Distringuished faculty, students, and their guests gathered in the Student Union Ballroom on April 10 for the initiation of new members into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. Phi Kappa Phi inducts the top 10 percent of the senior class, the top 7.5 percent of the junior class, and select graduate students. The top 5 percent of the sophomore class receive certificates of high scholastic achievement from Phi Kappa Phi, though they are not inducted into the society.
Professor Donald Katzner, president of Phi Kappa Phi, congratulated the students for their academic achievement. "You teach us as the faculty teaches you," he said.
Katzner explained that Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1900 at the University of Maine. UMass Amherst started its own chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, the fourth oldest, in 1904. Today, the honor society includes 280 chapters worldwide and more than one million total members.
Vanessa Lee, one of Phi Kappa Phi's student vice presidents, spoke about the society's community service activities. This year, Phi Kappa Phi members hosted a hot chocolate fundraiser to raise money for their Timmy Global Health project, which sends vitamins to impoverished areas of the Dominican Republic.
Commonwealth Honors College Dean Gretchen Gerzina presented Distinguished Service Awards to Director of Civic Engagement & Service Learning John Reiff, Associate Dean of Research and Engagement Joseph Berger, and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Advising for the Department of Music & Dance Nikki Stoia.
The new members of Phi Kappa Phi received certificates, pins, and roses and one by one presented a short speech. The inductees shared their names, majors, academic interests, and future plans.
After the induction ceremony, the inductees and their guests were invited to stay for a reception.