Odds, Evens, and Honors Societies
The Garnet and Gold Key honorary society can be traced back to the rivalry of the Odds and Evens at the Florida State College for Women. one night in October of 1924, in a downtown Tallahassee cafe, a group of Odds gathered and formed the Spirogira honorary society. Named after a genus of algae (spirogyra), the society adopted a black and white color scheme with a skull and crossbones as their emblem.
Six years later, in December of 1930, the Evens formed their own honorary society known as Esteren. The society colors were green and white, with a cauldron over a burning fire serving as the emblem. The letters “S” and “N” were also common in their iconography, but the meaning behind both the name and symbols was never revealed to outsiders.
After the college became the co-ed Florida State University in 1947, a men’s honors society was formed: Gold Key. Garnet Key, the women’s society, was formed a year later with the merger of Spirogira and Esteren. Finally, the two societies merged in 1976 to form the Garnet & Gold Key. The name was changed to FSU Gold Key in 1980, but was changed back to Garnet and Gold Key in 2000 to better reflect the society’s history and traditions.