In 1974, Edward Coleman, Anthony Harris, Brian Harris, Stanley L. Kirtley, John W. Logan Jr., and George Smith the “Chicago Six”, along with a host of other Purdue Engineering students and professor Arthur J. Bond, Ph.D. formed the first chapter of the, then, Society of Black Engineers. After contacting the other 288 accredited engineering schools, the Purdue SBE held its first annual meeting in April 1975 with 48 students from 32 schools. It was at that meeting that they unanimously voted to form the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE).
Throughout its history, NSBE has had an incredible journey of successes and has been supported by the likes of Shirley Chisolm, the first Black woman to run for President of the United States in 1979. It has grown from six (6) founding members to over 30,000 at its height, and from one (1) chapter to more than 790 chapters for Pre-Collegiate, Collegiate, and Professional divisions. As the guiding principles suggest and as the logo symbolizes, then to now, NSBE members continue to have a burning desire (flame) to achieve engineering excellence and have a striking impact (lightning bolts) on society and industry for generations to come (torch).
The mission of the society is to increase the number of culturally responsible Black Engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.