Originally founded in 1924, and chartered at Emporia State in 1961, the Blue Key Honor Society is resurging on campus this year.
“Blue Key is a national honor society,” said Gary Sherrer, former Kansas Board of Regents chair and ESU alumnus. “Essentially, people are selected for two things – one, their leadership abilities, and two, their willingness to serve.”
Sherrer will co-advise the group with President Michael Shonrock.
When it was chartered on ESU’s campus in the ’60s, the Blue Key Honor Society was “a national honorary leadership and service fraternity for men” and members were selected for their leadership ability, scholarship and service to the Teachers College, according to the organization’s website, Bluekey.org.
The website states, “Blue Key does not intend to build leaders, but to take them after they have established themselves, recognize their accomplishments and ability and form a group of men which will contribute to the welfare of Kansas State Teachers College.”
These days, women are also included in the organizations. In the past, members were chosen at the close of their junior year and participated throughout their senior year, but now the group will be open to juniors and seniors.
The Blue Key Honor Society is described on its website as “a premier honor society that recognizes college students at senior institutions of higher education for balanced and all-around excellence in scholarship, leadership, and service.”
According to the website, selected members must demonstrate qualities of scholarship, leadership, service, and character and integrity. Benefits of membership include “recognition of scholastic, leadership, and service achievement on college campus, registration as a lifetime member of a respected international honorary society,” acknowledgement of “the contributions made by the top 1 percent of college students, opportunity to engage in service activities with peers, enhance leadership opportunities and experiences through organized interactions,” and to “participate in an international leadership conference that promotes leadership development, career advancement, and communication among Blue Key chapter members.”
The group will be officially re-chartered Oct. 12 with the dedication of the Blue Key Leadership Conference Room, located in the Memorial Union, room 216, and a reunion for former Blue Key Members. The money for the room was donated by former members.
“We raised extra money outside of the room just to pay for furnishings that will go in there, and we will have the history on the wall,” said Pam Konetzni, major gifts officer of the ESU Foundation.
The event is for members and invited guests only and will be held from 5-9 p.m.