Beta Beta Beta
Regular Member Initiation Ritual


Escort lines up the candidates alphabetically, arranging them in one or more rows in front of the table. He then says: Mr. (or Madame) President and members of Beta Beta Beta, I present to you these candidates who declare their wish to join us in the fellowship of science as Regular Members of Beta Beta Beta.
President: Are all qualified for Regular Membership in Beta Beta Beta?
Escort: They are. All have signified a true interest in the biological sciences. They have met the requirements of the Chapter and of the national constitution of Beta Beta Beta.
President: Who are the candidates?
Escort names each candidate, stating the full name slowly and distinctly.
President: Candidates, we will now explain to you the symbolism, history and purposes of our Society, and the privileges and obligations of its members. Motions toward the lit candles. While each of these fires may signify many things, may each clear flame impress upon you our major objectives:
FIRST, to promote scholarship in the biological sciences;
SECOND, to promote the dissemination of biological knowledge; and
THIRD, to encourage research.
Secretary: Beta Beta Beta, the honor society in the biological sciences, was founded in 1922 by Dr. Frank G. Brooks. This, the Chapter, is one of many chapters located in colleges and universities throughout the United States and Puerto Rico . At this point, read a short history of the chapter. It should include date of installation, number of charter members, name(s) of the original and current faculty advisor(s), outline of chapter program and special honors earned by and awarded by the chapter. It is the chapter that has chosen you to receive the honor and distinction of membership. You, in turn, accept an obligation to this chapter and to all other chapters. If you wish to join the perpetuation of the ideals of Beta Beta Beta, you will take the following pledge which I shall first read completely, and then in sections.
I hereby affirm that I will strive to promote and perpetuate the spirit and idealism of Beta Beta Beta. I will be true to its interest, mindful of its honor, and will help to accomplish its objectives. I will discharge faithfully my obligations to Chapter and to the Society.
President: You have heard the pledge that you are to take. If you are willing to take it in good faith, repeat the phrases as the secretary gives them to you.
The active members will rise and renew their pledge with you.
Secretary repeats the pledge in sections.
Historian: Candidates, here are the key and the coat of arms of Beta Beta Beta. On the key, which is a common symbol of academic excellence, you will see three Greek letters, Beta Beta Beta and a coiled serpent. The first Beta stands for the Greek word BALANOS which means acorn; it represents life in and on the ground. The second Beta stands for the Greek word BOUDETASE which means little bird; it represents life in the air. The third Beta stands for the Greek word BOAX, which means fish; it represents life in the water.
All three words may be summed up in the one word BIOS, meaning life. In addition to the meaning I have just given, Beta Beta Beta also represents our three purposes:
1. To promote scholarship in the biological sciences;
2. To promote the dissemination of biological knowledge;
3. To encourage research.
The coiled serpent in the center of the key is an ancient symbol of wisdom. Motions toward the coat of arms. This is the coat of arms. It shows the acorn, the bird, and the fish, representing life on the ground, in the air, and in the water. The knight's helmet signifies that the scientist is always ready to apply his abilities for the benefit of mankind. The skull reminds us that science, although greater than the life of any individual, depends upon the contributions of individual scholars. The two light quarters of the shield represent truth know to us; the dark quarters represent truth still unknown.
The diagonal golden band symbolizes the light and truths of science. As on the key, the serpent stands for wisdom. The colors of the Society are red and green: Blood red for zoology and leaf green for botany. The flower is the red rose, symbol of beauty and strength. The motto is BLEPEIN BASIN BIOU which means to see the foundation of life.
President: Before you is the membership book of the Chapter of Beta Beta Beta. As you sign, I shall give each of you your certificate of membership. After all have signed, the president continues: On behalf of Chapter and the Society, I welcome you to full Regular Membership in Beta Beta Beta. Behind you are your fellow members. At this time, they will come forward to congratulate you.