Beta Beta Beta (TriBeta) is a society for students, particularly undergraduates, dedicated
to improving the understanding and appreciation of biological study and extending
boundaries of human knowledge through scientific research.
Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society seeks to encourage scholarly attainment in
this field of learning by reserving its regular membership for those who achieve superior
academic records and who indicate special aptitude for and major interest in the life
sciences. It desires to cultivate intellectual interest in the natural sciences and
to promote a better appreciation of the value of biological study, and thus welcomes
into associate membership all those students who are interested in biology. Beta Beta
Beta endeavors, also, to extend the boundaries of man’s knowledge of nature by encouraging
new discoveries through scientific investigation and to this end encourages undergraduate
students to begin research work and report their findings in the journal of the society,
It emphasizes, therefore, a three-fold program: stimulation of scholarship; dissemination
of scientific knowledge; and promotion of biological research.
TriBeta was founded in 1922 at Oklahoma City University — the Alpha Chapter — by Dr.
Frank G. Brooks and a group of his students. The idea of an honor and professional
society for biology students spread rapidly and by 1925, the society was a national
organization. Biennial national conventions of student and faculty members began in
that year and in 1930 the society journal, BIOS, began publication of student research,
articles of interest to biologists and society news. As the society grew, it was divided
into regional and district groups, each of which holds a convention annually. At the
heart of every district and national meeting are student research papers presented
in the style of graduate meetings. Awards are given for outstanding individual and
Towson’s chapter, Upsilon Eta, was founded in 1968.
What Beta Beta Beta Symbolizes
The acorn, the bird, and the fish represent life on the ground, in the air, and in
the water. The knight’s helmet signifies that the scientist is always ready to apply
his abilities for the benefit of mankind. The skull indicates that science, although
greater than the life of any individual, depends upon the contributions of individual
scholars. The two light quarters of the shield represent known truth; the dark quarters
represent truth still unknown. The diagonal golden band symbolizes the light and truths
of science. The serpent stands for wisdom. The colors of Beta Beta Beta are red and
green: blood red for zoology and leaf green for botany. The flower is the red rose,
symbol of beauty and strength. The motto is BLEPEIN BASIN BIOU which means “to see
the foundation of life.”
This is a common symbol of academic excellence. The first Beta stands for the Greek
word BALANOS, which means acorn; it represents life in and on the ground. The second
Beta stands for the Greek word BOUDETASE, which means little bird; it represents life
in the air. The third BetaBOAX, which means fish; it represents life in the water.
All three words may be summed up in the one word BIOS, which means life. Beta Beta
Beta also represents TriBeta’s three purposes: to promote scholarship in the biological
sciences, to promote the dissemination of biological knowledge, and to encourage research.
The coiled serpent in the center of the key is an ancient symbol of wisdom.
Information for Students
View more information: https://www.towson.edu/fcsm/departments/biology/studentorgs/honorsociety.html