In September 1941, Dr. Vivian Anderson Leonard was asked by the president of Washington State University if he would accept the directorship of a Police Science Academic Program at Washington State. Dr. Leonard accepted the offer and became responsible for developing a four-year curriculum which would lead to a Bachelor's Degree in Police Administration.
Upon his arrival at Washington State, Dr. Leonard began to realize how important it was that a Police Science Honorary be established. The purpose of this honorary society would be to promote excellence in scholarship and performance. In January, 1942, Dr. Leonard met with seventeen Police Science majors at Washington state and Alpha Phi Sigma was established. Glenn Hill was elected as the first president and appointed a committee to draft the first Constitution and Bylaws.
During its initial years, Alpha Phi Sigma experienced only limited growth but on March 24, 1976, in Dallas the Executive Board of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences voted unanimously to designate Alpha Phi Sigma as the National Criminal Justice Honor Society. At this time, Alpha Phi Sigma had only 14 chapters; since then, Alpha Phi Sigma has continued to grow and prosper at a very rapid rate and there are now over 360 Chapters.
Over the years the National Officers have been located at universities across the country, including Washington State University, Midwestern State University, Eastern Kentucky University, Texas Woman's University, Fairmont State College, Marshall University, Tarleton State University, Florida International University, Boise State University, and University of Houston ~ Downtown.
Academy of Criminal Justice Science Affiliation
At the 1976 meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justice Science in Dallas, Texas, the Academy recognized Alpha Phi Sigma as the Criminal Justice Honor Society.
Since 1978, Alpha Phi Sigma has held its national conference in conjunction with the annual ACJS meeting. The Academy's continued support of Alpha Phi Sigma serves to enhance Alpha Phi Sigma's purpose: the recognition of scholarly achievement in the field criminal justice.
Member of the Association of College Honor Societies
The Association of College Honor Societies was organized October 2, 1925, by a group of college and university teachers, administrators, and representatives of a few well-established honor societies.
Its object then and now is to consider problems of mutual interest such as those arising from the confusion prevailing on college campuses concerning the character, function, standards of membership, multiplicity, and undesirable duplication of honor societies; to recommend action leading to appropriate classification or elimination; and to promote the highest interest of honor societies.
Alpha Phi Sigma was granted membership by the Association of College Honor Societies in 1980.