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Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society | Pi Chapter


 Since 1926, AGS has been a statewide organization of community college societies, with the aim of recognizing and encouraging high scholastic achievement, leadership, and service among community college students. Today there are more than 80 active chapters in California.
The name Alpha Gamma Sigma is based on the three Greek letters that comprise the motto of our organization.

Α- Alpha is "Arete" meaning Excellence

Γ- Gamma is "Gnosis" meaning Knowledge

Σ- Sigma is "Sophrosyne" meaning Wisdom

Thus the motto, "Add to good character, knowledge and judgement."

We invite you to take this opportunity to participate in campus life and to acquire the many benefits AGS offers to eligible students.

More general information concerning the state-wide organization of AGS can be found here, at their official site.


Forward: Three primary sources were used to compile this history. One was a small book by the "Daddy" of Alpha Gamma Sigma - Dr. William T. Boyce, entitled "My Years in the Fullerton Junior College, 1915-1950". Another is a conference program of the "Second Annual Conference, California Junior College Honor Society", dated April 2, 1932. The third is the 1941 edition of "The Torchbearer of Alpha Gamma Sigma". Information discovered in these three publications has led to a few necessary changes in the "History of Alpha Gamma Sigma" as presented in earlier editions of the Handbook.


Dr. William T. Boyce was, in 1925, Head Administrator of Fullerton Junior College, and he is the man chiefly responsible for the formation of the California Junior College Honor Society which eventually became the Alpha Gamma Sigma we know today. 

Here is a quote from his book:

"In 1925 I conceived the idea of promoting a state-wide junior college honor scholarship society. I saw in it an intellectual stimulus, comparable to that of Phi Beta Kappa in the higher colleges. Superintendent Louis E. Plummer supported the idea. With his backing, I invited Merton Hill, Chaffey Junior College administrator, and Dr. K. Hammond, administrator for Santa Ana Junior College, to come to Fullerton to join Plummer and me in a consideration of the proposal. I emphasized specific advantages in the plan as follows:

  • It would be an incentive to study and strive for scholastic honor.
  • It would be an inter-junior college enterprise in scholastic achievement.
  • It would commend the junior colleges to the higher education institutions.
  • It would add luster to commencement exercises to recognize the graduating student who had qualified for membership.

The proposal was heartily endorsed, and I was asked to formulate the plan and present it for adoption by all the junior colleges in California. The response was approval, adoption, and the formation of chapters.

According to Dr. Boyce, the original constitution of the society was adopted in 1926. At the Principal's Convention in May, 1926, a special committee was appointed consisting of Dr. Albert Williams (Fullerton), chairman, Miss. Kathleen D. Loly (Pasadena)[,] Miss Belle Collidge, Mr. W. W. Mather, and Mr. C. S. Morris. George wuz here. The committee was given full authority to select and design a pin, to have the pin made, and to call meetings of an Advisory Board. At first, the pin was a flat, one-piece gold pin with an open book and a blazing torch on a shield (similar to the present design) but with the word "California" across the top the words "Honor Society" across the book, and the letters "JC" at the bottom. The Advisory Board was to consist of the faculty advisors of the local honor societies which had met the minimum requirements provided for by the constitution and had been formally notified to that effect by the committee.

During the first year, chapters were established at Bakersfield, Chaffey, Fullerton, Pasadena, Santa Ana, Santa Maria, and San Bernardino. The next year brought in Citrus, Sacramento, Compton, Glendale. Long Beach, Taft, and Pomona. These fifteen chapters were invited to send representatives to the first meeting of the Advisory Board in Pasadena on November 24, 1928. Sacramento withdrew, and the other fourteen chapters were represented at the first Spring Convention of the society which (judging from the date on the printed program of the second convention) has to have been held in 1931.

