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KNOXVILLE — The nation’s second oldest honor society initiated University of Tennessee President J. Wade Gilley into membership in ceremonies here Tuesday night.

Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society inducted Gilley in a nonpublic ceremony at UT’s Dougherty Engineering Building. The chapter also inducted 31 honor students in engineering. Following the event, Gilley spoke at the group’s banquet at Calhoun’s on the River.

Tau Beta Pi, the largest engineering honor society in the world, honors eminent practicing engineers and academically accomplished engineering students. The group has been headquartered at UT since 1907.

Gilley, who has headed the university since 1999, holds bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in engineering from Virginia Tech. He was president of Marshall University in West Virginia before coming to UT.

Tau Beta Pi has 279 chapters and a membership of more than 390,000 in 85 countries. Students in the top fifth of their senior class are eligible for membership. The society donates scholarships and other assistance to UT engineering students.