The resources below are available to each chapter of Blue Key, or for those interested in starting a new chapter.
Blue Key Chapter Highlights and Contributions
to Campus and Community Life
Chadron State College
Located in northwest Nebraska, this Blue Key chapter has an exceptionally close collaborative relationship with Cardinal Key. Blue Key was chartered in 1932. This partnership sponsors Ivy Day. A king and queen and one orator are selected from the ranks of both honor societies. This event dates back to 1938 and evolved from a traditional May Day program. This is a very formal and meaningful event held prior to the spring commencement to recognize seniors in both honor organizations. Each department of the College recognizes its top senior scholars. Blue Key and Cardinal Key’s new members are tapped on Ivy Day.
The Blue Key chapter was formed at this landgrant institution in 1932. Blue Key’s signature event is Tigerama, an annual Friday night Homecoming Weekend Variety Show and Pep Rally that has been offered since 1957. Tigerama is the largest completely student planned and operated show of its kind in the nation. It has a $60,000+ budget. Included in the evening’s festivities are humorous and satirical skits presented competitively by student organizations, a performance by the entire Tiger Band, Pershing Rifles show, celebrity emcees, an appearance by the Clemson football team and the crowning of Miss Homecoming. Tigerama proceeds are used to fund the Blue Key Academic and Leadership Awards given to the top student selected by the faculty in the University’s five colleges, as well as a number of $1,000 scholarships. A new activity is a three day Scavenger Hunt and Amazing Race. Clues are released on twitter. The Building History Project resulted in framed photos and narratives describing the historical building’s namesake and its functions over time that are displayed in the building’s lobby, hallway or conference room. Blue Key also refurbished the University’s original entrance stone gateway markers.
Concord University in West Virginia is a relatively large chapter formed in 1932. This chapter sponsors Earth Day and recognizes the need for raking leaves and shoveling snow for senior citizens in the community. Members built a swing set and helped with renovation work at the Child Development Center, a daycare facility. Blue Key also sponsors a “Capture the Mascot” fund-raising event in which the school mascot is confined by the Blue Key court and donors are asked to contribute money to bail out the mascot. Members also celebrate Valentine’s Day by delivering a “Singing Telegram” in a cupid role to persons of interest from a donor.
Blue Key has its origins on campus as a student organization referred to as the Vigilantees in 1926. Its purpose was to preserve and raise campus spirit and carry on Mines traditions. Over the years “Creativity” has been their identity and focus. One of Blue Key’s oldest chapters, chartered in January 1926, was well stocked with innovative and creative engineering students well before the “Coors Lab” was established in the community. The Blue Key chapter is known for the M-Blem Event. Each year, the freshman class carries a ten pound rock to the large whitewashed rock formation in the shape of the letter M on Mt. Zion overlooking the campus and the town of Golden. More whitewash is added to “clean” all the rocks laid in the shape of a giant “M”. The chapter maintains the LED lights outlining the M-Blem. Lights are changed by Blue Key members. For the Fourth of July, red, white, and blue lights are installed. The Blue Key chapter also hosts the Winter Carnival that includes several creative events such as Human Bowling, Cardboard Sled Racing and a Ski Obstacle Course. They also take care of Blaster the Burro who serves as the living school mascot. They host Blaster at football games and have him run the length of the field to excite the fans. Blaster the Burro is also a fixture at parades. Blue Key members commit to 300 hours of service in the community including Light Up Golden during Christmas and the hosting of the annual Science Fair.
Emory and Henry College
Blue Key at Emory and Henry has been on campus since 1925. It is the oldest active chapter of Blue Key. The college is a small private liberal arts college in southwest Virginia. The service commitment is strong on campus and beyond. Blue Key participates in the Homecoming celebration event with the ballot and voting process. A major fundraiser is the Relay For Life event in support of the American Cancer Society. Blue Key participates in this program as a representative group linking the campus to the community. Another service activity is the Scholarship Awards Ceremony. Blue Key collaborates with Cardinal Key to provide a broader volunteer group in support of these service projects. The chapter prides itself in its service role as it practices principles of leadership, campus traditions and community connections.
