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CEE Welcomes New Initiates to Chi Epsilon

Jackson Reeves, Austin Reeves, Timothy Truster, Zhongguo Ma, Arden Lady, Avery Burnham, Joseph Robertson, and Chris Cox: A mix of faculty and students being presented with Chi Epsilon membership induction.

2023 Chi Epsilon Induction (left to right): Jackson Reeves, Austin (Walker) Reeves, Timothy Truster, Zhongguo (John) Ma, Arden Lady, Avery Burnham, Joseph Robertson, and Chris Cox.

The University of Tennessee Chapter of Chi Epsilon, the nation’s only honor society devoted to civil engineering, has welcomed five new members.

Chi Epsilon was founded in 1922 by civil engineering undergraduates at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign on the “pillars” of Character, Practicality, Sociability, and Scholarship. That last pillar means membership is only open to rising and current juniors and seniors who rank in the top third of their class.

“Our faculty value the existence of this honor society to cultivate leadership and character amongst our engineering students,” said Associate Professor Timothy Truster.

Truster was appointed the Faculty Advisor for UT’s Chi Epsilon chapter in the fall of 2019 by Department Head and Robert M. Condra Professor Chris Cox. In January of 2020, Truster inducted seven students into the honor society.

Soon after that ceremony, the COVID-19 pandemic forced UT to cancel in-person classes and events. The 2021 induction ceremony was held virtually.

Fortunately, Chi Epsilon’s presence on Rocky Top has been restored. Sophomores Avery Burnham and Joseph Robertson, juniors Jackson Reeves and Austin (Walker) Reeves, and senior Arden Lady were inducted on February 11, 2023.

The ceremony was officiated by Truster, Cox, and Professor Zhongguo (John) Ma, who is a faculty member of the UT chapter.

Truster, who was inducted into Chi Epsilon as an undergraduate at the University of Dayton, is thrilled to have reestablished the honor society at UT.

“Chi Epsilon gives its members a way to connect with other top students nationwide and fosters an elevated sense of responsibility in the profession of civil engineering,” he said. “It also helps them stand out on their resumes when contacting employers.”

The new members will be demonstrating their Character, Practicality, and Sociability by offering tutoring sessions to Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) students starting the week of February 20. The location and schedule will be posted in the CEE Canvas page.

Some of the members will also be assisting Cox at the Knoxville Mathcounts competition, a mathematics contest between students from six Knoxville-area middle schools, on February 25.

“Most importantly,” said Truster, “Chi Epsilon gives our students another avenue to be Volunteers.”