Dedicated to the purpose of maintaining and promoting the status of civil engineering as an ideal profession, Chi-Epsilon was organized to recognize the characteristics of the individual civil engineer deemed to be fundamental to the successful pursuit of an engineering career, and to aid in the development of those characteristics in the civil engineering student. Engineering, the application of scientific principles to the practical needs of society, is assuming a constantly increasing responsibility for the well-being of all people, and thus calling for competence of the highest order. This responsibility can be discharged only by a professional group whose members are possessed of a good basic technical ability, intelligence, moral integrity, and effective social poise in their relationship with the larger community of which they are part. To contribute to the improvement of the profession, Chi Epsilon fosters the development and exercise of sound traits of character and technical ability among civil engineers, and its members, by precept and example, toward an ever higher standard of professional service.
In the spring of 1922 two groups of civil engineering students at the University of Illinois, one calling itself Chi Epsilon, and the other calling itself Chi Delta Chi, independently of each other, took steps to petition the faculty for permission to establish an honorary civil engineering fraternity. As soon as the existence of the two groups became known to each other, plans were immediately propagated to merge the two groups. On May 22, 1922, the Chi Epsilon Fraternity was founded. Since then, Chi Epsilon has grown to 141 chapters, with over 120,000 members initiated.
Chi Epsilon retains as its motto the Greek letters “Chi Delta Chi”, which formed the name of the junior honor society founded in 1922 at the University of Illinois and which is one of the roots of Chi Epsilon. Chi Delta Chi. These three letters shall symbolize our English motto: Conception, Design, and Construction. These are the three phases of every creative project. Conception is inventive; it perceives the opportunity to do something and recognizes the means of accomplishment. Fitting that means of accomplishment to the specific case and planning a definite method of work is design. Construction is the actual building. It makes a reality of the idea of conception and the plan of design.
Conception requires imagination and intelligence. Design requires education and practical experience. Construction requires energy, determination, and perseverance.
In these functions, your adherence to the principles of Chi Epsilon will serve you well.