Emporia State University
This Blue Key Chapter in Kansas, founded in 1961, plays a significant role in the hosting of the Hayes Lecture Series that addresses leadership development. The chapter also hosts a Leadership Conference for Emporia State emerging leaders in the student body. An annual highlight is the Student Leader Banquet. Blue Key formed the Hornet Squad, an organization comprised of student organization presidents. The members choose the Blue Key Hall of Fame inductees who are recognized in a special ceremony in the Leadership Conference Room in the campus central administration building. The chapter awards five $1,000 scholarships annually. The Lt. Governor of Kansas is a loyal Blue Key alum.
The Blue Key Chapter at K-State, chartered in 1934, is highly visible and constantly developing ideas and new programs that benefit the student experience campus-wide. Blue Key founded the Quest Freshman Honorary organization. Forty first-year students are identified who show the potential for leading campus organizations of their choosing and thus being mentored to enhance their personal development. Another program started by Blue Key members is the Catalyst Program for 100 freshman and sophomores at K-State. The ULead program promotes leadership and making good life choices by going to high schools. The DiscoverU Leadership Conference hosts approximately 140 sophomores and juniors who are first-generation college students. Blue Key promotes leadership and mentorship in all their program on and off-campus. The chapter hosts a Leadership Appreciation Reception for approximately 300 members and advisors of K-State student organizations. Blue Key members serve in the Blue Key Scholarship recipient selection process distributing $10,000.
The Blue Key chapter at Lander University in Greenwood, South Carolina was chartered in 1970. Its members participate and support the Moonshine Run, a 5K run that serves as a campus and community fundraiser. Blue Key’s role is assisting with race participant’s registration and event publicity. The Color Run is another special event filled with athleticism, competition and humor. All runners wear white t-shirts. On-lookers holding small packages of colored chalk along the raceway path throw them at the runners. The runners unscathed win the contest. Members of the chapter also participate in Halloween at a ”Haunted House” hosted by Housing and Residence Life at Lander for the enjoyment of children and young family members as well as on-campus residents. Blue Key members gather at certain designated restaurants such as Chick-fil-A and Moe’s and yogurt shops such as “Yep it’s Yogurt”, as a tie in with “Wear Something Blue” Day. Lander University Blue Key also offers two Blue Key Scholarships, one to a Current Blue Key member and one to any student at Lander University.
Michigan Tech Blue Key, chartered in 1932, is famous for its week-long Winter Carnival with a full slate of events including the Queen’s Competition, Stage Review (skits), Sno-Ball, Broom Ball, Ice Bowling, Curling, Ice Fishing, Ice Skating, Snow Volleyball, Dog Sled Races, Beards Competition, Banner Competition, Human Dogsled, Snowboarding, Sleigh Rides, Kid’s Dog Sled Rides, Fireworks Display, Torchlight Parade and Awards for Best Sculptures. This is the largest collection of themed hand-carved Snow Statues on any college campus in the nation. Student organizations create car and truck-sized Snow Statues and sculptures in a competition. No motorized equipment is used to create the enormous sculptures that all follow a theme for the event. Located on the Michigan Upper Peninsula, the Blue Key Chapter has hosted and organized the Winter Carnival in January-February annually since 1934. The tradition of the Winter Carnival on the Michigan Tech campus began in 1922. The economic impact of this event is estimated to be $1.2 million in materials and tourism. Over 6,000 visitors attend the carnival. Another winter season event is the Ice Tug of War creating much winter humor. The chapter also hosts the Queen’s Competition. Blue Key sponsors the Make a Difference Day, First-Year Students Move-In Day and the Clair M. Donovan Award for Leadership. Clair Donovan served as the Chapter Advisor and as a National Blue Key President.
Caretaking of Arboretum on campus, Head-Start Program volunteerism, and Habitat for Humanity
Nebraska Wesleyan University
Chartered in 1927, this chapter of Blue Key is located on a private liberal arts college campus in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Blue Key chapter has been engaged in a wide variety of outreach in the community. Activities include serving meals at the People’s City Mission, packaged meals to be sent overseas as part of Lincoln’s Kid’s Against Hunger and a fund raising activity for the Wounded Warrior project. On campus, Blue Key members engaged in fundraisers as part of the first home football game and Homecoming weekend. Another fundraiser by members included a fun-filled Pie-To-The-Face activity as well as having members being dunked in a Dunk Tank. The funds raised helped Blue Key gain favorable publicity and an increased role in campus activities with financial support. A Frisbee Golf Contest is in the works and will give Blue Key a higher profile on campus. During commencement, the Blue Key Chapter President will be leading the graduation procession. This is a very enviable honor.
