By Pat Edwards
Ramblin' Reck Club

Georgia Tech is an institution resplendent with many honorary and service organizations and fraternities. From Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) to various other honors organizations on campus, these groups are catering to the individual colleges and majors. Students of excellence at Tech are not at a loss to be recognized, honored, and united in order to advance themselves and their opportunities for collective effort.

Like many of the Ivy League schools such as Harvard and Yale, Georgia Tech offers an honor that is unique to Her students, an organization whose secrecy is matched only by the magnitude and scope of the good works that they do.

There exists an organization that stands as the highest honor that can be achieved by a Georgia Tech student, the ANAK Society, an organization whose history is almost as old as Tech's, but whose legacy to the Student Body stands shoulder to shoulder with our beloved Institute.

Founded in 1908 by four seniors, C.H. Baughn, L. Goodier, G. McCarty and C. Sweet, at a time when Tech's student life was just emerging from its stale, trade school-like atmosphere, the ANAK Society acted as a critical catalyst in defining Tech's student life.

A very secret society whose membership is kept confidential until the members are announced in The Technique during their graduating quarter, the ANAK Society used to tap their designated members in large assemblies conducted on campus.

Membership has always been open only to the members of Tech's senior class who typify the ideals of leadership, service, scholarship and high moral character. The Society has a long tradition of establishing and fostering many of the most important and appreciated organizations on campus.

The Society acted for many years as the de facto student government, long before there was any sort of collective, representative student body. The society relinquished control to Tech's first student council in 1922.

Some of the many noteworthy institutions founded by the ANAK Society include The Blueprint, our own school yearbook, which was first edited in 1908 by John Chapman, an ANAK member.

Another student publication upon which we are heavily reliant today was founded by the ANAK Society. The Technique was founded under ANAK assistance in 1911 and later merged with the old Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket newspaper in 1916.

It also created Georgia Tech's very first Honor Code, which closely resembled the code adopted by the US Military Academy at West Point in 1908.

Georgia Tech's first homecoming celebration was organized and sponsored by ANAK in 1916. It was at this time that Tech's proud tradition of combining the alumni reunions with Homecoming was established. This tradition, once unusual among colleges, continues to this day.

The tradition of wearing Rat Caps was established by the ANAK Society in 1915, following a tradition of distinctive freshman headgear at many other colleges in the United States.

Many service organizations were also founded by the ANAK Society, such as the old YMCA chapter at Tech in 1910, the Student Council in 1922, and the Ramblin' Reck Club in 1930.

Not solely concerned with the founding of useful organizations and institutions on campus, the ANAK Society also affects great influence in shaping a positive influence on campus.

In 1921, the honor society lead the effort to keep the Klu Klux Klan from establishing a chapter at Georgia Tech. Incidentally, a chapter was established at the University (sic) of Georgia.

Also, in 1976, at a time when women at Tech were still a great minority, the ANAK Society led the way for many similar organizations around the country by admitting their first female members.

Founded nearly ninety years ago by seniors at Tech who sought to establish a core of leadership to make a positive impact on campus, this highest honor offered by Tech to Her students has given many organizations and programs to the entire campus. These organizations today give Georgia Tech a far richer campus life than it would have otherwise had.

The selfless actions of these leaders, carried out in secrecy and without fanfare or recognition, makes these members of the Tech community one of our finest resources, as well as our most honorable members.


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Copyright © 1997 by Jason Waymire, Interim Editor and by the Student Publications Board