Saturday, January 29, 2022

UM Recognized for One of Country’s Top Phi Kappa Phi Chapters

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi—the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines—has now recognized the University of Mississippi chapter of Phi Kappa Phi as a Circle of Excellence Platinum Chapter.

Just 23 of Phi Kappa Phi’s 300+ chapters across the nation have been recognized with the Platinum Circle of Excellence.

“Our chapters are the lifeblood of Phi Kappa Phi. We’re proud to recognize and celebrate their success with a Circle of Excellence Award,” said acting Society Executive Director Traci Navarre.

With this distinction, the University of Mississippi chapter is recognized as a thriving organization that holds bi-annual initiations, upholds the Society Bylaws, nominates a member to the Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship Program and more. All of this takes dedication from the chapter board and support staff.

“This is a commitment that the board takes seriously and each of us is proud to be able to recognize and promote the academic excellence of our students in all disciplines of higher education,” Dr. Jeremy Loenneke, chapter president said. “Although we come from all different fields of study, we all share the same goal — to engage with and support our community of scholars is what it is all about for us.”  

The University of Mississippi Phi Kappa Phi board includes the following members:


Dr. Jeremy Loenneke, President

Dr. Angela Sykes Rutherford, President-Elect

Dr. Carrie Smith, Immediate Past President

Dr. Mitch Wenger, Treasurer

Dr. Kerry Brian Melear, Secretary

Dr. Debora Wenger, Public Relations

Dr. Allyn Cascio, Awards and Grants

Executive Committee:

Dr. Tony Ammeter

Dr. Don Dyer

Dr. Annette Kluck

Dr.Sujith Ramachandran

Dr. Julie Retrum

Prof. Ronald J. Rychlak

Dr. Rob Rockhold

Student Vice Presidents:

Geanell Adams      

Emily Davis

Nami Ikawa


Ev Barrett

Dorothy Singleton

About Phi Kappa Phi

Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of juniors. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify. Since its founding, more than 1.5 million members have been initiated.

Some of the organization’s more notable members include former President Jimmy Carter, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, novelist John Grisham and YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley. Each year, Phi Kappa Phi awards nearly $1 million to qualifying students and members through graduate and dissertation fellowships, undergraduate study abroad grants, and grants for local and national literacy initiatives.

For more information, visit

Staff report