History of Tau Beta Pi
The Tau Beta Pi Association was founded at Lehigh University in 1885 by Edward Higginson Williams, Jr., to mark in a fitting manner those who have conferred honor upon their Alma Mater by distinguished scholarship and exemplary character as students in engineering, or by their attainments as alumni in the field of engineering, and to foster a spirit of liberal culture in engineering colleges.
The Society has grown into an organization of 241 collegiate chapters and 32 active alumnus chapters which have initiated approximately 540,000 members. Tau Beta Pi has a world-wide reputation because of its high standards for membership. Among it members are three U.S. congressmen, eight postage stamp honorees, 19 Noble prize winners, 47 recipients of the National Medal of Technology, 58 honorees in the National Inventors Hall of Fame, 58 astronauts, 77 recipients of the National Medal of Science, hundreds of members of the National Academy of Engineering, hundreds of corporate CEOs, and even a few Olympic athletes and NFL football players. Thousands of members have received top awards in their national engineering societies. Tau Bates are known to be leaders in their profession.
The full history can be found on the national TBP website.