About PAX

Pi Alpha Xi, founded in 1923, is the national honor society for Horticulture Since its founding, it has grown to 40+ chapters at baccalaureate-granting institutions. Its mission is to promote scholarship, fellowship, professional leadership, and the enrichment of human life through plants.

The motto of Pi Alpha Xi is “always to excel.” 

The Kappa chapter at Virginia Tech was chartered June 1, 1968 – the 10th chapter in the history of the organization.  Many of Virginia’s top green industry business owners, extension personnel, and educators are members. One application fee and initiation makes you a member for life!

History of Pi Alpha Xi (national)

The idea of an honor society came from an impromptu after-dinner discussion among representatives of several universities attending the International Flower Show held in New York City in 1923. A group of individuals from Cornell University, led by the late Arno Nehrling, developed the organization, wrote the first constitution and ritual and designed the insignia or key. The installation of the Alpha Chapter was at Cornell University on June 1, 1923. Originally, Pi Alpha Xi was for floriculture and ornamental horticulture; however, today it embraces all horticultural disciplines and has grown to 40+ chapters with approximately 14,000 members. Chapters are located in the United States at four-year institutions with programs in horticulture.


Pi Alpha Xi, the Honor Society for Horticulture, recognizes junior and senior students with high scholastic achievement who demonstrate a strong interest in horticulture. Graduate students and faculty with an emphasis in horticulture are also eligible. Students must have a minimum overall academic average of B (3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale). Individual chapters may require a higher GPA. Candidates should also show promise for continued activity and commitment to the field of horticulture.

Benefits of Membership

Your one-time membership fee provides lifetime national membership. You will also receive a Pi Alpha Xi certificate, recognition pin and access to the Lotus Leaflet, the society’s official newsletter, at the Pi Alpha Xi website. Individual chapters may also offer new members honor cords or sashes that are worn with commencement regalia and/or may assess a local chapter fee to cover costs. See your local chapter president or advisor for specific details.

Link to PAX National: http://pax.ashs.org/

PAX Roster of Chapters