History

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The Fifth Edition of the Society’s history, “The Rho Chi Society”, as revised by Historian Robert A. Buerki from The Ohio State University, was published in 1994. A limited number of copies are available from the Society’s National Office.

Roy A. Bowers and David L. Cowen published their history of the Society in 1955 in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education (1955; 19:244-284). In that same year, the First Edition of the book now known as the “History of The Rho Chi Society” was published.

An online version of the Society’s history is in preparation and will be accessible from this page when completed.


A Brief History of The Rho Chi Society

The Rho Chi Society has its origin in the merger of two movements, both commencing in 1917, to create a national honor society for pharmacy.  One had started on the campus of the University of Michigan where there had been a local honor society (known as the “Aristolochite Society”) in existence at the Pharmaceutical Department since 1908.  This group began to plan for national expansion in 1917, and finally established a second chapter at the School of Pharmacy of the (then) Oregon Agricultural College in 1919 and a third at the University of Oklahoma in 1922.

The other movement, originally independent of the Michigan movement, was initiated even earlier in 1917 by Rufus A. Lyman in his presidential address to the American Conference of Pharmaceutical Faculties.  Under the stimulus of his suggestion, and the conscientious efforts of Professor Zada M. Cooper, it was decided to take advantage of the activity in progress at Michigan. The “Aristolochite Society” had in the meantime become the “Rho Chi Society,” and had been granted a charter by the State of Michigan on May 19, 1922.  The Conference of Pharmaceutical Faculties, finding that the group met the standards which the Conference had determined upon, extended its recognition to Rho Chi, as “the Honor Society of Pharmacy.”  Rho Chi, in turn, provided that chapters could be established only at colleges that were members of the Conference (now the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.)

A policy of conservative expansion followed. After five years of existence, Rho Chi could count eight chapters; and after ten years, eighteen, but thereafter, growth continued more rapidly.  In 2018, there were 128 active chapters and additional chapters are anticipated at new schools of pharmacy.

The high standards maintained for membership in Rho Chi have resulted in the general recognition of the Society not only by Pharmacy, but also by academic circles generally.  Since 1947, the Society has been a member of the Association of College Honor Societies.


Objectives of The Rho Chi Society

The fundamental objective of Rho Chi has always been to promote the advancement of the pharmaceutical sciences through the encouragement and recognition of sound scholarship.  High standards of intellectual and scholarly attainment have been demanded for election to membership; and such election, symbolized by the award of the Rho Chi Key, supplies a unique scholarship incentive.

Rho Chi seeks to promote scholarly fellowship in pharmacy by bringing professional students, graduate students, and faculty members together in fraternal and helpful association.  Regular chapter meetings, and other activities, emphasize the professional aspects of pharmacy and point the way to instructive study and research.  By such means, Rho Chi, like its sister honor societies, seeks to increase the awareness of the ethical and social responsibilities of the profession, and thereby, to enhance the prestige of the profession.

The Society has also sought to encourage research in pharmacy and in1972 established a first-year graduate scholarship.  In 1992, the first-year graduate scholarship was awarded in conjunction with the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education (AFPE) Board of Grants.  This scholarship is awarded, on a competitive basis, to a student in the final year of professional studies or to a member who has completed professional studies.   It is limited to members of the Rho Chi Society who enter graduate programs in accredited schools/colleges of pharmacy leading to the Ph.D. degree.  A similar post-doctoral clinical research scholarship was established in 2003 and is administered by the Rho Chi Scholarship Committee.  The Scholarship is awarded to a Rho Chi member entering the second year of fellowship training.  In addition, small cash awards are presented to chapters who are selected in the Chapter Awards Program and are based upon competitive theme entries suggested each year by the Society’s Executive Council and/or sustained activities of the chapter.


The Society’s Insignia

The Greek letters, “Rho” and “Chi,” were originally selected because, when placed in the relative position in which they are found on the Rho Chi Key, they are emblematic of the prescription sign.  The colors attached to the seal of membership were chosen to indicate the royalty of purple and the loyalty of white.  The eight sides of the Key, although they have had different meanings in the past, now represent chemistry, biology, physiology, pharmaceutics, pharmacology, and the biomedical, social/administrative, and clinical sciences.


