We aim to "To increase the number of culturally responsible Black Engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and
positively impact the community."
Increase our current general body membership to 140 paid members, with at least 100 active members
Increase our sphere of influence in the community by utilizing the idea of co-sponsoring with other professional and minority organizations on some of our community service efforts
Motivate, assist, and challenge all members to increase their GPA
Increase the number of members with internships, co-ops, or pre-graduate research experience
Increase our chapter's participation in regional and chapter programs & events
Enhance the leadership skills of our chapter members as well as our chapter executive board
Preserve the relationship with current corporate supporters and appeal to a more diverse pool of corporate supporters that represent and benefit all major within the College of Engineering
In 1971, two Purdue undergraduate students, Edward Barnette (now deceased) and Fred Cooper approached the dean of engineering at Purdue University with the concept of starting the Black Society of Engineers (BSE). They wanted to establish a student organization to help improve the recruitment and retention of black engineering students. In the late 1960's, a devastating 80 percent of the black freshmen entering the engineering program dropped out. The dean agreed to the idea and assigned the single black faculty member on staff, Arthur J. Bond, as an advisor.
Barnette served as the first president of the BSE. The fledgling group gained momentum in 1974, with the direction and encouragement of Bond and the active participation of the young men whose destiny was to become the founders of NSBE. Now known as the "Chicago Six", these men are Anthony Harris, Brian Harris, Stanley L. Kirtley, John W. Logan, Jr., Edward A. Coleman, and George A. Smith.
Encouraged by their on-campus success, Anthony Harris, president of the Purdue chapter, wrote a letter to the presidents and deans of every accredited engineering program in the country (288), explained the Society of Black Engineers (SBE) concept and asked them to identify black student leaders, organizations and faculty members who might support their efforts on a national basis. Approximately 80 schools responded. Many had similar Black student organizations with similar objectives. A date was set for the first national meeting and 48 students representing 32 schools attended the event, held April 10-12, 1975. Harris also changed the organizations' nomenclature from the BSE to the Society of Black Engineers (SBE).
It was at that historic meeting through majority vote, that SBE became the National Society of Black Engineers. The familiar NSBE symbol "N" with lightning bolts was chosen and it remains a distinctively recognizable symbol representing the premier technical organization for African American engineering students and professionals. NSBE was eventually incorporated in Texas, in 1976 as 501©3 non-profit organization. John Cason, also of Purdue, served as the first elected president of NSBE. As the organization grew, Virginia Booth became the first female National Chairperson and the first to serve two terms 1978-1980.
The torch symbolizes members' everlasting, burning desire to achieve success in a competitive society and positively affect the quality of life for all people. The lightning bolt represents the striking impact that will be felt by the society and industry due to the contributions and accomplishments made by the dedicated members of the National Society of Black Engineers.
NSBE has since grown from six to about 20,000 members and the annual meeting has blossomed into the Annual National Convention, hosting over 8,000 attendees. NSBE has 17 NSBE Jr. pre-college, 268 student and 50 alumni/technical professional chapters. Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., NSBE offers academic excellence programs, scholarships, leadership training, professional development and access to career opportunities for thousands of members annually. With over 2000 elected leadership positions, 12 regional conferences and an annual convention, NSBE provides opportunities for success that remain unmatched by any other organization