In 1971, an organization known as the Black Society of Engineers (BSE) was created at Purdue University by two undergraduate students. Edward Barnette and Fred Cooper were the two men that began this student organization to improve the retention of black students in the engineering program. By 1974, NSBE emerged through the BSE members known as the "Chicago Six". The six men that created the new organization were Anthony Harris, Brian Harris, Stanley L. Kirtley, John W. Logan, Jr., Edward A. Coleman, and George A. Smith. Their dedication to the education of students and professionals allowed the group to continue to expand to six regions throughout the nation and world. Each year multiple regional conferences and an annual convention are conducted in order to cultivate leaders who fulfill NSBE's mission.