Beta Gamma Sigma

The Mission of Beta Gamma Sigma

To encourage and honor academic achievement in the study of business, to foster personal and professional excellence, to advance the values of the society, and to serve its lifelong members.

History of Beta Gamma Sigma

In the spring of 1907, a group of commerce students at the University of Wisconsin received permission from the faculty to organize a commerce honor society, which they called Beta Gamma Sigma. The purpose of the society was to encourage and reward scholarship and accomplishment in the field of business studies among commerce students at the university. At about the same time, students at the University of Illinois and the University of California felt the need for such an organization on their campuses and respectively organized Delta Kappa Chi (1910) and The Economics Club (1906). In 1913, having become aware of their coexistence and common purpose, representatives of the three societies met at Madison, Wisconsin, to consummate a merger which made Beta Gamma Sigma into a national organization. Action was initiated in 1919 to establish Beta Gamma Sigma as the only scholastic honor society recognized by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Beta Gamma Sigma is currently the most selective management honor society in the world, with membership granted only to the top 10% of graduating seniors and the top 10% of second-semester juniors in AACSB-accredited institutions.

The Meanings of Beta, Gamma, and Sigma

Beta is the initial letter of the Greek word BEBAEOS (Beb-i-os), which signifies honor. Honor is personal integrity and excellence of character. It is an enduring quality found in all persons who deserve to lead others.

All honorable persons conscientiously seek to recognize, to uphold, and to encourage that which is ethical and that which is just. With humility, they acknowledge human failings which tend to induce the sacrifice of lofty ideas for base gains. They are aware of the difficulty of distinguishing right from wrong when confronted by a variety of alternative goals and a multitude of pressures and means to achieve those goals. But their honor is coupled with resolute courage. They may falter and they may fail. Yet they rise with renewed determination to do what is right. Their reputations are their most priceless possessions.

All honorable persons recognize their duties before they demand their rights. They respect law and promote order not because of a negative fear of sanctions but because of an affirmative conviction that a good society requires the stability which order provides. Worthy members of Beta Gamma Sigma consciously seek to act honorably at all times. Thus they confidently pursue peace of mind and happiness for themselves even as they serve as an exemplar for others. Honor is a guiding star which encourages altruism, enlightened social responsibility, and service rather than selfishness.

Gamma is the initial letter of the Greek word GNOSIS (no-sis), which means wisdom.

Wisdom is knowledge tested by experience and tempered by discerning judgment. It abhors prejudice, it insists upon freedom of thought and expression. Truly wise persons are aware of their talents and achievements and do not deny or belittle them with misplaced modesty. However, they are also acutely aware of their own limitations and are sympathetic to the shortcomings of others. They are quick to acknowledge their profound dependence on masters who have gone before them. They laud those who have laboriously built earlier civilizations and they gratefully accept the rich intellectual and cultural heritage they have provided. They are, moreover, thankful for contributions to their development made by family and friends, by superiors and subordinates, by associates and antagonists. Persons of wisdom constantly seek a better comprehension and more fruitful application of what is known. They are also endlessly engaged in a quest for an understanding of what is unknown. Although the fund of human knowledge has literally multiplied in recent decades, the wise person happily anticipates a future which promises to provide a geometric expansion of this treasure store. Confronted by a veritable flood of facts and concepts, the person of wisdom exercises special discrimination to select, to arrange, to relate, to interpret, and to apply. This is a challenge worthy of the finest mind.

Sigma is the initial letter of the Greek word SPOUDE (spoo-day), which means earnestness.

Earnestness is enthusiasm measured by achievement, disciplined by reason and ennobled by sincerity. It is that dynamic quality which is essential for all great achievement. Earnest persons reject both temerity and timidity. They have courage to match their convictions. They inspire confidence, invite action, and generate progress. Without Earnestness, both Honor and Wisdom lose much of their potential effectiveness. Noble purposes, defined with wisdom and upheld with honor, remain evanescent dreams without the driving power of sensible enthusiasm. The greatest personal achievements are tributes to the blending of honor, wisdom and earnestness in the minds and hearts of those who lead. Rewards for the individual and progress for society surely proceed from this wholesome union of qualities.

Student Leadership Opportunities

UNC Asheville established its chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma with its first induction ceremony in December, 2004 and each year since. UNC Asheville’s chapter has been recognized as a Premier Chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma annually. This designation is awarded to chapters that achieve an acceptance rate (of potential inductees) of at least 85. Premier Chapters qualify for $500 in matching funds for Beta Gamma Sigma’s Scholarship Program to attend the annual Global Leadership Summit

Past UNC Asheville Beta Gamma Sigma Global Leadership Summit Travel Grant Recipients: 

Justine James (2018)
Phoebe Schneider (2017)
Matthew Rose (2016)
John Browning (2015)
Joseph Anderson (2014)
Sara Kemp (2013)
Claire Drummond (2012)
Karina Escalante (2011)
Kristen Molina-Nauert (2010)
Lauren Turnburke (2009)
Joshua Capps (2008)
Jennifer Pietila (2007)

2014-2015 Beta Gamma Sigma Inductees

John Browning
Hunter Bryant
Jacob Persons
Deena Burris {Faculty}
Dennis Cole {Faculty}
Chancellor Mary Grant {honorary member}



2015-2016 Beta Gamma Sigma Inductees

Marissa Banks
Jeremy Buckner
Jacob Casper
Eris Dardha
Devin DeHoll
Serena Khan
Matthew Rose
Delaney Ryder
Cheyenne Tavana
Alexander Walton
Giacomo Zilli
Michael Matthews {honorary member}


2016-2017 Beta Gamma Sigma Inductees

April Ammons
Aaron Edwards
Madeline Gates
Joseph Gorga
Jacqueline Henderson-Scott
Charles Hooper III
Emma Houser
John Kiffmeyer
Daniel Pagliaro
Phoebe Schneider
Megan Smith
Kevin Vannatta
Benjamin Wall
Tingyuan Wen
William Koprowski {faculty}
Rep. Brian Turner {honorary member}




2017-2018 Beta Gamma Sigma Inductees

Nicole Black
Caroline Houser
Justine James
Grace Kirik
Liana Kolodich
Ruby Mincher
Caitlin Poteet
David Robbins
Quinn Schneider
Nicolas Stevens
Tracy Walker
Cody Willet
Jeff Willmott {honorary member}


2018-2019 Beta Gamma Sigma Inductees

Dakotah Bainter
Samuel Benjamin
John Bradshaw
Erika Covey
Madeline de Goede
James Gilfillin
Micaiah Liner
Jeremiah Luther
Stephanie McDaniel
Samantha Moore
Max Poslavsky
Hannah Rosenbalm
Edwin Rubio
Emily Sidor
Mark Sint
Marissa Spillars
Maya Sugg
Nhi Tran