History of The Society of Phi Zeta and the Tau Chapter
Phi Zeta is the honor society for veterinary medicine. It originated in 1925 with a group of senior veterinary students in the New York State Veterinary College at Cornell University. With the assistance of a group of faculty members, including the dean of the college, Dr. Veranus A. Moore, the Society was organized and Dean Moore was elected as the first president of the Alpha Chapter. The Society of Phi Zeta was organized in 1929 at a meeting in Detroit, Michigan, and Dean Moore became the first president of the Society at a meeting in Detroit, Michigan. Since 1929, twenty-seven chapters of the Society of Phi Zeta have been established, one at each of the schools or colleges of Veterinary Medicine in the United States.
Also in 1929, a charter was granted to the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Beta Chapter was established. In 1931, the Executive Committee approved the petition of a group from Iowa State College, and the Gamma Chapter was established. Since then twenty-four chapters have been chartered, bringing the total number of chapters to twenty-seven. Chapters of the Society may be formed at any recognized veterinary medical college or at any other institution of higher learning.
The Tau Chapter of the Society of Phi Zeta was chartered at the School of Veterinary Medicine of Louisiana State University in 1977, the year LSU graduated its first class of veterinarians.
The organizers of the Society, when seeking a suitable name, sought the help of a
learned Greek scholar, Professor George P. Bristol of Cornell University. Professor
Bristol suggested a Greek word, which in the Latin form is spelled PHILOZOI and means
“love for animals.” The abbreviation of Phi Zeta was adopted as the name of the Society.
The emblem consists of a pendant formed by the letter Phi superimposed by the letter Zeta. The design was the work of Louis Agassiz Fuertes, the great naturalist and artist.