North Central College
This chapter of Blue Key formed in 2007, has its roots in the Leadership Ethics and Values (LEV) Program at the liberal arts college located in Naperville, Illinois. The Blue Key chapter co-sponsors and collaborates with a number of other student organizations to support the LEV program. Many of the leadership theories and principles are put into practice by Blue Key. Members have an opportunity to address social issues and examine the leadership principles of social policy change. Many of the members are exposed to ethical issues raised in our legal system and in the business and medical community. Blue Key is involved in the formation of a Speakers Bureau. They identify presenters who address issues in campus-based panels, themed forums and leadership conferences and seminars. The I-Lead Program, Leaders Engaging Leaders, calls for leadership development and mentoring and is thus a large component of the work and learning by these Blue Key members. Blue Key enriches campus life and experience by opening these programs to the college and community. First-Year students participate in six 2-hour seminars on ethics and integrity with Blue Key members facilitating the learning process.
North Dakota State University
Founded in 1927, this historic, enthusiastic and spirited chapter of Blue Key has a legacy of service to the campus and community. The chapter hosts the annual Homecoming Show and the Bison Brevities Talent and Variety Show. Blue Key selects the Distinguished Educator Award each year with appropriate campus-wide recognition and print publicity. Members provide support for the Dakota Marker Trophy program and the Nickel Trophy. They serve as ushers at the Little Country Theater, bell-ringers in December in support of the Salvation Army fund raising effort and support library hours as part of the “Keep the Library” effort. Each spring Blue Key recognizes the Doctor of Service Award. It is believed by the chapter that it was the first to initiate female members. The chapter is known for SPAM (Spirit, Pep and Motivation) and ritualistic pounding as well as “Brown Key” social gatherings on Friday afternoons. Members even baked cakes for the Apple Dumpling Day festivities in Fargo-Morehead.
Blue Key at Northern Arizona University, chartered in 1949, operates out of the Honors Program. The esprit de corps in this chapter is quite good. Service activities and leadership opportunities keep this chapter and sustainable. Blue Key hosts and organizes the Annual Blue Key Homecoming Parade annually. This event heightens campus spirit and is open to the entire campus and the Flagstaff community. Blue Key determines the homecoming parade theme and encourages wide participation by student organizations and other group of campus life. The goal is to show True Blue Pride! Theme titles of the homecoming parades were “Forever Blue” and “Axe of Kindness” in recent years. The Blue Key chapter also participated in an Adopt-A-Highway effort and participated in a clean-up litter day.
Northwest Missouri State University
Founded in 1960, this Blue Key chapter selects the Outstanding Freshman Leader Award. It is possible that the award winner will eventually qualify for membership in Blue Key as long as they create a balanced record of scholarship, leadership and service. The University consists of a traditional residential campus where students can develop skills and behaviors that reflect the well-rounded Blue Key member. The members also participate in the process and organization of a campus contest in naming the Northwest Power King and Queen. At other times of the school year, Blue Key supports the T-Shirt Drive which is a fundraiser for the Salvation Army.
Slippery Rock University
This Blue Key Chapter located in western Pennsylvania north of Pittsburgh was chartered in 2001. Members have been actively engaged in a variety of service projects. One of the early service projects was the “Walk-A-Pup” event scheduled during the fall and spring semesters. The local animal rescue organization brings sheltered dogs to campus and Blue Key identifies volunteers to exercise the dogs for a donation. It should be noted that the larger the dog, the larger the potential donation. For example, a Great Dane has the value of $400 during the drive. Blue Key presents the proceeds from the fundraiser to the rescue organization. Another fundraising activity is “Tye Together for Heart Disease.” Blue Key had volunteers create tye-dye shirts for another fund raiser that benefits the American Heart Association Heart Walk. The “Paint The Town” event calls for members to paint the Blue Key logo on store-front windows of business in the heart of downtown to fit the theme of homecoming. A decorated blue truck was featured in the Homecoming Parade. Blue Key created a campus sculpture that allows student organization representatives to paint messages on it for publicity. Blue Key has established a legacy of promoting wellness and giving to families with children in need. The Blue Key Christmas Giving Tree was displayed in the campus Health Center, Fund raisers and service projects included Relay For Life, Up ‘Till Dawn, Season of Giving involving the donation of toys, stuffed animals for children, writing cards to military veterans, the Daffin’s Chocolate-covered Pretzel fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, a Taco Dinner benefiting “Pets for Vets,” Adopt-A-Highway clean up day and the campus Organizations Fair. The chapter had one event in which they had T-shirts printed with the inscription: Motto: What do you achieve?
