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Establishing a Chapter
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According to the Constitution and By-Laws of Pi Alpha Xi, "any four-year university or college offering baccalaureate instruction in horticulture is eligible to establish a chapter."

Procedures for Establishing a Chapter

The faculty member desiring to establish a chapter of Pi Alpha Xi at his/her university submits the following information electronically (PDF format preferred) to the National Secretary-Treasurer.

  • a petition stating "We, the undersigned, petition that a chapter of Pi Alpha Xi-The Honor Society for Horticulture be established at _______________ (university's name)." The petition should have at least ten signatures from faculty (tenure and non-tenure track), staff, and students affiliated with the horticulture program.
  • a letter from the nominating horticulture faculty (tenure and non-tenure track) and staff member(s) supporting this petition (co-signers of PAX members is appropriate)
  • a letter from the department head/chair or school director supporting this petition and outlining goals of the department/school, including a description of the teaching, outreach, and research programs in the department/school.
  • a letter from the Office of the Dean supporting this petition.
  • catalog copy for the horticulture major or academic major(s) under which horticulture is included. For online catalogs, please create an electronic file (PDF format preferred) of the catalog copy and highlight the portions of the curriculum that directly relate to horticulture.
  • a history about the department/ school, including any reorganizations that combined different disciplines into a plant sciences department/ school. If the department/ school has recently undergone a USDA or institutional review, much of this information should be found in that review documentation.
  • a listing of faculty (tenure and non-tenure track), staff, their positions, and specializations should be included. If this is found on a website, please provide the URL in the nominating letter and provide a pdf file of the faculty list with positions and specializations. Indicate which faculty (tenure and non-tenure track) and staff are already PAX members.
  • the five most recent years of enrollment and graduation data for graduate and undergraduate programs.

Upon receipt of the petition for a new chapter, the National Secretary-Treasurer will distribute the petition to the Board of Directors, composed of the three current national officers (President, Vice President, and National Secretary-Treasurer) along with the immediate past two presidents. Upon receipt of a majority affirmative vote from the Board of Directors the petition is submitted to the active chapters (those that are current on their chapter dues by January 31 in any given academic year). Upon affirmative vote by two-thirds of the active Pi Alpha Xi chapters, the President notifies the new chapter of its acceptance.

  • Should the institution not receive a majority vote by the Board of Directors or active chapters, the institution will receive feedback as to the reason for the negative vote and the option to resubmit a petition.

Upon approval to establish a new chapter, the President of Pi Alpha Xi National will proclaim a new chapter at your university. One of the current officers will work with you to confirm an installation date. As stated in the Constitution and By-Laws of Pi Alpha Xi, "Such petitioning group covers the expense of the National President or other officer to attend the chapter installation and, at the time of installation, deposits with the Executive Secretary the regular initiation fee for each of the members. The chapter is exempt from further payment of dues for the remainder of the academic year, except for members initiated after the installation of the chapter." It is also customary that one of the national officers attends and performs the Pi Alpha Xi Installation Ceremony.

New chapters are named using the Greek alphabet. Naming convention dictates the chapters be named Alpha through Omega with a single letter designation. Beginning with the 25th chapter, double letter designations are used starting with Alpha Beta and running through the remaining letters in the Greek alphabet. After Alpha Omega is used, the next chapter would be designated Beta Alpha, Beta Gamma (skipping Beta Beta), and continuing in a similar manner.


























Revised October 2015

New Chapter Guidelines Review Committee: Immediate Past President Mary Albrecht (University of Tennessee), chair; Doug Needham (Longwood Gardens; past president and chapter advisor), Dennis Ray (University of Arizona, no established chapter), Ryan Contreras (Oregon State University, chapter established in 2011), Stephanie Burnett (University of Maine, chapter approved in 2015), and Tina Cade (Texas State University, chapter established in 2005). The committee represented land-grant and non-land-grant universities, and non-university members. The charge to the committee was to review the procedure posted on our website for clarity for the way horticulture programs are structured today and to facilitate electronic submission.

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