Students then requested that a Greek name be adopted instead of the cumbersome name "California Junior College Honor Scholarship Society." Accordingly, in 1932 a committee consisting of Dr. Grace Baumgartner, Miss Kathleen Loly, and Dr. Albert Williams selected the motto: "Add to good character, knowledge and judgment." They took the three Greek words "Arete," "Gnosis," and "Sophrosyne" as the embodying the meaning of the motto, and then chose the initial letters of those three words, Alpha Gamma Sigma, as the name of the society. The design of the pin was changed to include the Greek letters.

At the second Spring Convention at San Bernardino on April 2, 1932, chapter names were drawn by lot and Pasadena, much to their satisfaction, drew the coveted Alpha slip. Since that time the society has undergone a variety of changes.

In 1940, Alpha Gamma Sigma became incorporated under California law. The articles of incorporation give the official name of the society as "ALPHA GAMMA SIGMA, THE CALIFORNIA JUNIOR COLLEGE HONOR SCHOLARSHIP SOCIETY." The purpose of the organization are stated in the articles of incorporation as follows:

  • To promote, recognize, encourage, and foster scholarship and educational attainments among students of the junior colleges of the State of California
  • To recognize students attaining high scholastic records
  • To make students more conscious of the advantage of high scholarship
  • To bring together students attaining high scholastic records, for their mutual benefit

 From the copy of the Spring Convention program printed in the 1941 edition of The Torchbearer of Alpha Gamma Sigma, it is clear that student members were present and active at the 1941 Convention at Reedley Junior College. 

World War II seems to have halted such student participation, for the minutes of the Advisory Board meeting at the state convention of 1954 state that "this is the first state Alpha Gamma Sigma Convention since the war in which students were invited to participate."


The 1950 revision of the AGS Constitution had given the student members to authority to form their own organization. Nothing was done about this until the chapter advisors of the colleges in the southern part of the state invited students to attend the Southern Regional Conference at Santa Monica City College on December 5, 1953.

There it was decided to divide the state into three regions ‚ Southern, Central and Northern ‚ and to invite members from the other two regions to attend the Spring Convention to formulate a set of bylaws for the proposed Student Organization. The amount of time available at the convention did not allow completion of the organization at that time, but the task did get finished and the new bylaws were ratified by the Advisory Board in time for implementation at the following Spring Convention. Note that the ratification of the bylaws for the Student Organization was done by the advisors!

The 1950 revision of the AGS Constitution was amended in 1958, 1966, 1967, 1968, and 1969! Each amendment resulted in giving the students more authority and responsibility in running AGS. By 1972 it had become evident that what was really needed was a complete revision of the Constitution. Under the advisor ship of William Miller, Advisor of the Diablo Valley Chapter of AGS, a group of students formed a constitutional revision committee. By February of 1973 they had met several times and finally had a new constitution ready to present to the membership at the 1973 Spring Convention on Catalina Island. There the new constitution was ratified BY THE STUDENTS.


The 1973 revision was a good constitution, but it provided for a grouping of chapters into "areas" of five to ten colleges. Although this structure looked good on paper, it soon proved unworkable. The ability to do everything as the constitution said it should be done was a source of guilt feelings on the part of the older advisor and outright confusion on the part of new ones. No one on the Advisory Board objected when it was moved to form a constitution revision committee made up of advisors. The framers of the 1973 revision had long since gone elsewhere, and the student members of 1983-84 didn't know about the newest revision until they were asked to approve it. This they did at the State Convention at Asilomar in 1984. As of 1987, no one has seen any need to amend it.

Although the society has been functioning under a "constitution" since 1925, and although the revisions of 1950 and 1973 were both called "constitutions," the Advisory Board committee appointed to draw up the 1984 revision decided that "the constitution" was really the 1940 Articles of Incorporation and that the document under revision should more properly be called the "Bylaws of Alpha Gamma Sigma, Incorporated." As late as 1987, some of the older members of the Advisory Board were still referring to the "Bylaws" as the "Constitution."

The 1984 Bylaws of Alpha Gamma Sigma, Inc. were designed to reflect current practices and to provide a feasible structure for the efficient functioning of the organization. Each chapter has its own set of bylaws which coordinate with those of the state organization in terms of name, purpose, and membership eligibility regulations.

