All Mensa members have one thing in common, the one thing each did to become a member: they all scored in the top 2 percent of the general population on an accepted stardarized intelligence test.
The word "Mensa" means "table" in Latin.
The round table is represented in the Mensa Logo.
It symbolizes a round table where all members are seated equally, regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, age, politics, education, social or economic background.
The following is directly from the Constitution of Mensa.
I. THE NATURE OF MENSA
We also have Mensa's Policy from the Constitution of Mensa.
II. THE POLICY OF MENSA
Mensa was founded on October 1, 1946 in Oxford, England. The original founders were Lancelot Ware and Roland Berrill.
Lancelot Lionale Ware (1915-2000), studied mathematics and followed with a PhD in biochemestry. He was involved in medical research initially. During World War II, he worked at a secret Britis reseach facility and then worked for the noted British pharmacy chain, Boots Company. He first learned about IQ tests during this time. After the war, he studied law at Lincoln College and went on to specialize in intellectual property, copyright and patent issues.
Robert Fabien Berrill (1897-1962), was born in Australia. In 1901 his family moved to London where he later studied to be a lawyer but never practiced. He had upper-class schooling and lived an aristocratic life style on dividends from his investments. He initially considered Mensa an aristocracy of the intellect and was to be disapointed that a majority of the members came from humble homes. He had an interest in a number of things like phrenology, astrology, palmistry and dianetics, none were were very popular with the broad membership.
Ware and Berrill first met on a train. Berrill shared his interest in phrenolgy and Ware responded by expaining that he thought that IQ tests were much more appropriate. At a later time, Ware tested Barrill and found that Barrill scored in the top 1%. Later, Ware came up with the idea for a society or club for high scoring people. Berrill provided the start-up cash for the club and became Mensa's First Secretary. The original name was the High IQ Club. Barrill personally recruited about 400 membres over the next few years.
American Mensa was the second major branch of Mensa. Much of its sucessess is attributed to Margot Seitelman (1928-1989) who served at its first executive director. She was born in Germany and immegrated to American to Brooklyn, NY. She applied for the job of director of Mensa by responding to an ad in New York Times and ran Mensa out of her Brooklyn apartment. Though she managed the organization for 28 years, from 1961 to her death in 1989, she never became a membem. Mensa awarded her an honoary membership after her dead.