UTSA is approved to establish Phi Kappa Phi honor society chapter

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(Oct. 18, 2011) -- The board of directors of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi unanimously approved The University of Texas at San Antonio's petition for a chapter at its fall meeting in Baton Rouge, La., on Friday, Sept. 23.

Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, Phi Kappa Phi is the nation's oldest and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines. Each year, approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff, and alumni are initiated into the Society. Its chapters are on more than 300 campuses nationwide. UTSA will become chapter 317.

"Phi Kappa Phi is synonymous with academic excellence, and we are honored to join the ranks of universities that host a chapter," said UTSA President Ricardo Romo. "This is an important step forward for our community as we build a Tier One research university."

Phi Kappa Phi's South Central Region representative David Silva, who attended a site visit to UTSA earlier this month, said, "I was most impressed by how far UT San Antonio has developed in its short history, not only in terms of its enrollment, but more importantly in terms of the quality of its academic offerings. The community should be extremely proud of this important academic resource."

John Frederick, UTSA provost and vice president for academic affairs, and Charlin Jones, assistant director of the UTSA Special Events Center, were instrumental in bringing Phi Kappa Phi to the university and will work with national society volunteer leaders and staff members to coordinate next steps: determining the chapter's initial leadership, providing chapter training, creating chapter bylaws and organizing the installation ceremony.

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About Phi Kappa Phi

Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Baton Rouge, La., Phi Kappa Phi is the nation's oldest and most selective all-discipline honor society. Phi Kappa Phi inducts annually more than 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni. The society has chapters at more than 300 select colleges and universities in North America and the Philippines. 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 million members have been initiated. Some of the organization's more notable members include former President Jimmy Carter, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, writer John Grisham, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, opera singer Renee Fleming, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, novelist David Baldacci, journalist and broadcaster Deborah Norville, Pulitzer Prize winner in poetry Rita Dove and YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley.

The society has awarded approximately $15 million since the inception of its awards program in 1932. Today, more than $700,000 is awarded annually to qualifying members and non-members through graduate fellowships, undergraduate study abroad scholarships, member and chapter awards, and grants for local and national literacy initiatives. The society'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."

For more information on Phi Kappa Phi, call 800-804-9880.