In addition to the bylaws, which can be amended only by the special process described within them, there is a set of Standing Rules, Policies and Procedures which can be formed and changed by a majority vote of a quorum of the Advisory Board members. Both the Bylaws and the Standing Rules are included in the Handbook. Every AGS Advisor should become well acquainted with both.

Those members and advisors who attended the Alpha Gamma Sigma Spring Convention at Asilomar in April of 1986 can tell you that the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of AGS was grandly celebrated!



a. The president presides over all general meetings and all events sponsored by the organization.

b. The president may delegate presiding duties to the Vice President as needed.

c. The president meets and discusses matters with the AGS advisors.

d. The president works alongside other Club Presidents in order to assist each other with club matters.

e. The president may provide and suggest ideas to board members on ways to improve.

f. The president must have been a member of the AGS Executive Board for *at least one semester.*

Vice President

a. The vice president succeeds to the office of the president should that office become vacant.

b. The vice president takes the role of the president if s/he cannot administer the duties of the office.

c. The vice president must run the alternate meetings.

d. The vice president meets and discusses matters with the AGS advisors.

e. The vice president works alongside other Club President in order to assist each other with club matters.

f. The vice president may suggest ideas to board members on ways to improve.


a. The treasurer keeps track of financial transactions, including the following:

1. Collect and deposit all chapter dues in accordance with regulations specified in the Club Organizational Handbook.

2. Report new collections, debts, and current balances in the AGS accounts as weekly meeting.

b. The treasurer fills out paperwork for reimbursement necessary pertaining to club events and assets.

c. The treasurer works with the fundraising chair to devise ideas to increase AGS revenue.

Points Secretary

a. The points secretary records and updates service points of members on a weekly basis.

b. The points secretary may send the service points records to the webmaster on a weekly basis or update and share a Google Spreadsheet of said records.

c. The points secretary must submit the list of people that earned transcript recognition at the end of the semester.

Social Committee Chair

a. The social committee chair manages, plans, and organizes club social events for the semester.

b. The social committee chair must attend all social events.

c. The social committee chair works on maintaining and posting on the AGS social media pages keeping it current and entertaining to viewers.

d. The social committee chair holds social committee meetings to discuss and suggest ideas to create a friendly, welcoming community that creates and strengthens bonds between AGS members.

e. The social committee chair works with other clubs in order to organize the Yearly Bowling event.

f. The social committee chair works alongside the publicity, fundraising chair, and treasurer to make events have a welcoming environment that includes all participating members of said event.

g. The social committee chair also serves as the Historian for all AGS events.

1. Responsible for taking pictures for all social events.

Fundraising Chair

a. The fundraising chair is responsible for researching, implementing, and promoting fundraising activities for the semester.

b. The fundraising chair fills out paperwork regarding fundraising event at least two weeks in advance.

c. The fundraising chair runs the fundraising committee meeting in order to manage and devise possible events and activities that may increase AGS revenue.

Publicity Chair

a. The publicity chair is responsible for publicizing the club through creating posters, flyers, social media, etc.

b. The publicity chair makes and updates the AGS newsletter on a monthly basis.

c. The publicity chair works alongside the social chair in order to think up of ways to attract more members for AGS or attendees for events by targeting the new and ever evolving demographics.

d. The publicity chair holds meetings in order to plot new methods and ideas to attract more member for AGS or attendees for events via targeting new and ever evolving demographics.


a. The webmaster maintains the website and keeps it updated weekly with upcoming events at least one to two weeks in advance.

b. The webmaster maintains the phone app and keeps it updated on a monthly basis.

c. The webmaster collaborates with the social chair in order to implement and update pictures in aforementioned app and website.

d. The webmaster works on finding ways to improve the current app or website.

e. The webmaster may update the points on a weekly basis unless there is a Google spreadsheet of the service points records. 

 Minutes Secretary

a. The minutes secretary is responsible for the writing the minutes, the general outline of what was discussed, during the AGS board meetings.

b. The minutes secretary sends these minutes within 24 hours of the meeting to all board members including