The purpose of Pi Nu Epsilon is threefold:
Pi Nu Epsilon was founded at Armour Institute of Technology in January 1927 for the purpose of "giving recognition to those men and women who had unselfishly devoted their time and energies to the furtherance of good music". Only the second non-engineering honor society at Armor Tech, Pi Nu Epsilon was founded by four members of the class of 1927, four members of the class of 1928, and Professor Emeritus Charles Wilbur Leigh.
Pi Nu Epsilon aided the musical organizations at the Alpha chapter by sponsoring and promoting the musical activities on campus. It thrived for many years under the guidance of Dr. O. Gordon Erickson, who served as Music Director at Armour Institute of Technology from 1932 until his death in August 1953. In 1940, Armour Institute of Technology and Lewis Institute merged to form the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Pi Nu Epsilon was formally incorporated as a nonprofit organization in the state of Illinois on May 16, 1947, by DeWitt H. Pickens, John G. Seeger Jr., Hans H. Nord, and James W. Leichti. Later that month, on May 28, 1947, the Beta Chapter was founded at Drexel Institute of Technology. Gamma Chapter (later renamed Epsilon) was founded on April 30, 1955 at Ursinus College. Delta Chapter was founded on May 12, 1956, at Shippensburg University. Finally, Zeta Chapter was founded on April 15, 1989, at Millersville University in Millersville, PA.