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Pi Gamma Mu Home Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society in Social Sciences
Pi Gamma Mu Home
International Honor Society in Social Sciences
Pi Gamma Mu®
International Honor Society
in Social Sciences
1001 Millington Street, Suite B
Winfield, KS 67156
Phone: (620) 221-3128
Fax (620) 221-3276
The Constitution of Pi Gamma Mu






ARTICLE I - Name and Objectives


Section 1.    Name


The name of this Society is Pi Gamma Mu, International Honor Society in Social Sciences.


Section 2.    Objectives


Its primary objectives are to encourage the study of the social sciences among graduate and undergraduate students and faculty members in colleges and universities throughout the world, and to recognize outstanding achievement through election to membership and the presentation of various awards for distinguished achievement.


Section 3.  Mission


The mission of Pi Gamma Mu is to encourage and promote excellence in the social sciences and to uphold the ideals of scholarship and service.


ARTICLE II - Membership


Section 1.    Qualifications


Any student of good moral character who is, or was, a junior or senior in a college or university where there is a chapter of the Society, may be elected to membership by a majority vote of the chapter under the supervision of chapter faculty members, or by a committee of chapter faculty members, provided that:


      (a) This student shall have had at least twenty hours of credits in the social sciences with an average grade therein of “B” or better, and has further been distinguished in the social sciences.


      (b)  No student is considered eligible who has any academic failure in any of the disciplines described in paragraph (c) below.


      (c) The present requirement of twenty hours of credits is defined to include the disciplines of history, political science, sociology, anthropology, economics, international relations, criminal justice, social work, psychology, social philosophy, history of education, and human/cultural geography.       


      (d)  The maximal number of undergraduates admitted to the Society by any chapter in any one year is limited to 25% of the total number of the upper classes in that year, and only students that academically rank in the upper 35% of their classes may be inducted.


      (e) Graduate and professional students of sound character who are candidates for an advanced degree in any college or university having an institutional chapter may become members.  These should be persons whose achievements since graduation have been outstanding and whose scholastic records while in college were high, with an increasing emphasis on the former as the period since graduation becomes longer.


      (f)   Members of the institution’s faculty, including the administration, research, and extension staffs, whose scholastic records and/or outstanding achievements have rendered them worthy, may become members.


Section 2.    Procedure for Admission


A person so elected shall become a member upon receipt by the Executive Director of a written acceptance, payment of the international initiation fee, and issuance by the Executive Director of the prescribed credentials, and not before such action by the headquarters office.


Section 3.    Benefits


      (a)  The international initiation dues shall include the cost of a one-year subscription to International Social Science Review and a one-year subscription to the Pi Gamma Mu Newsletter, a membership card, a key pin, and a certificate of membership.  These dues shall be a lifetime membership fee, and no additional dues, fees or assessments shall thereafter be imposed.


      (b) The Board of Trustees may create additional membership categories in order to serve the purposes and objectives of the Society.  The conditions for membership shall be prescribed by the Trustees.


Section 4.    Honorary Membership


The Board of Trustees may from time to time recognize distinguished service in the social sciences by election to honorary membership and by granting an honor key to persons who by their accomplishments have merited such recognition.  Their names shall be recorded in the minutes of the Trustees.


Section 5.    Associate Membership 


Subject to the provisions of Sections 2 and 3 of this article, each collegiate chapter may elect annually one associate member not connected with the institution provided that such member shall have rendered outstanding service in some field of the social sciences.  A regular international initiation fee shall be paid by the nominating chapter.


ARTICLE III - Chapters


Section 1.    Chartering of Chapters 


The Board shall establish policies and rules of procedure for:


      (a) Eligibility to petition for new chapters.  Collegiate chapters may be established only in colleges or universities which hold regional accreditation, which grant baccalaureate or higher degrees, which are thoroughly prepared to maintain chapters, which have a sufficient number of specially-trained faculty members, and which have adequate library and other facilities to offer students training of high quality in the social sciences.  An application for a chapter must have the approval of the administration and support of a representative number of members of the social science faculty.  A minimum of fifteen charter members shall be required for a new chapter.


      (b) Review of petitions.  Approval requires a majority vote of the Board.


      (c) Withdrawal of charter.  A chapter may be disbanded and its charter revoked by vote of the Board of Trustees.  A chapter may voluntarily surrender its rights and privileges by surrendering its charter to the Board and filing written notice that such action has been taken by the chapter.


Section 2.    Functions of Chapters


College chapters shall:


      (a) Recognize outstanding achievement through election to membership.  Members are to be initiated every year following an invitation to all eligible juniors, seniors, graduate students and faculty.  A collegiate chapter failing to elect some student members in any two-year period is thereby automatically suspended unless special action is taken by the Trustees.


