Golden Key
Beginnings

Golden Key Founding and History

Each and every one of us has a unique history—a set of beginnings and endings, of stories and accomplishments—that made us who we are today. History tells us that the past dictates the future, and as a Society, we are no different. Since its inception more than 30 years ago, Golden Key has been synonymous with excellence. The world’s largest honor society, and the only one to be based on a foundation of Academics, Leadership and Service, Golden Key was founded 29 November 1977, at Georgia State University in Atlanta.

 

Historical Milestones

Originally established as Golden Key National Honor Society, the name was later changed to reflect an international presence. And just as the name evolved, so did the Society. Since 1977, more than 2 million undergraduate and graduate students have joined and we have awarded more than $8 million in scholarships and grants. With over 400 chapters in eight countries, and a new focus on the three pillars, Golden Key continues to grow, while helping our members realize their potential.

29 November 1977

Golden Key is founded at Georgia State University by Jim Lewis. More than 300 students from all fields of study are inducted into the Society.

1977-1978

Six chapters are established, including the University of Georgia—the longest continually active chapter—and the University of Florida.

1982

The first Golden Key National Conference is held in Atlanta.

1983

The first Golden Key Regional Conference is held at Michigan State University.

1984

Golden Key surpasses the $100,000 mark in scholarships awarded on 29 November 1984, the seventh anniversary of the Society. The 50th Golden Key chapter is established at San Diego State University.

8 August 1985

Formal dedication of the Society's first National Headquarters located in the Druid HIlls Historic District in Atlanta.

1985-1988

NCR and KMPG Peat Marwick become Golden Key’s first corporate partners, contributing $70,000 in computer equipment and $40,000 toward scholarships and the National Conference, respectively.

5 May 1988

In recognition of the success of Golden Key, Founder and Executive Director James W. Lewis receives a special honor when he is presented the American Eagle Award by the Invest-in-America Council in the U.S. Senate.

1992

Stacie Brown, a Ball State University student, receives the first Golden Key Scholar Award.

1993

The first chapters outside of the United States are established in Australia at the University of Queensland, University of Sydney, Macquarie University and RMIT. The 200th chapter of Golden Key is established at Southern University A&M.

10 November 1994

The one-millionth dollar in scholarship support to students is awarded.

1995

Golden Key National Conference is renamed Golden Key International Conference, and the first chapter at a service academy is chartered at the U.S. Naval Academy.

1997-1998

The first chapters in Malaysia and Canada are established, and Louisiana Tech becomes the 250th Golden Key chapter.

2000

The Society’s name is changed from Golden Key National Honor Society to Golden Key International Honour Society to reflect international presence.

2003-2004

Golden Key receives Make a Difference Day recognition and a $10,000 grant for community service. More than $4.5 million in scholarships have been awarded since Golden Key’s inception.

2005-2008

Golden Key receives the Election Assistance Commission grant to support the 2008 elections in the United States. Incorporation of a service opportunity at the International Conference. Augusta State University becomes the 375th chapter.

2009-2010

International and Regional Conferences become International and Regional Summits. The Society introduces a new image family, officially adopting three pillars of Academics, Leadership and Service.

31 October 2010

Golden Key reaches 2 millionth member milestone.

2011

Golden Key begins awarding $1 million in scholarships and awards each year. More than $8 million in scholarships had been awarded since Golden Key’s inception.

4 March 2011

Golden Key welcomes its 400th chapter.

29 November 2012

Golden Key celebrates 35 years of business.

 

 

...