On a recent college visit to Lehigh University with my daughter I got very excited when I saw The Bent of Tau Beta Pi in front of the engineering building. What you ask is the Tau Beta Pi Bent? It is the symbol of the National Engineering Honor Society of which I was a member in college. My daughter recognizing my nerdy excitement made me pose next to the bent and took my picture. I must admit that although I am no longer a practicing engineer, my inner geek is alive and well and I continue to be very proud of my past life as an engineer.I did further research and found out that Tau Beta Pi is the oldest honor society in the United States and the second oldest collegiate honor society in America. Tau Beta Pi was was founded in Lehigh University. When the academic honor society, Phi Beta Kappa, chose to restrict its membership to just liberal arts students, the head of the mining department at Lehigh University decided to start an honor society for the technical subject students. The first student to join Tau Beta Pi was the valedictorian of 1885. The Tau Beta Pi Bent symbol was designed to look like a watch key, like the ones used to wind old watches. It is in the shape of a bent of a trestle as seen in bridge construction. The colors of Tau Beta Pi are seal brown and white just like the Lehigh school colors.
For further information about Tau Beta Pi visit https://www.tbp.org/home.cfm