How to Start a New Chapter

Establishing a Chapter

To establish a chapter you will need to gather a group of people who support this idea. You may need to discuss the idea with them individually, then in a group meeting. From this group meeting you may select your organizing committee. After receiving your chapter designation (i.e. Alpha Sigma) you are ready for the process of holding your Founding Induction. Here are some thoughts about these processes.

  1. ORGANIZING COMMITTEE: Use the people who supported your petition for chapter status as your organizing committee. 6-8 people will suffice. Include faculty, staff, and students in this organizing committee. This committee will need to do the following:
    1. Agree on the value of having a chapter of Phi Beta Delta.
    2. Consider the requirements for establishing a chapter.
    3. Consider the potential the Society has for contributing toward comprehensive internationalization of the institution through the recognition of faculty, staff, and students.
    4. Consider service and programmatic efforts your chapter could initiate.
    5. Consider how members will be selected (see below).
    6. Review, and if agreed, complete the Policy and Rules of Procedure for Chartering Chapters (See below).
    7. After your Petition is accepted and a chapter designation is assigned, then prepare for your founding induction.

  2. SELECTING MEMBERS: The Organizing Committee will take the responsibility of identifying individuals to nominate for membership. This step should be discussed but not completed until chapter status has been awarded. The following methods should be used:
    1. The members of the organizing/nominating committee are automatically nominated to join.
      1. Phi Beta Delta is an academic honor society in which people become members from the following four categories:
      2. Faculty and Staff are identified as having demonstrated outstanding service to the cause of international education, international exchange, and internationalization. Their nomination should be submitted by the Nomination Committee to the Chapter Board for approval.
      3. Undergraduate and Graduate Students are chosen based on Article III, Section 4 of the by-laws:
        1. ARTICLE III (Membership), SECTION 4: Criteria for eligibility of election to membership by an institutional chapter shall be determined by that chapter and with the provision that undergraduate student members must have achieved a minimum 3.2 grade point average (GPA) and rank in the top 20% of their class, and graduate students must have achieved a GPA of 3.5. For schools that use a different grade point average system, the school must verify that their candidates for Phi Beta Delta meet a GPA standard equivalent to that specified in this Section.
        2. The by-laws were amended in April 2013 to acknowledge the requirements of the Association of College Honor Societies, of which Phi Beta Delta has become a member.
      4. Outstanding service. Other individuals, such as those in the community, may be inducted on the basis demonstrated outstanding service to the cause of international education, international exchange, and internationalization. Their nomination should be submitted by the Nomination Committee to the Chapter Board for approval.
      5. Honorary members. These are individuals are honored for their excellence and do not have to pay any fees for the honor. These people include your University President, provost, and a very select few others. You may choose people from the community as well.
    2. Brainstorm: The organizing committee can brainstorm people who should be nominated. If your timeline is short don't stand too much on formalities, simply write those people and invite them.
      1. If your induction timeline is sufficient, Deans should be invited to nominate faculty; department chairmen should be invited to nominate faculty and students; and any other member should be invited to nominate anyone.
      2. Student Achievement: Another method for nomination of students is to use your registrar's information to identify domestic and international students' by GPA's. Then invite those domestic students who have studied abroad and have the requisite GPA. International students are automatically eligible because they are in their "study abroad" but must have the requisite GPA. Send a letter of nomination. (see sample letter and Acceptance Sheet).
  3. COMPLETE the Policies And Rules Of Procedure For Chartering Chapters found at PBD-Charter-Policies-&-Petition-Form-2-2.pdf
    1. This set of procedures provides guidance in how to petition for chapter status.
    2. The qualifications it speaks of are those that apply to the institution. Qualifications for student, faculty, and staff membership
  4. FOUNDING INDUCTION: You will need to accomplish the following.
    1. Preparation
      1. Review the procedures in Documents & Forms: Guide to Initiation at
      2. By-Laws: Draft the by-laws to be ratified by the members on the day of the founding induction.
      3. Chapter Coordinator: Select the person who will be Chapter Coordinator.
      4. Board of Directors: Draft a slate of candidates to be the initial officers and Board members of the chapter (i.e. president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, student members (graduate and undergraduate), and should you wish, at large members of your Board of Directors. Present this slate for a vote at the founding induction. The president of the chapter must be a faculty or staff member.
      5. Identify potential members. See selecting members below.
    2. Procedures
      1. This will be a special occasion. Get the best auditorium or room available. The occasion should be treated amiably but with a sense of formality at the proper moments.
      2. Invite the Regional Vice President of Phi Beta Delta, or a member of Phi Beta Delta from an adjacent campus to preside over the actual induction.
      3. Give inductees a copy of their acceptance statement to be handed to the person announcing their induction.
      4. Have a reception after the induction.
      5. Discuss more details with a seasoned chapter coordinator of an already established chapter.
Draft Agenda for a Founding Induction
Suggested Initiation Ceremony Procedures



Agenda of the Evening

Chapter Coordinator

Opening Remarks

Chair or Member of Org Comm.

Remarks by the Regional VP of PBD



What is an honor society?

Member of Organizing Comm.

What is Phi Beta Delta?

Member of Organizing Comm.




University President or TBA

INDUCTION CEREMONY (see notes below)


Reading of the Induction Statement

University President


Initial Conferring of Membership

By Regional VP or designate

Guiding of the Candidates

Member of Org Comm.

Member of Org Comm.

Reading of the Names

Chapter Coord, or designate

Presentation of Medallions
(over the head)

Various members of Org Comm. and/or University President

Congratulations -Receiving Line


Certificates (handing them out)





Chair of Org Comm.

Approval of By-Laws
Election of Officers

Activities of PBD


National Conference


Next Chapter Meeting




Adjourn and Group Photo



  • Initial Conferring of Membership - hopefully this will be the Regional VP of PBD or a current member of PBD from another school. This person will confer the medallion to the Organizing Committee. Then the Chair of the Organizing Committee will confer the medallion to the University President and other honorary members. Then the other candidates will be inducted.
  • Guiding of the Candidates - Help the inductees know where to stand to await their turn to be announced by the Reader of Names
  • Reading of the Names - the person doing this should be experienced in pronunciation of international student names.
  • Presentation of Medallions - this activity consists of placing the medallion on ribbon over the head of the inductee.
  • Congratulations/Receiving Line - President, Provost and a few others previously inducted
  • Certificates - have these alphabetically arranged to facilitate finding.

Organizing a Chapter

Many resources are available to help you start a chapter on your campus. The information in the Chapter Manual can serve as an extensive overview of the steps you should take to get started. There are certain requirements your institution must fulfill in order to be eligible (View requirements). Once you have reviewed this information, you should contact and submit the filled out Chapter Chartering Petition Form to the Executive Office. It would be useful to send us your petition in electronic format--as much as possible. See Requirements page for more detail.

Contact Info

Phi Beta Delta Headquarters
Administration Building
Rooms 148, 150 & 152
CSU San Bernardino
5500 University Parkway
San Bernardino, CA 92407 USA
Telephone: (+1) 909-537-5018

If you have any questions, please call your Regional Vice-Presidents or nearby Chapter Coordinators.