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Lambda Sigma (CWENS) National Records


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Alpha Gamma Delta

General Records


Membership Records

National Convention



Annual Records

Contact Cards


Digital Media

Box 7

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Lambda Sigma (CWENS) National Records, 1922-2011 | Eastern Kentucky University - Special Collections and Archives

By Kyle Beeler

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Collection Overview

Title: Lambda Sigma (CWENS) National Records, 1922-2011Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: CWENS (Lambda Sigma)

Extent: 3.57 Cubic Feet

Date Acquired: 11/04/2011. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Honor Societies.

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection contains a variety of materials pertaining to the Cwens organization, Lambda Sigma chapter, the Alpha Gamma Delta organization, as well as others. Included are reports, photographs of group meetings and events, newsletters from the organizations, official records, extensive membership records for the national organization of Lambda Sigma, yearbooks, etc.

Collection Historical Note

Lambda Sigma is an American college sophomore honor society. Originally named the Society of Cwens, the society was established at the University of Pittsburgh in Fall 1922 as a women's honors society, and became a national organization with the 1925 foundation of chapters at Miami University and the University of Missouri. The society is "dedicated to the purpose of fostering leadership, scholarship, fellowship, and the spirit of service among college students, and to promoting the interests of the college or university in every possible way".

In the early 1920s, University of Pittsburgh Dean Thyrsa Amos saw the need for a society for outstanding sophomore women. On 7 November 1922, twelve sophomore women responded to invitations and met at Heinz House, electing to found a society to sponsor activities for all freshmen and sophomore women and to "select for membership in the spring those freshman women who displayed the finest Pitt spirit, showed good scholarship and expressed interest in activities through fine participation in them". The society was named Cwens, from the word cwēn, meaning "lady" or "queen" in Anglo-Saxon. The emblem selected was a golden crown resting upon a sceptre. Soon afterwards, Beta and Gamma chapters were founded at Miami University and the University of Missouri, with the first Society of Cwens conference held in May 1925 on the Miami campus.

A charter was obtained to certify Cwens as a national organization; a petition was submitted, and on 16 June 1926, the certificate of incorporation was approved and the charter of the National Society of Cwens was recorded in the Common Pleas Court of Allegheny County. Titles of officers in the organization were given Anglo-Saxon names, and a national convention (called the Witan) was held twice annually, rotating among the colleges and universities having Cwen chapters. The society's publication was called The Tid. The 1972 Witan, held in Pittsburgh on the campus of Duquesne University, observed the Fiftieth Anniversary of the society and climaxed in a "feast" in the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh. This ceremony, detailed in the book of rituals (the Hydan-Bok), is a revered event in the history of the organization.

However, in 1975, the Title IX Education Amendments mandated the abolishment of single-sex organizations in institutions of higher learning. In October 1975, Cwens chapter presidents gave authority to the National Executive Board to disband the society and to formulate plans for a national sophomore honor society for both men and women.

The National Board disbanded the National Society of Cwens, founding the Lambda Sigma Society as a direct descendant on 6 March 1976. The Society of Cwens's goal of fostering leadership, scholarship, fellowship, and service remain the same in the child organization.

Source: Lambda Sigma website.

Subject/Index Terms

Honor Societies.

Administrative Information

Repository: Eastern Kentucky University - Special Collections and Archives


2010-2011 Records (2 folders) 7-16-2014

2012-2016 Records (5 folders) 6-9-2017

Initiate Lists/Membership Lists (1 CD-Rom) 10-31-2017

2016-2017 Records (1 folder, 1 CD-Rom) 12-7-2017

2017-2018 Records (1 folder, 1 CD-Rom) 9-11-2018

Acquisition Source: Ron G. Wolfe

Other URL: http://www.lambdasigma.org/

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Alpha Gamma Delta],
[Series 2: General Records],
[Series 3: Chapters],
[Series 4: Membership Records],
[Series 5: National Convention],
[Series 6: Photographs],
[Series 7: Publications],
[Series 8: Annual Records],
[Series 9: Contact Cards],
[Series 10: Memorabilia],
[Series 11: Digital Media],
[Box 7],