What is Gamma Theta Upsilon?

Gamma Theta Upsilon was formed at the Illinois State Normal University on May 15, 1928.
Gamma Theta Upsilon was formed at the Illinois State Normal University on May 15, 1928.

Gamma Theta Upsilon is an organization that was established on May 15, 1928. It was formed at the Illinois University State under the supervision of Dr. R.G. Buzzard. Initially, it was a Geography Club at Illinois State Normal University. The club was in operation for three years before it started sending letters to other geography clubs, suggesting that they come together and form a national geography fraternity. On May 15, 1931, the formation of a Geography organization was announced, consisting of four chapters. On March 5, 1936, Gamma Theta Upsilon became a professional body of Geography and had ten chapters. It became an International Honorary Geographical Society. Since 1976, it has been a college honor society and one of the members of Association of College Honor Societies members.

Why was GTU Formed?

Gamma Theta Upsilon was formed to enable individuals interested in geography as a subject to further their interest professionally in that field. GTU has been focusing on strengthening students and professional training through academic experiences outside of the class setting and laboratories. GTU values the importance of breaking the monotony of classroom by arranging for visits to geographical sites. The organization insists on visiting the sites because it gives a vivid description of the geography learnt in classrooms. GTU was also formed to advance and boost the status of geography as a discipline and study for investigation. GTU has been focusing on encouraging geographic research that will lead to publications.

GTU Badge and Symbol Representation

The badge of GTU symbolizes a key. The bottom part of the key’s body is a seven-sided shield representing different continents. Europe is at the top of the shield. Asia, Africa, and Australia are on the left. On the right are North America, South America, and Antarctica. Five wavy blue lines are passed across the base of the key. The five lines represent the five greatest large water bodies: Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Arctic Ocean, and Antarctic Ocean. A white star is placed above the waves to represent Polaris. On top of the key are Greek letters: Gamma, Theta, and Upsilon, meaning earth, sea, and atmosphere respectively.

GTU Membership

To be an eligible member of the GTU, one must be initiated through an established chapter of the organization. The GTU membership is classified into two. Regular members are expected to have scored a GPA of at least 3.3 on a scale of 4.0 in geography-related courses. Furthermore, he or she should rank in the top 35% of their class. He should have completed a minimum of three geography courses. They are required to have completed at least three semesters or 5 quarters of their full-time college course.

The second type of membership is known as the Honorary Membership, and is granted under rare and special circumstances. This membership is granted upon approval by the Executive Committee. It is only granted if the committee feels that the person has successfully contributed to making a recognized advancement in any geographic study. It is reserved to those not eligible to qualify for membership in a regular class. Members of GTU qualify to apply for GTU scholarships.


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