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Gamma Beta Phi

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The Gamma Beta Phi Society is an honor and service organization for students in colleges and universities in the United States. It is non-secret, non-profit, and co-educational; and, membership therein does not exclude a student from membership in any other organization.

A chapter of the Society may be established in any two-year or four-year academic institution identified by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers in their handbook for acceptance of academic credit as offering academic credit acceptable for transfer to other two-year and four-year academic institutions.

The name of the organization is derived from the initial letters of the three Greek words for education, life, and friendship. It signifies that education and friendship constitute the basis of a full and happy life. The motto of Gamma Beta Phi is Progressus per Eruditioneum (progress through education), and its watchwords are Scholarship, Service and Character.


The Gamma Beta Phi Society was chartered on March 22, 1964, in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Created by a group of Southern college educators, it grew out of the high school Beta Club, and Dr. John H. Harris, founder of that organization, served as the Society's Executive Secretary for its first decade. Under the tutelage of the next Executive Secretary, Dr. Aaron Todd, the Society was revitalized, new chapters steadily added, and the headquarters moved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee. By 1983, it was evident that a single individual could no longer manage the growing organization. The National Executive Committee created the position of National Executive Director, conducted a regional search, and hired a dedicated former member, Mrs. Margaret McCauley, to fill the post. (Mrs. McCauley's contract has been renewed every five years since that time.) After Dr. Todd's resignation in 1985, Mr. Russell McCauley was elected by the organization's Senate as National Executive-Treasurer, a position he served as for the next four years. At that time the central administrative office moved to its present location of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In 1992, as the Society continued to grow, a National Business Manager was added; in 2002, that position was elevated to Assistant National Executive Director. Since 1994, Mr. Jimmy McNutt has held that office.

Today Gamma Beta Phi has chapters all across the United States, from the Virgin Islands to Hawaii. It regularly inducts over 10,000 academically strong students who share its mission of promoting education and providing service to their colleges and communities. Chapters are managed locally by elected officers and college advisors, and loosely organized into states or regions. Annually, chapter representatives may attend both a state or regional conference, usually a Fall event, and the National Convention, held each Spring. (In the past decade, National Conventions have been held in locations such as Nashville, San Antonio, and New Orleans.) Currently, there are approximately 40,000 active student members of Gamma Beta Phi, and their numbers and commitment to the Society's ideals continue to grow.

Its Purpose and Objectives

Gamma Beta Phi is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Its purpose is exclusively educational under the provisions of that Section.

The watchwords of the Society ... Scholarship, Character, Service ... denote the three major objectives of Gamma Beta Phi:

  • To recognize and encourage individual excellence in education.
  • To promote the development of leadership ability and character in its members.
  • To foster, disseminate and improve education through appropriate service projects.