Welcome to the UC Davis Chapter of Prytanean Women’s Honor Society! Winter Quarter is such an exciting time for Prytanean! As we come back from break, we look forward to commencing a new Prytanean Year and  welcoming our newly initiated members, as well as Winter Retreat, Dinner for Ten, and Benefit Ball! Please feel free to contact the society officer board with any questions or concerns you may have. Prospective members, returning members, and alumni, please explore our website for info on community service projects, socials, special events, and membership!

Purchase your Benefit Ball tickets by contacting our Social Vice President:

 Tickets will also be on sale at our table on the South side of the MU, on Thursday and Friday!

Upcoming Meetings:

Winter Quarter 2015
General Meeting
(Dinner for Ten)
Feb 24 The Davis Community Church
at 412 C Street
Officer Meeting Mar 3 126 Voorhies
Benefit Ball Mar 7 The Merna Villarejo Community Center
of The Colleges at La Rue
General Meeting
(Officer Election Day)
Mar 10 216 Wellman



The first thing anyone should know about Prytanean is how to say it! Prytanean is a Greek word and has a unique pronunciation: prit-nee-an. Yes! The “a” is silent! Now that you’ve made it past the gauntlet of pronunciation, here are some other things you should know about Prytanean:

Prytanean Women’s Honor Society is the oldest collegiate women’s honor society in the United States. The Davis chapter was founded as a branch of the UC Berkeley chapter in 1952. Like all Prytaneans we at UC Davis seek to promote the high ideals of scholarship, leadership, and service within the University and the community while upholding values of friendship, support, and respect among diverse women.

In short, our mission is:

  • To recognize and honor the scholastic achievement of undergraduate women;
  • To encourage fellowship among women with diverse goals and interests;
  • To provide community service to the University and community;
  • To define positive roles and encourage leadership for women.


The Prytanean Society is the oldest collegiate women’s honorary society in the United States. Founded on the Berkeley campus of the University of California in 1900, Prytanean was established on the Davis campus in 1952 by the Berkeley chapter. The initiation class was made up of sixteen members, several of whom live in Davis today and support the active chapter.

The word Prytanean derives from the Greek word “Prytanes” meaning, in a broad sense, a representative. At once time Ancient Greece was divided into a number of political units, each responsible for sending a representative to the law-making convention in Athens. When the convention was in session, a lamp was kept burning over the door of the building where the meetings of the Council of the Chosen Ones were held. This lamp appears on the Great Seal of the University of California, whose motto is “Let there be light,” and also serves as the Prytanean symbol.

The history of Prytanean is the development of a respected campus organization whose members maintain the high ideals of scholarship, service, friendship, and respect for one another. Its purpose has been to secure due recognition for women of achievement. During the academic year, active membership numbers 40-75 students of diverse ethnic backgrounds and majors from all three colleges. The alumnae membership now numbers over 3,000 women, including physicians, journalists, professors, lawyers, judges, artists, and other outstanding women dedicated to community service. The Davis chapter remains a nexus for active women working toward common goals, both academic and service, within a supportive framework of active members and alumnae.

Activities and Services

Throughout our history at UC Davis, Prytaneans have performed extensive campus and community service. Current service projects include volunteering with Families First, a youth shelter and private school located here in Davis. Prytaneans have been active in helping with both the boys house as well as enriching the lives of the few girls present at the facility. Members organize hygiene kit donations, billboard decorating at the campus school, and have Girls’ Nights with the young girls in the facility. Other service events include volunteering at SPCA events, participating in the UC Davis Weekend of Service, running and walking Relay for Life, and many more events on the UC Davis campus and within the greater Davis communities. Traditionally, Prytaneans also participate in the Picnic Day Parade. Be sure to look for us in purple!

Prytaneans are also active on campus. One of the most popular events is the annual Dinner for Ten Strangers. This event allows members to invite their favorite professors to a dinner hosted by Prtyanean. This provides an opportunity for the members to get to know a member of the faculty on a more personal level, and is thus a favorite among all Prtyaneans. Also, every year Prytanean bestows the Susan F. Regan Award to one or more outstanding graduating senior women.

Benefit Ball is another yearly event hosted by Prytanean that serves as a fundraiser for Empower Yolo, a sexual abuse and domestic violence center serving Yolo County. This event is open to the public and is held during Winter Quarter. Prytaneans love this event because not only is it for a great cause, but it gives everyone an excuse to dress up and literally have a ball.

The current UC Davis Prytaneans also enjoy a close association with our local alumnae. In addition to social events, alumni and active members collaborate on many community service projects, including the Christmas Stocking Project, which provides hand-made gift-filled stockings for women and their children at a local woman’s shelter. Additionally, an effort is being made to compile a history of Prytaneans at UC Davis through the experiences of the alumnae, who represent the graduates of UC Davis since the 1950’s.

Prytanean Publications

Prytanean Honor Society is pleased to announce the continuing publication of our Honor Societies at UC Davis brochure. This publication is the only brochure on campus that collectively lists the goals, requirements, and contact information of honor societies at UC Davis. The Honor Society brochure is funded by Club Finance Council and ASUCD. In keeping with sustainability efforts, we plan to no longer release the brochure on paper, this year it will be available as a downloadable PDF.

Important Prytanean Documents

Our Constitution and Creed. Clicking each will download the documents as PDFs; a useful read for prospective members and/or curious parents!

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