      (b) Carry out a program appropriate to the campus and shall be permitted wide latitude in their interpretation of how to further the general aims of the organization.


      (c)  File an annual report at headquarters.


      (d)  Send a chapter delegate to International Conventions or designate a proxy to the Executive Director


Section 3.    Chapter Governance


      (a)  Chapter bylaws shall be in accordance with the Constitution of the Society.  Upon adoption or revision, a copy shall be filed with the Executive Director of the Society.


      (b) Each collegiate chapter shall have a faculty sponsor who shall act as its certifying officer and a faculty secretary-treasurer in charge of the records and funds.  There should be a student president and at least one student vice-president.   There should also be an executive committee or advisory board including several faculty members from the core of social sciences.


      (c) The election of officers shall annually and a report shall be sent promptly to the Executive Director of the Society.


      (d) The chapter president shall, with the advice and consent of the chapter, exercise the chapter’s voting rights in the election of international officers and other voting by chapters between International Conventions.  When a ballot is mailed to chapters, each chapter president shall be responsible for completing and returning it promptly to the Executive Director of the Society or other designated officer.


      (e) At Conventions the chapter’s delegate or proxy shall vote on behalf of the chapter.


      (f)   All chapters may impose upon their membership such local dues, fees, and assessments as they may deem desirable for local purposes.


Section 4.    Regions and States


The chapters of the Society shall be grouped into states and then into regions.


      (a) Each region consists of a number of states.


      (b) Changes in the names and boundaries of regions shall be proposed by the Board and ratified by vote of the chapters concerned.


      (c) The chapters of each region shall be represented on the Board by a Chancellor.


      (d) Each region shall be presided over by a Chancellor.  States may be presided over by a Governor.  A Governor is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the President.  A Chancellor may be assisted by a Vice Chancellor named by the President.


ARTICLE IV - International Officers


Section 1.    Composition of Board and Officers 


The Officers who constitute the Board of Trustees shall consist of the following:


      I.    Elected and voting members:

            (a)    President - Chief Executive

            (b)    Two Immediate Past Presidents

            (c)    First Vice President - Chapter Development

            (d)    Second Vice President - Scholarships

            (e)    Secretary-Treasurer - Records and Finances

            (f)     Regional Chancellors – North/Northwestern, South/Southwestern, Southeastern, and Northeastern.


      II.    Non-voting Officers appointed by the Board:

            (a)    Executive Director

            (b)    Editor of International Social Science Review

            (c)    General Counsel

            (d)    Honorary Trustees


Section 2.    Election and Appointment of Officers


      (a) One year previous to the holding of the International Triennial Convention, the President shall appoint a nominating committee of three consisting of the Executive Director and the two immediate Past Presidents:


            (1)    To receive nominations for the offices to be filled at the next Convention; each candidate whose name appears on the ballot must be nominated by a chapter;

            (2)    To select from the nominations made by the chapters candidates for offices solely on the basis of their qualifications.

            (3)    To prepare a brief curriculum vitae for each candidate (to be included with the ballot);

            (4)    To prepare and mail ballots cast by the chapters;

            (5)    To receive and count the ballots cast by the chapters;

            (6)    To report the results to the Board of Trustees at lease three weeks before the Convention.  The official results of the election shall be announced at the Convention.


      (b)  Triennially the chapters shall elect by a majority of those voting a President and other elective Officers.  Each will serve a term of three years or until a successor is chosen.   Each Officer is eligible for re-election.


      (c) The position of Past Presidents shall be filled by the most immediate Past Presidents willing and able to serve.


      (d) A regional Chancellor shall be nominated and elected by the chapters from each region for a three-year term.  A majority vote, cast by chapters submitting ballots in each region, shall be required for election.  A Chancellor may be reelected at the pleasure of the chapters within the region which each serves.


      (e) The Board of Trustees shall appoint an Executive Director, an Editor, a General Counsel and others to fill functions as the need arises.  These will serve indefinite terms and remain in office at the will of the Board.


      (f)   In the event of the death, resignation, or incapacity of the President, the First Vice President shall automatically succeed to the Presidency and the Second Vice President to the office of First Vice President.  In the event of the death, resignation, or incapacity of a regional Chancellor, the President may appoint an interim successor to serve until the regular election of a new one.


Section 3.    Qualifications


All Officers shall be recognized social scientists, shall have rendered meritorious service to the Society, shall be persons dedicated to the promotion of the social sciences, shall inspire others to take an intelligent approach to the solution of social problems, shall have academic credentials in the social science field and shall have demonstrated administrative capacity and leadership.  In addition, the President shall be a member of the Society of at least ten years standing, and shall have served as a regional, state, or provincial officer, or as a trustee.


