Pi Gamma Mu was founded in 1924 by Dean Leroy Allen from Southwestern College in Kansas and Dean William A. Hamilton of the College of William and Mary in Virginia. Seventeen founding chapters were organized simultaneously. SOCIAL SCIENCE was established as a quarterly journal in 1925. With the beginning of Volume 57 in 1982, the name of the journal was changed to INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL SCIENCE REVIEW. Publication of the PI GAMMA MU NEWSLETTER began in 1978.

Rear Admiral Richard Byrd served for a time as Honorary National President of Pi Gamma Mu, in 1928 carrying the Society's flag to the Antarctic. Two presidents of the Philippines were members of the Society; one U. S. president joined as a student--Lyndon B. Johnson. 

The Society was incorporated under the name "The National Social Science Honor Society, Pi Gamma Mu, Inc." on April 5, 1929 as a non-profit corporation in Colorado. To acknowledge its chapters outside the U. S., the Board of Trustees took action in 1980 to change the name of the Society to "Pi Gamma Mu, International Honor Society in Social Science."  

The 1987 constitution provides for triennial conventions, with each chapter eligible to send a delegation. The convention is vested with the supreme authority of the Society. During the convention, delegates elect two student representatives to the Board of Trustees, which exercises administrative power between conventions. Members of the Board of Trustees are elected by the chapters for three year terms. Five chancellors oversee regions made up of several provinces. The provinces are headed by governors who lend support and assistance to the collegiate chapters under their jurisdiction. Each chapter, under the direction of faculty officers, plans its own programs and specific areas of service.  

In 1993, the Society moved its headquarters in Winfield, Kansas to the Carnegie Building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings.  

Pi Gamma Mu is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies, on whose council it has a representative. It is also affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science which classifies Pi Gamma Mu as a constituent organization of Section K--Social, Economic, and Political Sciences.

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