The History of Kappa Theta Epsilon
…over 50 years in the making
The Kappa Theta Epsilon Society found its beginnings in two men: John L. Cain and Jack H. Bell, who in 1956 were the Coordinator and Assistant Coordinator, respectively, of the Cooperative Education Program at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. They perceived the necessity of an honor society devoted to the purpose of recognizing those Cooperative Education students made notable by their academic achievements.
Their purpose was to mark in a fitting manner those who conferred honor upon the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State university by distinguished scholarship, industrial ability, integrity, breadth of interest, and adaptability as undergraduates in the Cooperative Education Program. These honors were to be held as incentive to develop a spirit of competitive achievement in academic work.
In the fall of 1956 they assembled a meeting of seniors distinguished for their scholastic accomplishments, and those present addressed the possibility of creating such an honor society. The proposal was well received, and work soon began on the organization of the Society.
The name Kappa Theta Epsilon was chosen on the 7th of February, 1957. Thirteen days later the constitution was ratified and the official insignia of the Society was adopted. Shortly thereafter, the Director of Student Activities was approached with a petition for a charter. This was approved on the 1st of March.
The first initiation ceremony was held on the 7th of March and in it Kappa Theta Epsilon was born.
As a national organization, the Kappa Theta Epsilon Society aspires to promote Cooperative Education by recognizing outstanding students in the Cooperative Education Program; students who are among the most able and qualified in the country.
In addition, the Kappa Theta Epsilon Society hopes to provide service to the Cooperative Education Programs at member schools and serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas regarding Cooperative Education.