Xi Sigma Pi: The National Forestry Honors Society

Xi Sigma Pi: The National Forestry Honors Society

Melissa W.

Spring has sprung! The animals are waking up, the trees are starting to blossom, and it’s officially graduation season! Members of Xi Sigma Pi know all about how the season’s change affects the outdoors because they study it! Xi Sigma Pi is the National Forestry Honors Society.

Founded in 1908 at the University of Washington, Xi Sigma Pi was created "to secure and maintain a high standard of scholarship in forestry education, to work for the improvement of the forestry profession, and to promote a fraternal spirit among those engaged in activities related to the forest." Possible careers in forestry include: conservationists, foresters, wildlife biologist, rangeland manager, etc. 

In order to qualify for membership, students must have completed a minimum of 74 credit hours and be in the top 25% of his/her class while maintaining a B (or above) average. Applicants must have also completed a minimum of 10 semester hours in forestry research management classes. Membership acceptance also depends on personal integrity. According to its website, Xi Sigma Pi looks for candidates who “have shown a creditable interest and activity in his or her curriculum, and give promise of attaining high professional achievement. Election to membership is dependent upon a composite rating rather than upon scholastic ability alone. The following list of character and personality traits should be read by the presiding officer before voting upon the candidates (as part of a frank discussion of merit):

  • Honesty
  • Friendliness
  • Morality
  • Dependability
  • Industry
  • Leadership
  • Willingness to cooperate

Provisions are made for graduate students and faculty to join, with the intent that chapters encourage all levels of membership. Chapters may adopt more stringent requirements than the national guidelines.”

There are currently 42 active chapters and 24,000 members nationwide. You’ll recognize these forestry pioneers on graduation day by their green and gray/silver honor cords.

Below is an example of a similar product offered at Senior Class Graduation Products, though students are recommended they check with their chapters for specific purchasing information.

green and gray silver honor cord from senior class graduation products

Are you a member of Xi Sigma Pi? Let us know in the comments!


Cover photo by Sarah Brown on Unsplash

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