Pledge to Professionalism

Order of the Engineer/Pledge of the Computing Professional Ceremony

Selected images from the 2018 Pledge to Professionalism ceremony (February 20, 2018).

Graduating seniors may participate in the Pledge to Professionalism ceremony, a rite of passage event that affirms their commitment to the professions they are about to join.

Order of the Engineer

The Order of the Engineer is intended to foster a spirit of pride and responsibility in the engineering profession, to bridge the gap between training and experience, and to present to the public a visible symbol identifying the engineer.¹  Each graduating computer engineer who has recited the Obligation is given a stainless steel ring (traditionally worn on the pinkie finger) that exemplifies the profession's values.

The order has its origins in tragedy.  On August 29, 1907, the partially-constructed Quebec Bridge collapsed into the St. Lawrence River, killing 75 of the 86 workers on-site.  A post-mortem analysis blamed the failure on defective design, poor decisions, and ethical lapses by the engineers responsible for the bridge's design and construction, according to Christine Human, SEAS Associate Dean for Accreditation and Student Affairs.  In 1916, after 13 more workers lost their lives during construction of a replacement bridge, Canadian engineers felt that the time had come to codify their professional and ethical obligations.

The stainless steel ring, composed of a similar material as the Quebec Bridge, is an ever-present reminder and symbol of the consequences of unprofessional conduct.

The Order of the Engineer held its first induction ceremony at the Fenn College of Engineering at Cleveland State University in 1970.  Since then, the movement has spread rapidly throughout the United States. Members are now inducted by “links”, which are chartered through the National Office of the Order of the Engineer.  UB is Link #233.

Obligation of the Order of the Engineer

I am an Engineer, in my profession I take deep pride. To it, I owe solemn obligations.

As an Engineer, I pledge to practice with integrity and fair dealing, tolerance and respect, and to uphold devotion to the standards and the dignity of my profession, conscious always that my skill carries with it the obligation to serve humanity by making the best use of Earth’s precious wealth.

As an Engineer, I shall participate in none but honest enterprises. When needed, my skill and knowledge shall be given without reservation for the public good. In the performance of duty and in fidelity to my profession, I shall give my utmost. (with minor local modifications)

Pledge of the Computing Professional

The Pledge of the Computing Professional is intended to promote and recognize the ethical and moral behavior of graduates of computing-related degree programs as they transition to careers of service to society.  Each graduating computer scientist who has recited the Pledge receives a brass lapel pin that spells 'HONOR' in ASCII code.¹

The Pledge of the Computing Professional is directly inspired by the Order of the Engineer.

The Pledge of the Computing Professional held its first induction ceremonies at Ohio Northern University, University of South Florida, and McNeese State University in May 2011.  UB held its first induction ceremony in February 2018.

The Oath

I am a Computing Professional.

My work as a Computing Professional affects people’s lives, both now and into the future.

As a result, I bear moral and ethical responsibilities to society.

As a Computing Professional, I pledge to practice my profession with the highest level of integrity and competence.

I shall always use my skills for the public good.

I shall be honest about my limitations, continuously seeking to improve my skills through life-long learning.

I shall engage only in honorable and upstanding endeavors.

By my actions, I pledge to honor my chosen profession.