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ASU Earns Prestigious Phi Kappa Phi Chapter

April 10, 2013

Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society encompassing all academic disciplines has approved Angelo State University’s application for a new chapter, effective immediately.

ASU President Brian J. May announced the new chapter as a significant milestone in university history.

“The chartering of a Phi Kappa Phi chapter at Angelo State is yet another indication of both the university’s academic maturity and its growing reputation nationally.  A Phi Kappa Phi chapter is awarded only to universities demonstrating high academic quality as verified by accreditation agencies, as demonstrated by academic performance and as recognized by academic peers.”

Universities applying for a chapter must submit a petition from at least 15 faculty or staff who were installed as members of Phi Kappa Phi at other institutions of higher education.  The university must then submit materials documenting its qualifications and subsequently host a site visit by Phi Kappa Phi staff and officers before the petition is confirmed by the society’s board.

“The success of our application,” May said, “is not only a tribute to Angelo State University, but also to our more than two dozen petitioners, headed by Dr. Karl Havlak of the mathematics faculty.  Everyone in the Angelo State family can take pride in this accomplishment.”

With its new chapter, ASU will join just over 300 universities in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Philippines affiliated with Phi Kappa Phi.  Less than 10 percent of the 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States are affiliated with the elite honor society.

The new ASU chapter will be formally installed in a ceremony April 25 when petitioners sign the university’s Phi Kappa Phi charter and administrators nominated for the new chapter are inducted.  The first induction of students will take place in the fall.

Havlak, who coordinated ASU’s petition for membership, said, “Phi Kappa Phi isn’t simply another way to honor our students.  When students become a member of one of the largest and oldest honor societies, they earn the opportunity to compete for over $1 million in awards, scholarships and grants, and they also gain access to career assistance and professional networking opportunities.  We as ASU faculty certainly want to recognize our best students, and Phi Kappa Phi allows us to do that while providing them with numerous other benefits.”

Phi Kappa Phi is considered one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies along with Phi Beta Kappa, which recognizes majors in the arts and sciences, and Sigma Xi, which honors majors in the sciences.  Phi Kappa Phi’s mission is to recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others.

To be considered for membership, universities must agree to adhere to the values and principles of Phi Kappa Phi in meeting its mission.  Further, universities must have demonstrated academic excellence; shown a commitment to scholarship through unique programs or projects; offer a diversity of disciplines in liberal and applied fields; employ a majority of full-time, tenured or tenure-track faculty with the doctorate or other appropriate terminal degree; and maintain a library with collections of appropriate quality and quantity in all relevant subject areas.

Students selected for Phi Kappa Phi membership become eligible for more than $1 million in scholarships offered each biennium by the honor society, which was founded in 1897 at the University of Maine.  Since its founding, Phi Kappa Phi has initiated more than 1 million members.

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