Gamma Theta Upsilon
In spring 2009, the Lambda Psi chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU) honor society for International Geography was created at Ohio Northern University. The creation of this prestigious honor society reflects increased interest in geography at ONU. During the university Honors Day ceremonies in May, three students and two faculty members became the first five inductees into the Lambda Psi chapter of GTU.
Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU) is an international honor society in geography. Gamma Theta Upsilon was founded in 1928 and became a national organization in 1931. Members of GTU have met academic requirements and share a background and interest in geography. GTU chapter activities support geography knowledge and awareness.
GTU’s Goals are:
1. To further professional interest in Geography by affording a common organization for those interested in the field.
2. To strengthen student and professional training through academic experiences in addition to those of the classroom and laboratory.
3. To advance the status of Geography as a cultural and practical discipline for study and investigation.
4. To encourage student research of high quality, and to promote an outlet for publication.
5. To create and administer funds for furthering graduate study and/or research in the field of Geography.
6. To encourage members to apply geographic knowledge and skills in service to humankind.
Gamma Theta Upsilon owes its origin to the vision of Dr. Robert G. Buzzard. He established an honorary fraternity in the field of geography just prior to World War I, while a student at the University of Chicago. This attempt to form a permanent organization was not successful.
During 1924-25, while a graduate student at Clark University, Dr. Buzzard was influenced by a local organization called the Clark University Geographical Society (CUGS). CUGS was comprised of students in attendance and persons with a graduate degree from Clark University. Dr. Buzzard had a great appreciation for the value and importance of geography student organizations.
The possibility of establishing a geographical fraternity was discussed during the annual meeting of the National Council for Geographic Education in 1925 at Madison, Wisconsin. At that time, academic fraternities representing other disciplines were growing at a rapid pace, and interest in a geography honor society was also increasing.
During the 1920s, Dr. Buzzard established a geography club at Illinois State Normal. University, Normal, Illinois, where he was a Professor. On May 15, 1928, the club became Alpha Chapter, Gamma Theta Upsilon, a professional geography fraternity, with thirty-three charter members, chartered under the State of Illinois.
For three years, Alpha Chapter continued as a thriving local fraternity. Interest gradually increased, however, in developing a national organization for Gamma Theta Upsilon. In the Spring of 1931, a determined effort was made to nationalize. This effort was successful, and on May 15, 1931, the Founder's Day of Alpha Chapter, charters were granted to four additional chapters: the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa; Sam Houston State Teachers College, Huntsville, Texas; State Teachers College, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania; and Southwest Missouri State College, Springfield, Missouri. Since that time, more than 200 GTU chapters have been established, and new chapters are added almost every year.
In order to strengthen ties among chapters and among all members of Gamma Theta Upsilon, Regional Divisions were established in 1972. These divisions correspond generally to the regional divisions of the Association of American Geographers .
Initiates have completed a minimum of 3 geography courses, have a GPA of at least 3.3 overall and in geography, and shall have completed at least 3 semesters or 5 quarters of college course work.