Pi Gamma Mu Presidential Address 2021 Triennial International Convention.

AuthorHeck, Laurence
PositionArticle 15

Greetings. I am Larry Heck, President of the Board of Trustees. In these few minutes, I am honored to welcome you, share information about the state of the society, and offer some thank yous.


Welcome to the 2021 Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society in Social Science's Triannual Convention. Our triannual was scheduled for the fall of 2020; however, due to the pandemic, the trustees judiciously postponed to this year. Then, still thinking of safety, the Trustees decided to go virtual. So here we are, pioneering a virtual convention in 2021. Interestingly, this positions us perfectly to have our next triennial in the year we celebrate our 100th anniversary in 2024. One hundred years; can you imagine? Do you think Leroy Allen, our founder, anticipated that the society would be thriving 100 years later? What a legacy for Dean Allen.

We are still Pi Gamma Mu. Our mission is to encourage and promote excellence in the Social Sciences and to uphold and nurture scholarship, leadership, and service. I consider that our mission has three pillars. We recognize scholarship in the social sciences, we seek to develop leadership among our members, and we promote service to humanity. Would you agree with me that those three pillars are important to successful social life?

In our current milieu of social life, we find ourselves in relatively tumultuous times. For some examples, consider these:

- a worldwide pandemic

- climate change

- political polarization

- threats to democracy

- potentially damaging social media

The pessimist might say, "Woe is me!" But, the optimist might say, "We can do something about this."

We think the social sciences have something to offer in these problematic and contentious times? And that's the spirit in which we convene this triannual convention with its title "Social scientists leading the way."

State of the Society

Thinking about the State of the Society, I have six areas I would like to address, with a focus on developments since the 2017 triennial: 1) the Constitution, 2) fiscal issues, 3) membership growth, 4) membership services, 5) conventions, and 6) technology.

The Constitution: At the 2017 Triennial, society members approved a revised Constitution. In addition, the trustees created a first-ever set of bylaws to go with the Constitution. The Constitution is fixed and can only be changed by the body of the society. The bylaws are important because they provide some flexibility to the Trustees in fulfilling the...

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