific knowledge, to be studied as a record of the past and as a guide to the future. The three volumes standing together illustrate the divisions of science into the Life sciences, the earth sciences, and the physical sciences. The fourth volume, supporting the others, is symbolic of mathematics, the foundation and basis of science. The retort and tripod are symbols of an ancient process by which pure substances were separated from their impurities. To us, they typify the experimental methods in our various fields. The flame, used to heat the retort, represents the motivating forces of science that direct and inspire scientific achievement. Also, the books and retort stand for two great sources of scientific advancement -- first, a study and knowledge of human accomplishments up to this time; and second, further experimentation with sources of new "truth."

Chairperson: You have now heard the purposes of Sigma Zeta and the meaning of its symbols. If you will now accept the challenges and responsibilities for active membership in this society and are willing to support the program of the local chapter, please repeat after me. "I am willing to accept / the challenges and responsibilities of active membership in [name of new chapter] of Sigma Zeta." As a symbol of your membership, we will now present you with your certificates. [present certificates] As representative of the National Organization, I welcome you as charter members of [name of new chapter] and declare that you are entitled to all the privileges of the society and to wear the key, the symbol of membership in Sigma Zeta. I wish to add my personal congratulations to each of you for your achievement.

In that you faculty and students have participated in this initiation ceremony and in that you have elected your local officers, I as a representative of the Executive Council and on behalf of the active chapters of the Society, declare that [name of new chapter] is fully constituted and duly organized and welcome you to the National Organization. (Students may now be seated). (Note: after this more formal part is finished it would be desirable to have someone describe a little about the National Organization -- the duties of the Executive Director, the National meetings, student papers, describe the National Gavel, Honor Award and Founders Cup.)

Turn the meeting over the president of the new chapter.