What is SGT?
Sigma Gamma Tau is the National Aerospace Engineering Honor Society at Penn State University. This honor society recognizes juniors and seniors for their academic accomplishments in the major of aerospace engineering. The objective of Sigma Gamma Tau as stated in the preamble of the National Constitution, are: “to recognize and honor those individuals in the field of Aeronautics and Astronautics who have, through scholarship, integrity, and outstanding achievement, been a credit to their profession. The society seeks to foster a high standard of ethics and professional practice and to create a spirit of loyalty and fellowship, particularly among students of Aerospace Engineering.” Dr. Sven Schmitz is the adviser for the Penn State chapter.
Sigma Gamma Tau was founded at Purdue University on February 28, 1953 in West Lafayette, Indiana. The purpose of the creation of this honor society was, “to offer appropriate recognition to persons of superior scholarship, outstanding character, and professional achievement in the field of Aeronautical Engineering.” This society merged two preexisting organizations to form the National Aerospace Engineering Honor Society, Tau Omega founded in 1927 at the University of Oklahoma and Gamma Alpha Rho founded in 1945 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The name of Sigma Gamma Tau comes from the Greek letter Sigma, meaning “sum” with parent Greek letters Gamma and Tau. There are 54 active chapters of this honor society across the nation, ranging from the Northeast to the Southwest.
Membership in Sigma Gamma Tau is limited to the major of Aerospace Engineering only. Students must be in the upper one-quarter of their junior class, or upper one-third of their senior class to be considered for induction into the society. Graduate students wishing to join Sigma Gamma Tau must also be in good academic standing and have met similar requirements as an undergraduate. Sigma Gamma Tau not only focuses on current academic achievements, but also future endeavors. SGT pursues potential members from which future advancements in their profession are most likely to come. Membership in this society is also extended to individuals in the Aerospace industry who have made significant contributions to their profession.
As an honor society, Sigma Gamma Tau acts primarily as a service organization for Aerospace education. The student chapter of SGT at Penn State participates in tutoring, hosting campus advisers in aerospace engineering, as well as serving on other academic committees. Most activity within this honor society complements the work and goals of AIAA on campus. Sigma Gamma Tau participates in the AIAA Undergraduate Student Scholarship Program. These scholarships are given on an annual basis to those at a campus focusing on the aeronautical/astronautical education route with an active chapter of Sigma Gamma Tau.