Eta Sigma Phi is the national honor society for students
of Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies. Eta Sigma Phi exists
to encourage classical scholarship, to enhance the appreciation
of our Greek and Roman cultural heritage, and to promote good
will and friendship among students of the classics.
Eta Sigma Phi had its beginning in 1914 when a group of students
in the Department of Greek at the University of Chicago organized
an undergraduate classical club to which honor students in
Greek and Latin were elected to membership. This organization
later united with a similar organization at Northwestern University
and became Eta Sigma Phi. In 1924 the society became national,
and chapters were organized at leading colleges and universities.
The society was incorporated in 1927 under the laws of the
State of Illinois.
Eta Sigma Phi was chartered at California State University, Long Beach in 2000 by Carolyn Dimmitt and Jeff Webb. Our first board consisted of Noelle Bautista (Prytanis), Don Guinn (Hyparchos), Amy Pound (Chrysophylax), and Nancy Meyer (Pyloros).
The Constitution of Eta Sigma Phi states that the purposes
of the society are "to develop and promote interest in
classical study among the students of colleges and universities;
to promote closer fraternal relationship among students who
are interested in classical study, including inter-campus
relationship; to engage generally in an effort to stimulate
interest in classical study, and in the history, art, and
literature of ancient Greece and Rome."
Eta Sigma Phi accomplishes this by providing opportunities
and incentives to its members, including:
- Scholarships: Each year the society awards
two scholarships for study abroad during the summer, one
to the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and
the other to the American Academy in Rome, to members who
have recently graduated. A third scholarship, to a session
of the Vergilian Society at Cumae, is also offered, with
preference going to rising juniors and seniors.
- Contests: Each year the society sponsors
contests among college and university students to encourage
the study of Latin and Greek on the college level. Participation
in the contests is limited to colleges and universities
in which there are Eta Sigma Phi chapters. The contests
are in Greek translation, Latin translation, and Latin prose
- Newsletter: NUNTIUS is the official publication
of Eta Sigma Phi, published two times each year. It contains
information concerning the society, original articles by
members, announcements, and accounts of the activities of
- National Convention: The Constitution
provides for a national convention each year, late in March
or in April. At this time, delegates conduct the business
of the society, including the election of national officers,
and workshops are held. Local chapters bid to host the convention,
and an effort is made to move the site from region to region
to accommodate chapters in different parts of the country.
At CSULB, Eta Sigma Phi functions additionally as a social
group in which students build contacts and friendships with
like-minded others. Monthly meetings, field trips, museum
outings, theatre performances, potlucks, and end-of-semester
parties are just a sample of the social events in which we
engage, providing unique opportunities to learn more about
the Classics while strengthening bonds between fellow students
and building relationships with faculty.