Blue Key has enjoyed a rich history at The University of Georgia as one of the oldest chapters founded in 1926. This chapter enjoys a very strong presence in the upper administration of the University, in the Georgia state legislature as well as in the business and professional community. Sixty new members are initiated each year from throughout the many programs and departments on campus. Blue Key is considered the “student voice” by the University Administration and the state legislature. The annual “Atlanta Day” trip is designed for Blue Key to meet with key representatives on the Senate and House Floors. An important annual tradition is The Tucker Dorsey Blue Key Alumni Banquet, started in 1963. This banquet is designed to bring together business and government leaders from across the state of Georgia with Blue Key members for networking and exchange of ideas. The event also provides the opportunity to present an annual Blue Key Award by the UGA president, from the chapter to distinguished individuals who have made significant contributions to the University, the state, and the nation. Blue Key is the only student organization on campus authorized to award these institutional recognitions on a yearly basis. UGA Blue Key gets high marks for its level of professionalism and citizenship.
The University of Portland
This University is a liberal arts school with an active campus and community outreach program. The Blue Key Chapter was chartered in 1951. Members are expected to engage in service to the community as individuals or as a group. Members have a very prominent service presence at the Blanchet House of Hospitality. The mission of the organization is to “feed, clothe and offer shelter and aid to those in need.” Originally the Blanchet House provided free hot meals to people in need. Now the facility offers breakfast, lunch and dinner six days a week. It also operates a transitional shelter program for 27 men struggling with addictions, unemployment, homelessness and family issues. The residents are expected to abstain from troubling activity and volunteer most days with housekeeping tasks. Blue Key members assist with the Soup Kitchen and other meals. Blue Key collaborates with other service organizations on several outreach efforts.
The University of Toledo
In Northeast Ohio, this Blue Key chapter began in 1952 as an organization known by the Greek letters, ARX. Membership in Blue Key at Toledo is respected campus-wide. Blue Key is best known for two key events that are recognized as being the two longest-standing traditions at the University: The Homecoming Parade with its 27 floats and Songfest with 5,000 attendees. The chapter is unique in that it incorporates active involvement of Blue Key alumni in chapter activities. For example, the alumni group was very engaged and supportive of the chapter when it hosted the annual Blue Key Leadership Conference recently. Known for their singing, the Blue Key members sing a UT Alma Mater at several key campus events. The members have also been known to cook dinner at a Homeless Shelter in Toledo.
The University of West Alabama
Blue Key was chartered in 1951 in Livingston, Alabama. The Blue Key Chapter’s signature event is the Miss Paragon Pageant established in 1980. Miss Paragon is a campus wide beauty contest held each spring. Contestants are sponsored by organizations at $10 each. The pageant’s top twelve finalists are featured in the Student Life Activity Calendar. The chapter also hosts the Miss UWA Pageant. The proceeds from the sponsorships, donations and funds provided by the Student Government Association are deposited in the “Student Emergency Fund.” This fund is administered by the Blue Key Advisors in Student Affairs and is used to assist students who cannot afford books for college or other emergencies.
Truman State University
The John Kirk Blue Key chapter, chartered on April 7, 1926, is located in Kirksville, Missouri. Service to the university and community is a hallmark of the members of this group. Community service endeavors include co-hosting blood drives and serving the Humane Society. Members tutor elementary students in an after-school homework center format. Blue Key also engages with disabled students and nursing home residents. The chapter is noted for its compassion and caring attitude to these special populations. Service on campus includes hosting visitors in the President’s Box at home football games, co-hosting the Homecoming Parade and supporting Truman State’s Big Event each spring. Organized by The Serve Center at the University, The Big Event is a one-day community service activity doing such favors as raking leaves for seniors, washing windows, painting and making repairs. Blue Key also collected gifts for troops deployed overseas and sent them 700 care packages.