In 1964, the National Association of College and Univeristy Residence Halls (NACURH), Inc. found itself with financial difficulties. Jim Tschechtelin, NACURH Chair, began investigating possibilities for potential revenue sources and grants. Grants were found, but there were two requirements: a central NACURH office had to be established, and the member schools needed more services rendered. Thus, the National Residence Hall Honorary was put forth as an answer to the second requirement.
During the preliminary organization, the National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) focused on the incorporation of old into new. Campuses with existing honorary organizations were contacted and coordinated into the NRHH structure. The preservation of chapter identity was primary, as it was incorporated into the NRHH structure, and as each campus is aware of its own individual needs. The primary focus of each chapter became the recognition of the residence hall leaders on its campus. This helped sustain a consistent membership in on-campus organizations as well as on the regional and national levels within NACURH.
The years between 1977 and 1987 were years of growth for the NRHH. Pins and certificates were produced to recognize the members of the Honorary, the tradition of regional and national receptions during conferences began and formal recruitment and affiliation packets were produced. Regional Recruiter (now called Associate Directors) positions on regional boards were also established. Many awards were established including Program, National Communications Coordinator, Advisor, Student, and Resident Assistant Of The Month Awards as well as Outstanding Chapter of the Year.
Today, over 170 chapters are affiliated with the National Residence Hall Honorary National Office. Activities of the chapters vary from campus to campus. Some simply induct new members at an annual recognition banquet this year, thus, an honorary chapter. Others are extremely active on their campuses and in their communities, coordinating leadership retreats, conferences, socials, hall or campus wide programs, fund raisers, and a whole host of other events. Still others have found a middle ground which suits their campus. Membership selection is conducted by each individual chapter. The chapter members represent the top 1% of the student leaders on campus and are those who have contributed extraordinary amounts of personal time and energy in order to make the residence halls more than a “dorm.”