The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi


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FAQ - General Questions

What is The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi?
Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, Phi Kappa Phi is the nation's oldest, largest, and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines. The 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." Phi Kappa Phi is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

How does Phi Kappa Phi compare with other honor societies?
Only two other honor societies, Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi have requirements for membership as exacting as Phi Kappa Phi's.

What does the name and logo mean?
The Phi Kappa Phi emblem/logo consists of a globe against the background of the sun. The sun's rays signify equivalence among the various branches of learning and represent the dissemination of truth as light. Encircling the globe is a band containing the Greek letters (ΦΚΦ) that symbolizes a fraternal bond that girds the earth and binds the lovers of wisdom in a common purpose. The name, Phi Kappa Phi, is derived from the words that form its motto (Philosophía Krateítõ Phõtôn), which means "Let the love of learning rule humanity."

Who are some of your most distinguished members or alumni?

Phi Kappa Phi members take pride in the company they keep. Some of the Society's more famous members include:

  • James Barksdale, founder of Netscape
  • Authors John Grisham, Ernest Gaines, James Lee Burke, David Baldacci and Tony Hillerman
  • Jimmy Carter, 39th United States President
  • Wendy Lawrence and Bernard A. Harris, Jr., MD, NASA Astronauts
  • Stephen Hadley, United States National Security Advisor
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State of the United States
  • George Olah, Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry
  • Kathleen Blanco, Louisiana Governor
  • Ellis Marsalis and Dave Brubeck, acclaimed jazz musicians
  • Glenna Goodacre, internationally-renowned sculptor
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice
  • Kim Mulkey, head women's basketball coach at Baylor University
  • Renee Fleming, Grammy-award winning soprano
  • Linus C. Pauling, two-time Nobel laureate

How is Phi Kappa Phi funded?
Phi Kappa Phi is funded through dues (including annual dues, life membership fees, and initiation fees), merchandise sales, and contributions.