The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi — the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines — recently recognized The University of Toledo Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi as a Circle of Excellence Silver Chapter.
The award is given to chapters that exceed expectations in operations and that demonstrate sustainability and vitality as a chapter of Phi Kappa Phi.
The Circle of Excellence distinction is a part of the Society’s Circle of Honor Program, which was introduced in 2018 and awarded for the first time this year. The program recognized 75 chapters this year, including 29 with the Silver distinction. Phi Kappa Phi has chapters on more than 300 select campuses in the United States and the Philippines.
“The Circle of Honor Program recognizes Phi Kappa Phi Chapters that have gone above and beyond to promote academic excellence on their campuses,” said Dr. Mary Todd, society executive director.
The Circle of Excellence Silver honor is given to chapters that scored 90 to 94 out of 100 on a criteria scale that evaluates chapter health indicators. By receiving the Silver distinction, the UToledo chapter is recognized as a thriving organization that holds annual initiations, upholds the society bylaws, regularly attends chapter training opportunities, and submits a chapter-endorsed nominee to the Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship Program.
“I’m proud of the members of our chapter who have stepped up to promote the love of learning on our campus,” said Wade M. Lee-Smith, associate professor of library administration and president of the University Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. “Through thoughtful programming and philanthropy, they have shown that membership in an honor society is more than a recognition of academic success, but can be a means of giving back to our University community.”
Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1897 at the University of Maine and is the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students, and 7.5 percent of juniors. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify.
Since its founding, more than 1.5 million Phi Kappa Phi members have been initiated. Some of the organization’s more notable members include former President Jimmy Carter, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, novelist John Grisham and YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley.
Each year, Phi Kappa Phi awards nearly $1 million to qualifying students and members through graduate and dissertation fellowships, undergraduate study abroad grants, and grants for local and national literacy initiatives.