About Tallahassee Area Mensa
Tallahassee Area Mensa was founded back in the 1970s. Our area has changed over the years, we used
to include the folks over in Panama City. That was challenging because they are in a different
time zone, not to mention a fair distance away. During one of the restructurings, they were
logically joined to the Pensacola Mensa group. View larger area map.
Tallahassee Area Mensa is part of Region 10 of American Mensa,
which is part of Mensa International. Mensa
was formed specifically for (and by) people who have scored above the 98th percentile
on any one of over 200 accepted, standardized intelligence tests, including our own admission test.
Mensa was originally founded in 1946 in England by
Roland Berrill, a barrister and an Australian expatriate, and Dr. Lancelot Lionel (Lance) Ware,
who was a scientist and a lawyer. They met by chance on a train and began to correspond with each
other about the possibility of forming a club. Their idea was for a society for intelligent people,
with the only qualification for membership being a high IQ. The first piece of Mensa literature
was printed on October 1, 1946, and Mensa was born. What they hoped to create was a non-political
organization that is free of things like racial or religious distinctions. Mensa takes no stand
on politics, religion or social issues.
American Mensa began to
develop during the 1950s, mostly from expatriated Britons who learned about Mensa when they would
return to visit their mother country. One such man was a reporter who wrote an article about Mensa
in The Village Voice. That article was read by Peter A. Sturgeon, a medical writer in
Brooklyn, New York, and he wrote to the Mensa Selection Agency in England. He became a member in
May of 1960 and was then authorized to start forming a New York City regional group. Peter was sent
a listing of members residing in America - all 22 of them - and they became the first group to be
recognized outside of Britain, American Mensa, Ltd. was born.
By 1963 American Mensa had grown
to 1,000 members. By its 40th anniversary in 2000, American Mensa had 47,000 members
and the headquarters was moved from New York to Texas. American Mensa now has over 50,000 members
and there are currently more than 100,000 members worldwide. Mensa welcomes people from all walks
of life, all professions, all socioeconomic classes, all races, all ages - everyone, with the goal
of providing a place to enjoy each other's company, wit, conversation, and engage in a wide range
of activities. In Mensa you will find young (the youngest member is 4) and old (the oldest is 102),
homemakers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, students, people from every professional imaginable. They
all share one trait - high intelligence.
What Does Mensa DO?
Mensa has three purposes, which are outlined in its constitution. They are:
- To identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity.
- To encourage research into the nature, characteristics and uses of intelligence.
- To provide a stimulating intellectual and social environment for its members.
If you are looking for community service, Mensa can help there as well. The Mensa
Education and Research Foundation sponsors scholarships, participates in research,
rewards excellence in gifted research and publishes the Mensa Research Journal. Our
Gifted Children Resource Program provides information on gifted children and
gifted children resources to inquiring parents, teachers and schools. Project Inkslinger®
started when the Mississippi and its tributaries flooded parts of the Midwest and South. Several
schools and libraries lost their entire collections to water damage. American Mensans helped
replace these books and continue to help libraries and schools in need and continue similar
Mensa also gives perks to its members in the way of special discounts, auto and health
insurance, and travel benefits. Those are just extras you can pursue if you wish. There are
also more than 150 "SIGs" - special interest groups - available to join. The one
perk just about every member gets to enjoy is the mental workout and stimulation and fun
of spending time with other people who have high intelligence - we get your jokes.