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Tau Beta Pi (Colorado Gamma Chapter) Records

Identifier: U388


Collection contains the records from the Colorado Gamma chapter of Tau Beta Pi, honorary engineering society, at University of Denver from 1954 to 1975 when the College of Engineering closed (later re-opening under different name).


  • 1941-1976


Biographical / Historical

Tau Beta Pi is the oldest honorary engineering society and the second oldest honors society in the United States, beginning at Lehigh University in 1885. When Phi Beta Kappa honorary society began restricting membership to liberal arts students, the head of the mining department at Lehigh University Edward H. Williams Jr. launched an honors society for students of technical subjects.

The University of Denver chapter of Tau Beta Pi, Colorado Gamma, was installed in 1954 after a 1952 petition by the "Tau Beta Society." This group formed in 1950 with the ultimate goal of chartering. The Colorado Gamma chapter of Tau Beta Pi was active on campus until 1975 when the College of Engineering closed (later re-opening under a different name).

The official insignia of Tau Beta Pi is The Bent, in the shape of a trestle or load-bearing part of a bridge. Originally, the Bent was made as a key to wind watches, and was the named given to the national Tau Beta Pi magazine. Tau Beta Pi began as a male-only society, but began granting membership to women in 1969. Another honorary engineering society, Sigma Tau, merged with Tau Beta Pi in 1974.


1.5 Linear Feet (3 letter document boxes)

Scope and Contents

Collection contains three boxes of records and a few material objects (metal Bent insignias) from the Colorado Gamma chapter of Tau Beta Pi at University of Denver. Box 1, Chapter Business, mostly includes meeting minutes and correspondence. Box 2 includes a memorabilia folder with the material objects, several folders on chapter events, a complete member roll, and four larger folders of member papers submitted for the electee essay contest. Box 3 includes a large bound petition for the chapter, publications and treasurer's reports from 1950-1958.


Boxes arranged alphabetically and chronologically with multiple series in each box. Box 1 is all "chapter business" with dated folders from 1950-1963. Box 2 is Chapter Roll through Member Papers, arranged alphabetically by last name. Box 3 is Petition for Charter through Treasurer Reports.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428