Society Publications

Beginning in 1933 and for the next 60 years, the Society published its annual report, The Report of Rho Chi, containing complete accounts of the activities of the Executive Council, the National Office, and local chapters, and distributed the Report in print version among collegiate and honorary members at their initiation.  Although the Report of Rho Chi is no longer printed, the content is nonetheless published through the Society’s Website, www.rhochi.org.

A historical study, called The Rho Chi Society  by Roy A. Bowers and David L. Cowen, was issued by the Society in 1955 in cooperation with the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy.  This work was first published in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education (1955;19:244-284).  The fifth revision, edited by Robert A. Buerki, published in 1992 is the current edition.  In the future, The Rho Chi Society will be published through the Society’s Website.

Current information about the Society, useful both for members and non-members, can be found at the Society’s Internet site, www.rhochi.org.  Members and guests are welcome to visit the site or to contact the National Office through email at RhoChi@usc.edu for further information.


Rho Chi Society Chapters

Chartered

Chapter

University

City

State

  • 1922 0

    Gamma

    University of Oklahoma

    Oklahoma City

    OK

  • 1922 0

    Beta

    Oregon State University

    Corvallis

    OR

  • 1922 0

    Alpha

    University of Michigan

    Ann Arbor

    MI

  • 1923 0

    Delta

    University of Iowa

    Iowa City

    IA

  • 1925 0

    Eta

    University of Wisconsin

    Madison

    WI

  • 1925 0

    Epsilon

    Washington State University

    Pullman

    WA

  • 1925 0

    Theta

    University of Southern California

    Los Angeles

    CA

  • 1925 0

    Zeta

    Auburn University

    Auburn

    AL

  • 1928 0

    Kappa

    North Dakota State University

    Fargo

    ND

  • 1928 0

    Iota

    University of Florida

    Gainesville

    FL

  • 1929 0

    Xi

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Chapel Hill

    NC

  • 1929 0

    Lambda

    Virginia Commonwealth University

    Richmond

    VA

  • 1930 0

    Mu

    University of Minnesota

    Minneapolis

    MN

  • 1930 0

    Nu

    University of Texas at Austin

    Austin

    TX

  • 1930 0

    Omicron

    University of Maryland

    Baltimore

    MD

  • 1931 0

    Tau

    South Dakota State University

    Brookings

    SD

  • 1931 0

    Rho

    University of Washington

    Seattle

    WA

  • 1931 1

    Pi

    North Pacific College of Oregon

    Portland

    OR

  • 1931 1

    Sigma

    Western Reserve University

    Cleveland

    OH

  • 1934 0

    Upsilon

    The Ohio State University

    Columbus

    OH

  • 1934 0

    Phi

    University of Illinois at Chicago

    Chicago

    IL

  • 1937 0

    Chi

    University of Mississippi

    University

    MS

  • 1939 0

    Psi

    MCPHS University

    Boston

    MA

  • 1940 0

    Omega

    University at Buffalo

    Buffalo

    NY

  • 1941 0

    Alpha Beta

    Duquesne University

    Pittsburgh

    PA

  • 1941 0

    Alpha Alpha

    Creighton University

    Omaha

    NE

  • 1942 0

    Alpha Gamma

    University of Connecticut

    Storrs

    CT

  • 1942 1

    Alpha Delta

    Loyola University of the South

    New Orleans

    LA

  • 1943 0

    Alpha Epsilon

    University of Nebraska

    Omaha

    NE

  • 1945 0

    Alpha Zeta

    Purdue University

    West Lafayette

    IN

  • 1947 0

    Alpha Eta

    Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

    Piscataway

    NJ

  • 1948 0

    Alpha Nu

    University of Tennessee

    Memphis

    TN

  • 1948 0

    Alpha Theta

    University of Colorado

    Denver

    CO

  • 1948 1

    Alpha Iota

    Medical College of South Carolina

    Charleston

    SC

  • 1948 0

    Alpha Iota

    Medical University of South Carolina

    Charleston

    SC

  • 1949 0

    Alpha Kappa

    University of Georgia

    Athens

    GA

  • 1949 0

    Alpha Mu

    West Virginia University

    Morgantown

    WV

  • 1949 0

    Alpha Xi

    University of Kentucky

    Lexington

    KY

  • 1949 0

    Alpha Lambda

    University of California, San Francisco

    San Francisco

    CA

  • 1950 0

    Alpha Omicron

    University of Pittsburgh

    Pittsburgh

    PA

  • 1951 0

    Alpha Rho

    University of Kansas

    Lawrence

    KS

  • 1951 0

    Alpha Upsilon

    Idaho State University

    Pocatello

    ID

  • 1951 0

    Alpha Tau

    University of the Sciences in Philadelphia

    Philadelphia

    PA

  • 1951 0

    Alpha Sigma

    Drake University

    Des Moines

    IA

  • 1953 0

    Alpha Chi

    Wayne State University

    Detroit

    MI

  • 1953 0

    Alpha Phi

    Butler University

    Indianapolis

    IN

  • 1954 0

    Beta Beta

    Samford University

    Birmingham

    AL

  • 1954 0

    Alpha Omega

    University of Missouri - Kansas City

    Kansas City

    MO

  • 1954 0

    Alpha Psi

    University of Arizona

    Tucson

    AZ

  • 1954 0

    Beta Delta

    St. John's University

    Jamaica

    NY

  • 1954 0

    Beta Alpha

    University of South Carolina

    Columbia

    SC

  • 1954 1

    Beta Gamma

    Columbia University

    New York City

    NY

  • 1955 0

    Beta Mu

    Ferris State University

    Big Rapids

    MI

  • 1955 0

    Beta Eta

    University of Toledo

    Toledo

    OH

  • 1955 0

    Beta Iota

    University of Arkansas

    Little Rock

    AR

  • 1955 0

    Beta Kappa

    St. Louis College of Pharmacy

    St. Louis

    MO

  • 1955 0

    Beta Epsilon

    University of Utah

    Salt Lake City

    UT

  • 1955 0

    Beta Theta

    Long Island University

    Brooklyn

    NY

  • 1955 0

    Beta Lambda

    Temple University

    Philadelphia

    PA

  • 1955 1

    Beta Zeta

    George Washington University

    Washington

    D.C.