Section 4.    Duties of Officers


      (a) President

            (1)    It shall be the duty of the President to execute the orders and policies of the Convention and the Board of Trustees, to report annually to the Board on the work done by the Society during the current year and the status of the Society among honor societies, to make recommendations for the future development of the Society, to report triennially to the Convention.

            (2)    As the situation warrants, the President shall appoint Governors and Vice Chancellors who will hold office for three years or until their successors are chosen.


      (b) Past Presidents

The Past Presidents shall perform duties assigned by the President with the approval of the Board.


      (c) Regional Chancellors

            (1)    Shall assume responsibility for liaison between the international organization and the chapters in their respective regions.

            (2)    Shall investigate institutions seeking chapters, shall recommend the establishment of new chapters, and shall install these chapters in concurrence with the Vice President for Chapter Development and the Governor involved, or appoint someone to undertake these tasks.


      (d)  Executive Director

            (1)    Shall execute the orders and policies of the Board and the International Conventions.

            (2)    Shall perform those duties that usually pertain to the office of Secretary of the Society. 


These will include, but not be limited to, the following:  Keep the minutes of the meetings of the Board and of Conventions; maintain membership rolls, appropriate records of chapters, records of the scholarship and lectureship programs; arrange for timely announcement, agenda and minutes of all meetings of  the Board and Conventions and report to the membership concerning actions taken by these bodies; provide assistance to committees as requested by the President; conduct the election of International Officers and Regional Chancellors prior to each International Convention; communicate with members of the Society, chapter officers, and the Board; edit the Pi Gamma Mu Newsletter; submit an annual report to the Board at least two weeks prior to the annual meeting which will include detailed plans for the international, regional, provincial, and local program work of the Society for the next calendar year.


            (3)    Shall be properly bonded at the expense of the Society and shall perform those duties that usually pertain to the office of Treasurer of the Society and Business Manager of International Social Science Review.  These will include, but not be limited to, the following:  Receive, hold, and disburse Society funds in accordance with the approved budget; have accounts audited annually by a public accounting firm and send certified copies of the auditor’s report to the Trustees at least two weeks prior to the annual meeting; publish a summary financial report in the   Pi Gamma Mu Newsletter;


                    Prepare and transmit general triennial budget estimates to all chapters at least one month before the Convention for information and comment; prepare detailed annual budgets within the parameters of these estimates and submit them to the Board for approval; disperse scholarship and lectureship funds as approved by the Board; make printing and publishing contracts.


            (4)    Shall manage the headquarters office.  In accordance with the approved budget, the Director shall contract for office space, services and equipment; employ office staff and professional personnel at the expense of the Society; establish policies to operate the office; assist chapter officers in carrying out their duties; serve on committees; perform other duties as the President or the Board may prescribe.


      (e)  Editor   

The Editor shall edit International Social Science Review, the official publication of the Society.  The International Social Science Review will be published two times per year as a double issue.


Section 5.    General Provisions


      (a) The elected officers shall serve without compensation.


      (b) Upon evidence of any officer’s incapacity or unwillingness to serve, the Board by two-thirds vote may declare that office to be vacant.


      (c) Elected officers shall assume office at the close of an International Convention and serve through the next Convention.


ARTICLE V - Board of Trustees


Section 1.    Membership


The Board of Trustees of Pi Gamma Mu shall consist of the International Officers, as prescribed in ARTICLE IV, Section 1, plus two voting Student Representatives as prescribed in Section 6 of this Article.


      (a) All members of the Board shall be voting members except the Executive Director, Editor, General Counsel, and Honorary Trustees.


      (b) A majority vote of the Board shall prevail in all matters.


      (c) A legal quorum of the Board shall be seven voting members.


Section 2.    Powers and Responsibilities


      (a) All administrative and judicial powers of the Society shall be vested in the Board in the intervals between Conventions.  The Board has full power and authority to establish, maintain and relocate the international office.


      (b) Specific powers shall include, but not be limited to, the following:  Chartering college chapters; withdrawing charters if necessary; reviewing the recommendations of the Executive Director and Second Vice President for Scholarships to determine the number and type of awards and recognitions to be granted; determining the amount of international dues for new members; reviewing and approving the annual and triennial budgets of the Society; reviewing and approving publications policy.


(c) To accept gifts, honorariums, donations and transfers of property, real, personal, and mixed, in trust or otherwise, which qualify as a gift, honorarium, donation and transfer as defined by the rules and regulations of the Internal Revenue Service.


Section 3.   Meetings


The Board shall meet annually between International Conventions at such times and places as shall be agreed upon by its members.  Business may be conducted by mail between meetings.


Section 4.    Triennial Report


Before each International Convention, a report of the activities of the Board for the preceding triennium shall be mailed to all chapters.  At the Convention this report shall be presented for review and approval.


Section 5.    Expense Reimbursement 


The elective and appointive members of the Board shall receive reimbursement of their expenses.


