Rho Chi
Initiation Ritual


Chapters are encouraged to hold public initiations with family and friends of the initiates being present. Even though it is a formal ceremony, it is also a happy occasion as the academic accomplishments of the initiates are being recognized publicly.
Setting: The chapter officers may be seated or standing at a table covered with a white cloth. At each front corner of the table is a tall white, lighted candle in a brass candlestick, set upon crossed purple and white ribbons. It is suggested that a brass mortar and pestle be placed in the center of the table. Candidates are led into the room as a group (no blindfolds or other degradation permitted) by the faculty advisor and stand before the table throughout the ceremony. An alternative is to call initiates by name to come forward from the audience. Inasmuch as new members will receive certificates and keys, it will be well to organize the initiates in alphabetical order (see page two of this ritual). The officers at the table rise as a group upon the approach of the candidates and likewise remain standing.
FACULTY ADVISOR: President … insert last name of president and members of Rho Chi, the persons before you have proved themselves worthy of membership in the Rho Chi Society. I present them at this time to be initiated; … calls list of candidates, using full names.
PRESIDENT: Candidates of Rho Chi, by your academic record and personal qualities you have merited a place among us. As members it will be entrusted to your ability and conscience to nurture the ideals and interests of our chapter and our national fellowship. Listen now to a resume of Rho Chi’s history, for it reveals the intense feeling and high purpose of the men and women who brought into being an honorary society in pharmacy.
HISTORIAN: There have been Greek letter fraternal societies in pharmacy long before the establishment of an honor society in pharmacy. For years, plans have existed for that special kind of fraternal group whose main purpose would be to stimulate scholarship and research and whose membership would reflect the intellectual and human qualities necessary to breathe life into the society’s aims. The efforts of many bore fruit on May 19, 1922, when the first chapter of Rho Chi, instituted at the University of Michigan , was given national recognition. Sanctioned by the organization now called the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the Society grew. Our own … insert name of chapter Chapter was the … insert ordinal number to be organized and receive approval of all other member chapters. The high standards maintained by Rho Chi have resulted in the general recognition of membership as a distinction analogous to election to great honor societies in other fields of scholarship. Since its inception, the Society has inducted over 65,000 members into its fellowship.
PRESIDENT: It is into this tradition and respected fellowship that we invite you. We have chosen with care, mindful of the responsibilities that will be yours, for soon in your hands will rest the welfare of this (insert name) chapter, which others have labored to establish and maintain.
TREASURER: Rho Chi offers you an opportunity and stimulus for greater service. Our membership confers distinction, but keep this well in mind, no distinction, no honor, no privilege, comes to anyone without added responsibilities. Listen well to our mission and vision in order that you may better understand the high honor of membership and what is expected of a Rho Chi member.
VICE-PRESIDENT: The Rho Chi Society, pharmacy’s academic honor society, encourages and recognizes excellence in intellectual achievement and fosters fellowship among its members. Further, the Society encourages high standards of conduct and character, and advocates critical inquiry in all aspects of pharmacy.
The Rho Chi Society seeks to achieve universal recognition of its members as lifelong intellectual leaders in pharmacy. As a community of scholars, the Society will instill the desire to pursue intellectual excellence and critical inquiry to advance the profession. Your actions should reflect pharmacy at its best and the high standards symbolized by your Rho Chi insignia.
SECRETARY: The emblem of this society is the octagonal key bearing the Greek letters Rho Chi, combined to form that ancient and common symbol in pharmacy representing the use of medication in health care. The eight sides of the key have evolved to represent the elements that form the foundation of our profession: chemistry, biology, physiology, pharmaceutics, pharmacology, the biomedical, social/administrative and clinical sciences.
Our colors are purple and white – the royal purple of the highest intellectual efforts and the white of truth and loyalty.
Our purposes lie in the unswerving aim of our members to adhere to and promote the highest ideals in pharmacy, both scientific and cultural.
PRESIDENT: And now, with full knowledge of the purpose and aims of Rho Chi, are you willing to join the society, to support the Society, and to work with the Society to the best of your ability? If so, signify by saying, “I am”.
Initiates respond.
PRESIDENT: As Officers of the Rho Chi Society, we warmly welcome you into our fellowship.