Founded as an honor society for sophomore women (CWENS) at the University of Pittsburgh in the fall of 1922, Lambda Sigma became a national organization when chapters were founded in 1925 at Miami University and the University of Missouri. The society became coed in 1976 with the implementation of Title IX. Lambda Sigma chapters can be found from Massachusetts to Texas and in a variety of states between.
Lambda Sigma has been a member of the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS) since 1981. ACHS is the nation’s only certifying agency for college and university honor societies. Members must adhere to the standards for oganizational excellence established by ACHS in order to remain in good standing.
The official symbol of Lambda Sigma is a blue diamond with the Greek letters superimposed in gold. The letters lambda and sigma are emblematic of leadership and scholarship, which are the foundations of society.
Active membership on any campus consists of not more than 50 students or 10 percent of the freshman class, whichever is lower. Candidates for membership are those first year students who have placed in at least the top 35 percent of the class academically at the time of selection and who have shown evidence of leadership during their first year. The students who meet these qualifications are eligible for selection in the spring term following completion of at least one academic term. Members selected in the spring are active Lambda Sigmas during their second year.
Prior to initiation, each new member of Lambda Sigma pays an initiation fee which includes national dues and local chapter fees. National dues are $40, and cover the membership certificate, national publications during the active year of membership, and general operating and convention expenses. Membership pins may be ordered at the time of initiation for a nominal cost.