Humans Behaving Blog

Our Psi Chi Chapter is Getting Old

Posted on March 21, 2018 by Paul Silvia

As UNCG celebrates its 125th anniversary, here in the Psychology department were celebrating a more youthful milestone—our Psi Chi chapter has turned 60!

Psi Chi, the international honor society for psychology, has over 1100 chapters in the USA and around the world. Our chapter at UNCG was founded in 1958, by four students and Professor Kendon Smith, who was the faculty adviser.

Our chapter number is Chapter 125, so we’re one of the earliest chapters. I’m no numerologist, but could there be some secret meaning in Chapter 125 having its 60th anniversary when UNCG has its 125th anniversary? After all, 125-60 = 65, and 65-60 = 5, and we had 5 founders. Spooky…

Anyhow, a search of the UNCG archives finds a few notes and notices from the early days. In April, 1960, The Carolinian ran a notice about our March, 1960 induction ceremony.

We inducted 2 members—Lois Bradley and Jeannette Walker—back in 1960, and these members joined 5 others. Four of them—Linda Daniels, Diane Evans, Ann Hardy, and Beverly Klaff—were our founding student members.

From such small beginnings, our chapter has grown to be fairly huge. We induct around 35 students per year into Psi Chi, and we have inducted roughly 1900 students since 1958.

The student handbook from 1960 has the earliest description of our chapter that I can find.

Notice the use of her—back then, UNCG was the Women’s College, so the Psi Chi chapter wasn’t coeducational. The admission requirements are a bit different now, but Psi Chi’s mission statement is essentially the same. Psi Chi’s current statement of purpose is:

Psi Chi is an international honor society whose purpose shall be to encourage, stimulate, and maintain excellence in scholarship of the individual members in all fields, particularly in psychology, and to advance the science of psychology.

So after 60 years, our chapter is getting old—older than around 90% of all Psi Chi chapters, in fact. But with age comes wisdom, something we hope to instill in each new year’s new group of Psi Chi members.


“Humans Behaving” is an informal blog run by the UNCG Department of Psychology devoted to matters large and small, from humble happenings to departmental history to our students’ many stories and successes. Have an idea for a post? Are you one of our graduates with a story to tell? Contact Paul Silvia at p_silvia@uncg.edu.


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