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UM Welcomes 140 Phi Kappa Phi Initiates for 2023 Spring Semester

By Alyssa Schnugg

News editor


The University of Mississippi welcomed 140 students into one of the oldest and most prestigious honor societies in the world Thursday.

The Phi Kappa Phi honor society’s 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.”

The ceremony was held at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Gertrude Ford Center. The guest speaker was Dr. Ethel Young Scurlock, Dean of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College.

“This spring we are proud to initiate 140 new members into Phi Kappa Phi. Each initiate has demonstrated both superior scholarship and good character,” said Jeremy Loenneke, Phi Kappa Phi president and associate professor of Exercise Science. “Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines.

“Our 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. Initiation into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is by invitation only and our initiates represent the very best of their class.”

Phi Kappa Phi has a long and impressive history.

In 1897 at the University of Maine, 10 senior students, two faculty members and the school president created an honor society that was different from the few others then in existence – one that recognized and honored excellence in all academic disciplines. Under the leadership of undergraduate student Marcus L. Urann, the group formed the Lambda Sigma Eta Society, which was later renamed Phi Kappa Phi from the initial letters of the Greek words forming its adopted motto: Philosophìa Krateìto Photôn, “Let the love of learning rule humanity.”

At the University of Mississippi, notable inductees include former chancellor Robert Khayat, the late Senator Thad Cochran and bestselling author John Grisham. Presidents, senators, Supreme Court Justices, governors, Pulitzer Prize winners, and even astronauts count themselves as members of Phi Kappa Phi.

This semester there are 140 initiates.

The College of Liberal Arts had 25 inductees; School of Engineering, six; Patterson School of Accountancy, 10; General Studies, four; School of Business Administration, 16; School of Education, six; School of Pharmacy, four; School of Applied Sciences, 19; School of Law, 8; School of Journalism and New Media, 21; and Graduate School, 21.

Several students were named as inductees in more than one school.

The 2023 spring Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society initiates are listed below:

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