Atius and Sachem are leadership honoraries at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Atius originated as the Greek women’s honorary Shi-Ai in 1906. Shi-Ai joined forces with the independent women’s honorary Alpha Cron in 1966, to form what is today known as Atius. Atius takes its name from the Pawnee Indian word for “wiser leader.” The junior honorary, Sachem, was originally founded in 1914 as an honorary for junior men. Sachem takes its name from a Native American word for “young chief.” Today, both Atius and Sachem are open to men and women regardless of greek affiliation.
The purpose of Atius-Sachem is to recognize and promote student leadership. Membership is based upon outstanding contributions to University activities. These members are encouraged to continue their active leadership in other organizations, as well as to plan quality programs within their respective honoraries. The skills and involvement members possess often leads to post-graduation success. Notable members of Atius-Sachem include George Halas and Roger Ebert.
Freshman and sophomore students can apply for membership in their spring semester.
- Participation in several campus activities and organizations
- Demonstration of leadership ability in at least one of those activities
- Desire to be active within the organization
- Minimum GPA of 2.75/4.0
* For more information on the application process or to fill out an application, visit our Apply page.
Mom’s Day Sing
The Atius-Sachem Mom’s Day Sing evolved from several smaller shows staged by separate organizations into one large show produced by the members of Atius-Sachem. The show incorporates song and dance routines performed by non-professional undergraduate students, yet the quality of the show is exceptional. Atius-Sachem members produce the Sing in order to provide students units with the opportunity to showcase their talents for parents and other students during Mom’s Day Weekend.
Proceeds from the Sign are donated to the first, second, and third place winner’s philanthropies, used to pay for overall production costs, and used to provide money for next year’s show. Profits are used to support ongoing campus events sponsored by Atius-Sachem and a large percentage is donated to philanthropy.
Since 1924, one of the traditions of Atius-Sachem has been to hold a trophy exchange with The Ohio State’s Junior honorary, Bucket and Dipper, at The Ohio State v. University of Illinois football game. The purpose of this annual meeting is to exchange Illy, a traveling wooden trophy that is shaped like a turtle, to the honorary representing the winning football team.