The objectives of Sigma Gamma Tau, as stated in the preamble of the Society’s national constitution, are: “to recognize and honor those individuals in the field of Aeronautics and Astronautics who have, through scholarship, integrity, and outstanding achievement, been a credit to their profession. The society seeks to foster a high standard of ethics and professional practice and to create a spirit of loyalty and fellowship, particularly among students of Aerospace Engineering.”
Sigma Gamma Tau was founded on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, on February 28, 1953, “to offer appropriate recognition to persons of superior scholarship, outstanding character, and professional achievement in the field of Aeronautical Engineering.” The new society was formed by the merger of two existing societies, Tau Omega, founded in 1927 at the University of Oklahoma, and Gamma Alpha Rho, founded in 1945 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The name of the society was selected by combining the Greek letter Sigma, indicating sum, with Gamma and Tau from the initial letters of the parent organizations. Since its modest beginnings in 1953, the society has grown from 14 to 49 collegiate chapters from 1,900 to 14,000 initiated members. The University of Texas at Austin Sigma Gamma Tau chapter was founded in 1957.
As an honor society, Sigma Gamma Tau is primarily a service organization for Aerospace education. The student chapters participate in activities such as tutoring, peer-advising, and serving on academic committees. The honorary complements the work and goals of the AIAA, the corresponding professional society in which most student activity is centered. Sigma Gamma Tau members traditionally are members of AIAA, and the two organizations frequently co-sponsor scientific, professional, and social activities. Sigma Gamma Tau participates in the AIAA Undergraduate Student Scholarship Program by sponsoring scholarships. These scholarships are given annually to aerospace/aeronautical engineering students attending a university or college that has a student chapter of Sigma Gamma Tau.
Every year, a Sigma Gamma Tau member is nominated to be considered for The Sigma Gamma Tau Undergraduate Award, which serves to select outstanding Aerospace Engineering students at both the regional and national levels. The regional winners receive a plaque and a $100 award. The national winner, who is selected from the regional winners, will receive the Ammon S. Andes National Award and an additional $150 (for a total of $250). The real purpose of these awards is to recognize the accomplishments of these young students as they start their professional careers.
Bylaws and Constitution:
Both the Sigma Gamma Tau Constitution and Bylaws of the Texas Alpha Chapter are available here.