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Gamma Theta Upsilon

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GTU KeyOn May 15, 1928, a local professional fraternity, by the name of Gamma Theta Upsilon was formed at Illinois State Normal University, under the guidance of Dr. R. G. Buzzard. Before that it was the Geography Club at Illinois State Normal University. After three years, letters were sent out to other geography clubs suggesting the formation of a national fraternity.

On May 15, 1931 the organization was announced; it had four chapters. On March 5, 1936 Gamma Theta Upsilon was incorporated, with its ten chapters, as a professional fraternity in Geography under the laws of Illinois.

Gamma Theta Upsilon became an International Honorary Geographical Society in January 1969. The Zeta Theta chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon at Northwest Missouri State University was formed on March 3, 1980.

Gamma, Theta, and Upsilon were selected for the name of this organization because they are the initials of the three Greek words; Ge meaning earth, Thalatta meaning sea, and Hypaithrios meaning atmosphere -- the three domains of Geography.

International GTU Website



Persons seeking membership must be initiated through an established chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon. A chapter is also maintained for Alumni after graduation. There are two classes of membership in GTU: Regular Member: Initiates must have completed a minimum of 3 geography courses, have a B average in geography, must rank in the upper 35% of their class and shall have completed at least 3 semester or 5 quarters of college course work.

Most chapters sponsor speakers, campus-wide programs, field trips and social events and participate in service functions. Members can participate in numerous extra-curricular activities. Membership provides a network where you can become better acquainted with other geography students and can meet and talk with geography faculty informally. Members can improve their expertise in the field of geography by learning things not normally dealt with in the classroom. Members are eligible to apply for Gamma Theta Upsilon scholarships. Membership in an academic honor society is evidence of your dedication and competency in your career field. Some employers give hiring preference to honor society members.

Gamma Theta Upsilon membership is earned through superior scholarship; it is an honor, and a professional distinction. Members receive a handsome certificate, suitable for framing. No further membership dues are paid to the national organization after the initiation fee ($40). The Zeta Theta chapter at Northwest has voted to collect chapter dues of $10 per scholastic year. Many members choose to remain active in GTU after graduation, by joining Omega Omega, the Alumni Chapter of GTU.

Fun Activities

GTU membersThroughout each academic year, GTU holds many fun activities such as fund-raising, fun trip, movie night, etc. These activities are fun, and they bring members closer to each other.

Hot cider/chocolate sale for fund-raising is normally held in the Garrett-Strong Science Building main entry during December or January cold winter days. On Halloween,we trick-or-treat to raise money to donate to non-profit organizations, such as UNICEF or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Fun trips are held once per semester. Past and planned destinations include world class Omaha Zoo, movie theatres, Kansas City malls/restaurants, Chicago, etc. Movie nights are normally in someone's apartment or some well audio-video equipped classroom in campus. 

GTU members raising money for UNICEF!

Northwest Chapter Officers

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