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The word mensa has a triple meaning in Latin of mind, table, month, which suggests a monthly meeting of great minds around a table.
Mensa is an international society whose only qualification for membership is a score in the top 2% of the general population on a standardized intelligence test. Read a short history and explanation of IQ.
Mensa was founded in Great Britain in 1946 by two English barristers, Roland Berrill and Dr. Lionel Ware.
Internationally, 100,000 members represent more than 100 countries. Mensa International headquarters is in London, England.
American Mensa was founded in 1960. The first meeting took place on September 30, 1960, at the Brooklyn home of Peter and Ines Sturgeon with five other members attending.
By 1963, the organization had grown to 1,000 members. As of March 2002, there were 49,837 members of American Mensa. American Mensa headquarters is in Arlington, Texas.
Permian Basin Mensa was organized in about 1962 by Richard Reed, Jim Jordan, Pat Beck, Hugh White, Len Caryl, Nellie Fields and Ed Rosskelly. Jim Jordan was the first LocSec (local secretary) of Permian Basin Mensa; Hugh White was the second in 1968. Hugh served until 1985, at which time he nominated Secretary Mike Craddock. Mike was succeeded in turn by Robert Volkmann.
Richard Reed was the first editor of PBM's newsletter, PerMensa, followed by Hugh White, Jim Stevens, Sweet Dave Ross, Nancy Calhoon, Mike Craddock, Tom Whiles, Will Clack, Sharon Colbert, Ed Rowland, Shirley Volkmann, Stanley Reynolds, and now back to Shirley.