  • 1956 0

    Beta Nu

    University of Cincinnati - Medical Center

    Cincinnati

    OH

  • 1956 1

    Beta Xi

    Fordham University

    New York City

    NY

  • 1958 0

    Beta Omicron

    University of Houston

    Houston

    TX

  • 1959 0

    Beta Pi

    University of Rhode Island

    Kingston

    RI

  • 1960 0

    Beta Rho

    University of Montana

    Missoula

    MT

  • 1960 0

    Beta Sigma

    Howard University College of Pharmacy

    Washington

    DC

  • 1961 0

    Beta Phi

    University of Wyoming

    Laramie

    WY

  • 1961 0

    Beta Chi

    University of Louisiana at Monroe

    Monroe

    LA

  • 1961 0

    Beta Upsilon

    Southwestern Oklahoma State University

    Weatherford

    OK

  • 1962 0

    Beta Psi

    Ohio Northern University

    Ada

    OH

  • 1964 0

    Beta Omega

    University of the Pacific

    Stockton

    CA

  • 1967 0

    Gamma Alpha

    Mercer University

    Atlanta

    GA

  • 1968 0

    Gamma Beta

    University of New Mexico

    Albuquerque

    NM

  • 1968 0

    Beta Tau

    Northeastern University

    Boston

    MA

  • 1976 0

    Gamma Gamma

    Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

    Albany

    NY

  • 1977 0

    Gamma Epsilon

    Xavier University of Louisiana

    New Orleans

    LA

  • 1980 0

    Gamma Zeta

    Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

    Tallahassee

    FL

  • 1986 0

    Gamma Eta

    University of Puerto Rico

    San Juan

    PR

  • 1991 0

    Gamma Theta

    Nova Southeastern University

    Ft. Lauderdale

    FL

  • 1994 0

    Gamma Iota

    Campbell University

    Buies Creek

    NC

  • 1995 0

    Gamma Kappa

    Midwestern University

    Downers Grove

    IL

  • 2000 0

    Gamma Lambda

    Wilkes University

    Wilkes Barre

    PA

  • 2000 0

    Gamma Mu

    Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

    Amarillo

    TX

  • 2001 0

    Gamma Delta

    Texas Southern University

    Houston

    TX

  • 2001 0

    Gamma Nu

    Midwestern University

    Glendale

    AZ

  • 2002 0

    Gamma Xi

    Hampton University

    Hampton

    VA

  • 2003 0

    Gamma Pi

    MCPHS University - Worcester

    Worcester

    MA

  • 2004 0

    Gamma Rho

    Loma Linda University

    Loma Linda

    CA

  • 2005 0

    Gamma Upsilon

    South University

    Savannah

    GA

  • 2005 0

    Gamma Phi

    Wingate University

    Wingate

    NC

  • 2005 0

    Gamma Omicron

    Shenandoah University

    Winchester

    VA

  • 2005 0

    Gamma Sigma

    Western University of Health Sciences

    Pomona

    CA

  • 2005 0

    Gamma Tau

    Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

    Erie

    PA

  • 2006 0

    Gamma Chi

    Palm Beach Atlantic University

    West Palm Beach

    FL

  • 2008 0

    Gamma Psi

    South Carolina College of Pharmacy

    Columbia/ Charleston

    SC

  • 2008 0

    Delta Alpha

    Appalachian College of Pharmacy

    Oakwood

    VA

  • 2008 0

    Delta Beta

    Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

    Edwardsville

    IL

  • 2008 0

    Gamma Omega

    Texas A&M Health Science Center

    Kingsville

    TX

  • 2010 0

    Delta Gamma

    University of British Columbia

    Vancouver

    BC

  • 2011 0

    Delta Zeta

    St. John Fisher College

    Rochester

    NY

  • 2011 0

    Delta Eta

    University of the Incarnate Word

    San Antonio

    TX

  • 2011 0

    Delta Delta

    Touro University - California

    Vallejo

    CA

  • 2012 0

    Delta Kappa

    Sullivan University

    Louisville

    KY

  • 2012 0

    Delta Iota

    University of Hawai'i at Hilo

    Hilo

    HI

  • 2012 0

    Delta Lambda

    University of Charleston School of Pharmacy

    Charleston

    WV

  • 2012 0

    Delta Theta

    University of Findlay

    Findlay

    OH

  • 2013 0

    Delta Nu

    Touro College of Pharmacy

    NY

  • 2013 0

    Delta Pi

    Lipscomb University

    TN

  • 2013 0

    Delta Rho

    Union University

    TN

  • 2013 0

    Delta Xi

    Chicago State University

    IL

  • 2013 0

    Delta Omicron

    Harding University

    AR

  • 2013 0

    Delta Mu

    Belmont University

    TN

  • 2014 0

    Delta Sigma

    University of Maryland Eastern Shore

    MD

  • 2014 0

    Delta Upsilon

    California Northstate University

    CA

  • 2014 0

    Delta Psi

    Regis University

    CO

  • 2014 0

    Delta Chi

    University of New England

    ME

  • 2014 0

    Delta Epsilon

    East Tennessee State University

    Johnson City

    TN

  • 2014 0

    Delta Phi

    Northeast Ohio Medical University

    Rootstown

    OH

  • 2015 0

    Delta Tau

    Notre Dame of Maryland University

    MD

  • 2015 0

    Delta Omega

    Presbyterian College

    SC

  • 2015 0

    Epsilon Beta

    D'Youville College

    NY

  • 2015 0

    Epsilon Delta

    Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine - Georgia Campus

    GA

  • 2015 0

    Epsilon Zeta

    Concordia University Wisconsin

    WI

  • 2015 0

    Epsilon Gamma

    Husson Univeristy

    ME

  • 2015 0

    Epsilon Alpha

    University of Saint Joseph

    CT

  • 2016 0

    Epsilon Eta

    South College

    Knoxville 37922

    TN

  • 2016 0

    Epsilon Epsilon

    Thomas Jefferson University

    Philadelphia

    PA

  • 2016 0

    Epsilon Iota

    Western New England University

    Springfield

    MA

  • 2016 0

    Epsilon Kappa

    University of South Florida

    Tampa

    FL

  • 2016 0

    Epsilon Lambda

    Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

    N. Chicago

    IL

  • 2016 0

    Epsilon Theta

    Roosevelt University

    Schaumburg

    IL

  • 2017 0

    Epsilon Mu

    Cedarville University

    Cedarville

    OH

  • 2017 0

    Epsilon Nu

    Manchester University

    Fort Wayne

    IN

  • 2018 0

    Epsilon Omicron

    Fairleigh Dickinson

    Florham Park

    NJ

  • 2018 0

    Epsilon Xi

    Marshall University

    Huntington

    WV

1 denotes an in-active chapter