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 administration, and became the Alpha Chapter.
By its tenth anniversary, another five chapters had been formed. Records for the thirtieth year (1960-61) show 105 people 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 15,000 men and women from 52 chapters. In 1967, the Society became a member of the Association of College Honor Societies.
The Society of Omega Chi Epsilon promotes high scholarship, encourages original investigation in Chemical Engineering, and recognizes the valuable traits of character, integrity, and leadership. The Society serves both undergraduate and graduate students within the Chemical Engineering Department. It encourages meaningful student faculty dialogue within the department.
The variety of chapter activities suggests that recognition alone does not fulfill the aspirations of outstanding chemical engineering students today. Additionally, OXE works hard to provide the following to its members and the chemical engineering community:
- Connect students to industry representatives through general meetings
- Put on student-faculty activities: faculty fire sides, research inquiries, happy hours etc.
- Create a chemical engineering community by organizing socials and service events
- Provide chemical engineering graduate school information through graduate panels
- Tutor students in core chemical engineering subjects
- Sponsor and organize alumni activities