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Phi Kappa Phi Chapter Installed At ABAC

TIFTON–The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi installed its 346th chapter at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College on March 14. Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society. 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.”

“The recognition and reputation of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College as a baccalaureate degree granting institution has dramatically increased over the past 10 years,” Dr. Jerry Baker, ABAC Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, said. “It is now time for ABAC to more formally recognize the achievements of our student scholars. To this end we petitioned the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.”

For eligibility, an institution must be a regionally accredited four-year college or university with an established reputation of excellence and express commitment to uphold the values of the Society.

“The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is pleased to welcome Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College to its community of scholars,” Dr. Mary Todd, Society Executive Director, said. “ABAC’s focus on engaged learning and its groundbreaking interdisciplinary rural studies degree are exemplars of the growth the institution has seen since its transition from a two-year college over the past 10 years.”

Officers elected by the chartering group to serve the newly installed chapter include Beth Morehead-Thornton, President; Dr. Johnny Folsom, President-Elect; Dr. Joseph Falcone, Secretary; Vonda Doss Fenn, Treasurer; and Baker, Primary Contact.

“Our purpose as a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is to celebrate excellence by recognizing high academic achievement,” Baker said. “We will extend membership only to those who have demonstrated exceptional accomplishment over a sustained career of study or research.”

Marcus L. Urann founded Phi Kappa Phi in 1897 at the University of Maine to recognize excellence in all academic disciplines. Today, the Society has chapters on more than 300 campuses in the United States and the Philippines and inducts approximately 30,000 new members annually. Membership is by invitation only to the top 7.5 percent of juniors and the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students, along with faculty, professional staff, and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction.

“Because the qualities we seek to honor can be identified only on the basis of work that has matured over a period of years, our aims reach beyond the encouragement of promising potential or commendation for good progress,” Baker said. “Rather, we honor consistent performance whose persistence over time has borne fruit, distinguished work that has gained realization in genuinely extraordinary attainment.”

In 1932, the Society began an awards program that has since awarded an excess of $15 million. Today, $1.4 million is awarded each biennium to qualifying students and members through graduate fellowships, undergraduate study abroad grants, member and chapter awards, and grants for local and national literacy initiatives.


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