BATON ROUGE, La. — Peter Parys of Wheelersburg and Brent Parker of Chesapeake were recently initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society. Parys was initiated at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Parker was initiated at Murray State University.
Parys and Parker are among approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni to be initiated into Phi Kappa Phi each year. Membership is by invitation only, and requires nomination and approval by a chapter. Only the top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors are eligible for membership. Graduate students in the top 10 percent of the number of candidates for graduate degrees may also qualify, as do faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction.
Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1897 under the leadership of Marcus L. Urann who had a desire to create a different kind of honor society: one that recognized excellence in all academic disciplines. Today, the Society has chapters on more than 300 campuses in the United States and the Philippines. Its 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.”
Since its founding, 1.5 million members have been initiated into Phi Kappa Phi. Some of the organization’s notable members include former President Jimmy Carter, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, novelist John Grisham and YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley. Each biennium, Phi Kappa Phi awards $1.4 million to qualifying students and members through graduate fellowships, undergraduate study abroad grants, member and chapter awards, and grants for local, national and international literacy initiatives.