The Rho Chi Society Initiation

As Approved by Executive Council Action
Revised August 11, 2021

Chapters are encouraged to hold public initiations virtually or in-person with family and friends being present. Even though it is a formal ceremony, it is also a happy occasion as the academic accomplishments of the initiates are being recognized.


VIRTUAL – Virtual meetings with all new initiates (and current chapter members, optional) attending. Follow Initiation Ritual below. You may have each new initiate respond with “I am” or answer as a group, or assume the answer. Many variations of the ceremony have been used by our Chapters. Your chapter may also pre-record the ceremony ritual and release to new initiates. We encourage you to gather live via videoconference! It’s an exciting time to come together to celebrate accomplishments. We also have Rho Chi virtual backgrounds available or create one with our logo toolkit.


The chapter officers may be seated or standing at a table covered with a white and/or purple cloth.
At each front corner of the table is a tall white, lighted or electrical candle in a brass candlestick, set upon crossed purple and white ribbons. A mortar and pestle may be placed in the center of the table.

Candidates are led into the room as a group by the faculty advisor and stand before the table throughout the ceremony. An alternative is to call initiates by name to come forward from the audience. Inasmuch as new members will receive certificates and keys, it will be well to organize the initiates in alphabetical order. The officers at the table rise as a group upon the approach of the candidates and likewise remain standing.


The Rho Chi Society Initiation Ritual

Faculty Advisor: President (insert last name of chapter president) and members of Rho Chi, the persons before you have proved themselves worthy of membership in the Rho Chi Society. I present them at this time to be initiated; (calls list of candidates, using full names).

Chapter President: Candidates of Rho Chi, by your academic record and personal qualities you have merited a place among us. As members it will be entrusted to your ability and conscience to nurture the ideals and interests of our chapter and our national fellowship. Listen now to a résumé of Rho Chi’s history, for it reveals the intense feeling and high purpose of the individuals who brought into being an honorary society in pharmacy.

Historian: There have been Greek letter fraternal societies in pharmacy long before the establishment of an honor society in pharmacy. For years, plans have existed for that special kind of fraternal group whose main purpose would be to stimulate scholarship and research and whose membership would reflect the intellectual and human qualities necessary to breathe life into the society’s aims. The efforts of many bore fruit on May 19, 1922, when the first chapter of Rho Chi, instituted at the University of Michigan, was given national recognition. Sanctioned by the organization now called the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the Society grew.

Our own (insert name of chapter) Chapter was the (insert ordinal number) to be organized and receive approval of all other member chapters. The high standards maintained by Rho Chi have resulted in the general recognition of membership as a distinction analogous to election to great honor societies in other fields of scholarship.

President: It is into this tradition and respected fellowship that we invite you. We have chosen with care, mindful of the responsibilities that will be yours, for soon in your hands will rest the welfare of this (insert name) chapter, which others have labored to establish and maintain.

Treasurer : Rho Chi offers you an opportunity and stimulus for greater service. Our membership confers distinction, but keep this well in mind, no distinction, no honor, no privilege, comes to anyone without added responsibilities. Listen well to our mission and vision in order that you may better understand the high honor of membership and what is expected of a Rho Chi member.

Vice-President: As the academic honor society in pharmacy, the Rho Chi Society encourages and recognizes excellence in intellectual achievement, stimulates critical inquiry to advance pharmacy, contributes to the development of intellectual leaders, promotes the highest ethical standards, and fosters collaboration.

The Rho Chi Society seeks to advance pharmacy through sustained intellectual leadership.

Your actions should reflect pharmacy at its best and the high standards symbolized by your Rho Chi insignia.

Secretary: The emblem of this society is the octagonal key bearing the Greek letters Rho Chi, combined to form that ancient and common symbol in pharmacy representing the use of medication in health care. The eight sides of the key have evolved to represent the elements that form the foundation of our profession: chemistry, biology, physiology, pharmaceutics, pharmacology, the biomedical, social/administrative and clinical sciences.

Our colors are purple and white – the royal purple of the highest intellectual efforts and the white of truth and loyalty.

Our purposes lie in the unswerving aim of our members to adhere to and promote the highest ideals in pharmacy, both scientific and cultural.

President: And now, with full knowledge of the purpose and aims of Rho Chi, are you willing to join the society, to support the Society, and to work with the Society to the best of your ability?

If so, signify by saying, “I am”. (Initiates respond)

As Officers of the Rho Chi Society, we warmly welcome you into our fellowship.

The Rho Chi Society is celebrating its 100th Anniversary in 2022! We, as members, are laying the foundation for the next 100 years. Our Society encourages us to stay involved as lifetime members by supporting our chapter and serving nationally as a speaker, mentor, advisor or on the executive council throughout our career. We look forward to your participation in our celebratory chapter events. National opportunities and events will be posted on the website, and the social media groups. You are now a Rho Chi lifetime member!

Welcome to The Rho Chi Society!

New Officer Installation

Faculty Advisor or Presiding Officer:

[Call the names of the newly elected officers and ask them to step forward to receive their oath of office.]

These are the officers who will hold office until __________.

Vice President:
Other Officer(s):

As newly elected officers of the __________Chapter of the Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society for the forthcoming academic year, do you pledge to uphold the Bylaws of the Rho Chi Society and to attempt, to the best of your abilities, the assigned duties of the respective offices to which you have been elected? If so, signify by saying, “I do.”

(New officers respond, “I do.”)

As the (Faculty Advisor or Presiding Officer) of The Rho Chi Society, I accept your affirmation and extend to you my best regards in the coming year.

Faculty Advisor or Presiding Officer: Congratulations to our initiates and newly elected officers.