Campus honor society building its membership

By CHUCK MASON, The Daily News, cmason@bgdailynews.com

Clay Motley at Western Kentucky University is “reinvigorating” The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi at the campus.

Motley, associate director for academics at WKU’s Honors College, this summer attended the society’s biennial convention in St. Louis.

Headquartered in Baton Rouge, La., Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, according to a news release. Membership is by invitation. Motley said only the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of juniors are eligible.

Since its founding, more than 1 million members have been initiated, the release said.

Motley said about 50 students a semester for the past four semesters have been inducted into the society, bringing membership up to about 200, reinvigorating efforts on campus.

Motley serves as treasurer of the WKU chapter and attended the convention as its voting delegate, one of 177 chapter delegates. The convention was Aug. 10-11, and included more than 300 guests.

WKU has had a Phi Kappa Phi chapter since the early 1980s, Motley said. The society has more than 300 chapters at colleges and universities in the United States and the Philippines, the release said.

Phi Kappa Phi is described as “the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines,” according to the release.

Motley said WKU’s involvement with Phi Kappa Phi will give students the opportunity to apply for scholarships offered by the society. About $14 million in scholarships have been awarded since 1932. Nearly $1 million in scholarships are awarded every two years. “Students can receive money for graduate study or a scholarship to travel abroad,” Motley said.

Notable members of Phi Kappa Phi include former President Jimmy Carter, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, novelist David Baldacci and YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley, the release said.

(Source: Bowling Green Daily News, Sep 17, 2012)

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