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The History of Beta Alpha Psi

Today, we accept students of all majors and work together to achieve excellence in all aspects of business as a professional business fraternity endorsed by Gies. However, Beta Alpha Psi has come a long way from where it started over 100 years ago.

Beta Alpha Psi was formed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on February 12, 1919. Originally an organization dedicated towards accounting, the fraternity emerged from an accounting club made in 1917 by Hiram Scovill, an accounting professor, his colleague, and students from his CPA Problems course.


Beta Alpha Psi was founded on the three basic principles of scholarship, practicality, and sociability. The primary objective was simply to stimulate cooperation and interest in accounting. One of its main purposes was, and still is, to encourage and foster service as the basis of the accounting profession and to secure the highest ethical ideals in the practice of accountancy. 


During February 1921, Beta Alpha Psi officially became a national organization with the adoption of a national constitution. Four weeks after the founding date, Scovill wrote accounting professors at ten leading universities concerning the new fraternity. 

In the letter, he urged them not to form comparable organizations at their respective schools, as it would only force unnecessary competition between the fraternities. In less than nine years, Beta Alpha Psi grew from 11 members to more than 900. Currently, there are more than 238 (now 329) chapters with over 200,000 current and alumni members.