In a shady spot under a large cottonwood tree, on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, our founders saw the need for an honor society – one that by invitation would recognize scholarship, character, and attitude. The vision of these inspired young men was to promote the highest ideals of the engineering profession and form an organization where professionals and students help each other.

Since 1904, our society has recognized engineers, like you, whose curiosity and determination know no boundaries. Students and professionals who refuse to give up until the problem is solved. Engineers who hear the calls of their communities, and answer through their willingness to serve others.

HKN Founders Day, celebrated on 28 October each year, is one way we share the Eta Kappa Nu story, raise awareness of the value that an IEEE-HKN Chapter brings to a University, show the many ways a Chapter serves fellow students and the community, and encourage industry to support us. Today’s IEEE-HKN students are the leaders of tomorrow.

Founders Day 2023: How will YOU celebrate our society?

Chapter members: Celebrate 119 years of Eta Kappa Nu with your community! Collaborate with other Chapters and reach out to your Chapter’s Alumni! Submit your Founders Day Activity Report by 1 December to receive a personalized Chapter gift.

Alumni members: Volunteer with the society, share your HKN story, support your Chapter of induction!

Show Your HKN Pride

The HKN Young Alumni team is collecting images of our membership that will be used to create a video to celebrate Founder’s Day 2023. To participate, please fill out this form by 1 October and upload a photo of yourself holding up the hashtag #WeAreHKN or of you wearing your favorite piece of HKN merchandise.

Read more below for additional Founders Day details!

Learn more about Your Chapter's History

  • Talk to your Department Chair & Faculty Advisor
  • Look into the history of your Department
  • Contact Chapter Alumni
  • See if there are any Eminent Members from your University
  • Update your Chapter Page with any new information you uncover!

2023 Founders Day Kits

  • Available for pre-order through 1 October
  • You must submit your order on or before 1 October 2023 to ensure a timely arrival
  • Each Chapter may only receive one (1) Kit
Order Now

Key Chapter Recognition

  • A Founders Day activity is one of the optional Chapter Engagement components of earning Key Chapter recognition
  • Please submit a post-Founders Day Activity Report on or before 1 December 2023 to have this count toward Key Chapter recognition for the 2023-2024 reporting year