 Section 6.  Student Representatives


In addition to the International Officers who comprise the Board of Trustees, there shall be two Student Representatives on the Board of Trustees who shall be voting members, possessing all of the rights, privileges, duties and responsibilities as Student Representatives to the Board.


      (a) Qualifications and Election:

            (1)    The Student Representatives shall be elected at each Triennial Convention by student members attending. 

            (2)    The Student Representatives shall serve a term of three years, and at the time of their election must be currently enrolled in an academic institution containing an active chapter of Pi Gamma Mu, in which the student is a member in good standing at the time of election. 

            (3)    In case a vacancy occurs, the President may appoint an interim successor to serve until the next regular election.  The election process is vested in the Board of Trustees as part of its administrative powers.


      (b) General Provisions:

            (1)    The Student Representatives shall serve without compensation.

            (2)    Upon evidence by any Student Representative’s incapacity or unwillingness to serve, the Board of Trustees, by a two-thirds vote, may declare the position to be vacant.

            (3)    Elected Student Representatives shall assume office at the close of an International                                  Convention and serve through the next Convention.


Section 7.    Honorary Trustees 


The Board of Trustees may confer the title of Honorary Trustee on such person or persons who have distinguished themselves in the service of Pi Gamma Mu and are outstanding social scientists.  An Honorary Trustee shall not have voting rights.


ARTICLE VI - International Triennial Conventions


Section 1.    Meetings


An International Triennial Convention shall meet once in three years at a time and place to be determined by the Board.  Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the proceedings of meetings when not in conflict with this Constitution.


Section 2.    Delegates


A Convention shall consist of one delegate from each chapter, and the members of the Board.  The delegate or proxy from a chapter shall be any active member designated by an active chapter as its representative.


Section 3.    Voting Rights


In Convention, each chapter which has sent a delegate or proxy and each elected member of the Board shall have one vote.


Section 4.    Procedure at Meetings


The President and the Executive Director of the Society shall serve as chairperson and secretary, respectively, of the International Convention.  The Executive Director will determine who is representing each chapter at the Convention and report such information at the first session of the Convention.


Section 5.    Financial Report


The International Convention shall approve a certified financial report covering the period since the immediately proceeding Convention.


Section 6.    Jurisdiction


The International Convention is vested with the supreme authority of the Society and, subject to the Articles of Incorporation and the procedures prescribed to be followed in amending this Constitution, shall have jurisdiction over all affairs of the Society and establish rules of governance of the Society.




Section 1.    Initiation Fees


Each chapter shall collect in advance international initiation fees from candidates for initiation and submit these fees to the Executive Director.


Section 2.    Disbursement


Assessments thus collected shall be disbursed by the Executive Director to pay expenses, to be invested as endowment funds, or otherwise allocated as determined by the Board.




Section 1.    Motto


The motto of the Society is the epigram of the Master Teacher, “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”


Section 2.    Key


The Society’s key has a wreath at the bottom to suggest that social science is the outgrowth and fulfillment of natural science.  The running figure is reminiscent of the ancient Greek torch race and symbolizes humanity bringing knowledge to the solution of its own problems and passing on the light from generation to generation.


Section 3.    Colors


The colors are blue and white - for truth and light.


Section 4.    Flower


The official flower is the blue and white cineraria.


Section 5.    Ritual


The official ritual has been adopted for optional use in initiating new members, in inaugurating officers, and in installing new chapters.


ARTICLE IX - Indemnification


The Society shall indemnify any Trustee or Officer or former Trustee or Officer of the Society against expenses (including attorney’s fees) actually and necessarily incurred by him in connection with the defense of any action, suit or proceeding in which he is made a party by reason of being or having been such Trustee or Officer, except in relation to matters as to which he shall be adjudged in such action, suit or proceeding to be liable for negligence or misconduct in the performance of his duty to the Society.  Such indemnification shall not be deemed exclusive of any other rights to which such Trustee or Officer may be entitled under any bylaw, agreement, and vote of the Board of Trustees or otherwise.


ARTICLE X - Amendments and Revisions of the Constitution


Section 1.    Amendments


Amendments to the Constitution may be proposed at any time by a chapter, a committee or the Board of Trustees.


Section 2.    Ratification


All proposed amendments to this Constitution and bylaws shall be considered by the Board of Trustees.  If approved, they may be adopted at an International Convention, but in any case they must be ratified by a majority vote of three-fourths of the chapters by mail.  Votes not received by the date specified shall be cast by the Board of Trustees.  Chapters eligible to vote in all matters will have initiated members during the previous fiscal year or before the ballots are mailed in the new year.


Pi Gamma Mu

International Honor Society for Social Sciences
1001 Millington, Suite B

Winfield, KS 67156
Phone: 620-221-3128

Fax: 620-221-3276

Email: [email protected]