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Iron Arrow Honor Society

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The distinctive Seminole patchwork jackets worn by Iron Arrow Honor Society members.
The distinctive Seminole patchwork jackets worn by Iron Arrow Honor Society members.

The Iron Arrow Honor Society is an honor society at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida for students, faculty, staff and alumni.[1][2] It is the highest honor that can be bestowed by the university.[3]

Founded at the University of Miami in 1926, the society admits about thirty members annually, including undergraduates, students at the School of Law, and Miller School of Medicine, alumni, and faculty/staff/administrators. Membership requires unanimous votes of the membership. Criteria include scholarship, leadership, character, humility, and love of alma mater.


Historically, the society was male-only, founded as the "Highest Honor Attained by Men." In 1937, Nu Kappa Tau, a separate sister organization, was founded as "The Highest Honor Attained by Women." In 1966, Nu Kappa Tau became affiliated with the national women's honor society, Mortar Board, and as Randy Femmer wrote in his book Iron Arrow: A History,[4]"leaving Iron Arrow to carry the tradition alone".[5][6]

In 1976, the federal government notified the University of Miami that it was providing significant assistance to Iron Arrow in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The university responded by having Iron Arrow move its tapping ceremony off campus and negotiated with it to accept women members. In turn, Iron Arrow sued the federal government seeking the right to continue on campus as a male-only organization. In 1982, University President Edward T. Foote II wrote to Iron Arrow stating that regardless of how the court case came out, Iron Arrow would not be allowed back on campus as a male-only organization. This rendered the court case moot before it was scheduled to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, in Iron Arrow Honor Soc. v. Heckler, 464 U.S. 67 (1983)[7]

In 1985, breaking with over forty years of tradition, the society's all-male membership voted to admit women, and Iron Arrow was allowed back on campus.

Prominent members

Alumni Notability
Bowman Foster Ashe First president of the University of Miami
Xavier Cortada Artist
Gloria Estefan Multiple Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter[8]
Dante Fascell Former U.S. member of Congress
Michael Johns Health care executive, former White House speechwriter for U.S. president, George H. W. Bush
Dexter Lehtinen Former U.S. attorney for the southern district of Florida
R. Fred Lewis Chief justice, Florida Supreme Court
Russell Maryland Former professional football player, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers and Oakland Raiders
Jackie Nespral WTVJ and NBC News anchor
Alex Penelas Former mayor, Miami-Dade County [9]
Jon Secada Grammy Award-winning musician
Donna Shalala President of the Clinton Foundation; former president of the University of Miami and U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services
José Szapocznik Clinical psychologist
Lauryn Williams 2004 Summer Olympics silver medalist, women's 100-meter sprint


  1. ^ "History | University of Miami". Archived from the original on 2009-11-20.
  2. ^ "Iron Arrow Nomination Form" (doc). Retrieved 2009-09-22.[dead link]
  3. ^ "Arrowheads," Miami magazine, Fall 2000. Archived 2009-11-20 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Femmer, Randolph (1989). Iron Arrow: A History. Coral Gables, FL: Iron Arrow Honor Society, University of Miami. OCLC 2564244.
  5. ^ Chapman, Cheryl (Fall 2000). "Arrow Heads". Miami Magazine (alumni publication). Archived from the original on 2009-11-20. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  6. ^ Femmer, Randolph (1976). Iron Arrow: A History. Thad Kock Jr (Illust) (1st ed.). Coral Gables, Florida: Iron Arrow Honor Society - University of Miami. p. 174.
  7. ^ "Iron Arrow Honor Society v. Heckler, 464 U.S. 67 (1983)". FindLaw.
  8. ^ Estefan Tapped into Iron Arrow Archived 2014-06-09 at the Wayback Machine News Releases. University of Miami. April 22, 2014. Retrieved November 28, 2014
  9. ^ E.Veritas. For the Faculty and Staff of the University of Miami. University of Miami. March 4, 2004. Retrieved November 28, 2014

External links

This page was last edited on 9 May 2020, at 17:54
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