Student gets initiated during Phi Kappa Phi ceremony.

Phi Kappa Phi receives national award

Feb 14, 2020
Kathryne Davis

Students get initiated during Phi Kappa Phi ceremony.Brenau’s chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi earned national recognition after achieving Circle of Excellence Platinum status for 2019-20.

“It means that Brenau is in a select group of chapters,” said Linda Kern, dean of library services and Phi Kappa Phi president. “It is a prestigious, national award that says we are doing the things that we need to be doing as a chapter.”

In order to receive the award, chapters have to meet certain criteria annually, including holding an initiation ceremony, attending training opportunities and submitting reports on time. Brenau earned a perfect 100%.

“It was a nice surprise,” said Dianne Page, research and instructional services assistant in the library and administrator to Phi Kappa Phi. “We were just doing what we thought was best for our local chapter, and it happened to get noticed.”

Out of the over 300 chapters in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Philippines, Brenau was one of the 32 given platinum status, joining universities such as Clemson University, the Citadel and Brigham Young University. Brenau is also one of two in the state of Georgia to earn the high honor, along with Augusta University. Since chartering at Brenau in 2007, Phi Kappa Phi has inducted a total of 1,150 members and has 259 current active members, including the 74 inducted in the fall 2019.

“It’s nice to see that we’re on par with some of these larger universities that probably induct hundreds of people a year,” Page said. “For us to be able to make the same impact as a larger chapter means a lot.”

New Phi Kappa Phi members.

In addition to academic excellence, Phi Kappa Phi also participates in volunteer opportunities. The chapter held a food drive to support the Georgia Mountain Food Bank and will be sponsoring a book drive in the future to support the Real Interactive Summer Learning Experience (RISE) program, which helps prevent summer learning loss for children from low-income families.

Phi Kappa Phi, founded in 1897, is the nation’s oldest, largest and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines. Membership is invitation-only to juniors in the top 7.5% of their class and top 10% for seniors and graduate students, and to faculty, administrators and alumni who have achieved academic distinction.

“Phi Kappa Phi represents all aspects of excellence at Brenau,” Kern said.