In 1959, the Board of Directors of the Construction Specifications Institute, under the leadership of then-President J. Stewart Stein, FCSI, Honorary Member, voted to honor outstanding individuals by creating two offices of distinction. It chose to elevate Institute members to Fellowship and to award Honorary Membership to non-members whose efforts on behalf of the Institute's purposes and principles have been exemplary. The rules the Board adopted excluded both the Board and industry members from consideration for Fellowship. Acting on those decisions, the Board that year elected the first five Fellows.
In 1960, the rule excluding Board members from consideration for Fellowship was dropped, as was the clause restricting Honorary Membership status to non-members. In addition, the Board created the Jury of Fellows, consisting of three Fellows and three non-Fellows, who would henceforth be responsible for selecting those to be elevated to Fellowship.
The qualifications for Fellowship require achievement above and beyond participating in ordinary Institute, region, and chapter events or performing normal duties as an Institute officer. A nominee for Fellowship must have been a member in good standing with the Institute for not less than five years, and have made important contributions in one or more of four categories: advancement of construction technology; improvement of construction specifications; education; or service.
At the annual Fellows Investiture, each new Fellow is presented with a gold pin and a silver medal. The pin and the medal are not intended to be worn together. The gold pin can be worn at any time, and serves as identification appropriate in a business environment. The silver medal is to be worn at ceremonial affairs, such as the chartering of a new chapter, a chapter awards night, a region award ceremony or banquet, and Institute events and functions.
With the exception of Honorary Membership, Fellowship is the highest honor for which Institute members may be chosen. It is a title to be accepted with both humility and pride. Its recipients have a high degree of responsibility to uphold the principles of the Institute.
Do nominees for Fellowship have to be members of CSI? Fellowship nominees must be members in good standing for at least five years.
How many Fellows may be selected? The number of Fellows selected annually is at the discretion of the Jury of Fellows.
How are Fellows recognized? Fellows receive a silver medal with ribbon, framed citation, and gold lapel pin.