National Beta Club

The National Beta Club (often called "Beta Club" or simply "Beta") is an organization for 4th through 12th grade students in the United States. Its purpose is "to promote the ideals of academic achievement, character, leadership and service among elementary and secondary school students.".[1] Headquartered in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the organization has more than 8,750 clubs nationally and internationally.

National Beta Club
FounderDr. John W. Harris
Purposeto promote the ideals of academic achievement, character, leadership and service among elementary and secondary school students
HeadquartersSpartanburg, South Carolina
  • United States
Over 700,000
Key people
John W. Harris, Bobby Hart, Jay Moore, Laura Lewis
Main organ
Board of directors

History and descriptionEdit

Beta is an academic honors program with a strong emphasis on leadership and community service. It was founded in 1934 by Dr. John W. Harris, a Wofford College professor. Its motto is "Let Us Lead By Serving Others." Traditionally, students are awarded membership based on their grades (GPA), or test scores and character traits. Each individual school chooses what items they will look at for their chapter's member qualifications.

The Junior Division of The National Beta Club, begun in 1961, is for students in 4th through 8th grade, divided into Division I (grades 4-5) and Division II (grades 6-8). The Senior Division of Beta is for 9th through 12th graders.[2] There are more than 500,000 active Betas in the Senior and Junior divisions and over 7 million alumni.


Every year students on the Senior level compete in academic and talent competitions such as speech, Quiz Bowl, creative writing, English, math, science, social studies, spelling, group talent, special talent, oratory and character skits. On the junior level, students can participate in science, social studies, language arts, spelling, math, visual and performing arts, arts and crafts, poetry, T-shirt design, banner, scrapbook, essay, living literature, and songfest and speech competitions. In order to compete at the national level, a participant must place at the state level. This also includes those candidates running for office. The first National Beta Club convention was held in June 1981, at the Sheraton Twin Towers in Orlando, Florida.[3] Each year there is a new theme, and a new site for the National Convention.

State conventions are a bit different from the national conventions. State conventions are held by the state sponsor and the state sponsor elect, which are elected to the position by other sponsors from the state. The state has the authority to create or deny competitions from happening in their own state. The Junior Convention hosts similar competitions except for state office. At the Senior level, there are three positions; at the Junior level, there are five.

States that host state conventions: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.[4]

Convention Themes & Locations:

  1. 2012–2013 The Heart of Beta
  2. 2013–2014 Making History With Beta Mobile, Alabama
  3. 2014–2015 Betas, Rockin' the country Nashville, Tennessee
  4. 2015–2016 Let the Beta Times Roll New Orleans, Louisiana
  5. 2016–2017 Above and Beyond Orlando, Florida
  6. 2017–2018 Beta on My Mind Savannah, Georgia
  7. 2018–2019 Betas Fueling the Future Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  8. 2019–2020 Beta As Far As You Can See Fort Worth, Texas
  9. 2020–2021 It All Began with Beta Orlando, Florida
  10. 2021–2022 Beta Together Nashville, Tennessee

Prominent Beta alumniEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Official website
  2. ^ National Beta Club website
  3. ^ The National Beta Club: The Spirit of Beta
  4. ^ Convention Schedule at official website
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n National Beta Club alumni website

External linksEdit