The National Society of Black Engineers boasts a nationwide membership of 35,000-plus members but it started out with just a couple of students in the 70’s on the grounds of Purdue University
In 1971, “The Chicago Six,” John Logan, Brian Harris, George Smith, Ed Coleman, Anthony Harris, and Stanley Kirtley, formed the Purdue Society of Black Engineers. In 1974, the Purdue Society of Black Engineers became a National body, The Society of Black Engineers. The next year (1975), the first National conference of this new organization was held at Purdue University, which became National Headquarters.
At that first conference, 48 students representing 32 schools chose the new organization’s National symbol, wrote a rough draft of the National constitution and divided the organization into six geographical regions. John Carson was elected the first National Chairperson and the name, The National Society of Black Engineers, was officially adopted.
In 1976, NSBE was incorporated as a 501©3 non-profit organization in Austin, Texas. In 1979, NSBE grew from 5 chapters to about 88 officially chartered chapters throughout the country. In 1982, the first headquarters site was established in Washington, DC. Then in 1987, NSBE purchased 344 Commerce Street, Alexandria to use as National Headquarters. NSBE has since sold the headquarters at 344 Commerce Street and headquarters is currently located at 205 Daingerfield Road, Alexandria VA. Membership in NSBE has grown to over 350 chapters and 30,000 members.
NSBE Jr. is a Pre- College Initiaive (PCI) program designed to introduce and stimulate the interests of young minds when it comes to the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. The goal is to aid these students in excelling academically so they can attend college and to encourage them to pursue technical degrees. Through NSBE Jr. we plan to instill academic drive, leadership and teamwork skills that will help them succeed as professionals longterm. Our current NSBE Jr. chapter is located at Mother Caroline Academy where we work with them firsthand and show them how engineering and technology is utilized and relates to the world around them.
NSBE pairs students with alumni and professionals in the NSBE network. Mentors and mentees discuss career goals, leadership, among other things. Our mentorship program is fruitful-it's a great networking opportunity and essential for engineers in our club.
NSBE Boston Professionals develops annual programs, which support the Black and professional communities in the Boston metropolitan area. The goals of the organization are to promote technical expertise, professionalism, and fellowship amongst studying and practicing engineers, technical professionals, and scientists. With NSBE Boston Professionals, one can hone professional skills while making a significant social contribution.
BU NSBE is committed to aiding the Boston Community through volunteering services. BU NSBE regularly volunteers at Boston FoodBank and Cradles to Crayons.