From the Executive Director: Stewardship Means Innovating For The Future

Bradley R. Newcomer
Mar 29, 2024

Because Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, the Society’s founding documents are still at UMaine’s campus. I was able to view them during my first months leading Phi Kappa Phi’s national office, and they underscored for me the unique history of our Society.

Marcus Urann, our founder, conceived the idea of Phi Kappa Phi because he thought ambitious scholars needed more recognition and support. In helping to make Phi Kappa Phi a reality, Urann was honoring an ancient ideal, the life of the mind, through a new organization that reflected the contemporary needs of campus life.

That’s how effective stewardship works. It draws on the best traditions of the past while also adapting to seize current opportunities. We’ve worked hard to place that ethic at the center of Phi Kappa Phi’s ongoing mission.

Learning, a central principle since Phi Kappa Phi’s earliest days, is still our guiding star. Each year, the Society gives $1.3 million in grants and awards to deserving scholars. Our financial support and service programs are advancing progress around the world.

To remain strong, Phi Kappa Phi must continually innovate. Recognizing that reality, I’m continuing to work closely with our National Board of Directors to finalize and implement a strategic plan to guide Phi Kappa Phi’s growth in coming years. Among our priorities are diversifying the Society’s financial support, raising Phi Kappa Phi’s profile beyond its membership, strengthening and expanding chapter engagement and support, and reducing barriers to membership.

Meanwhile, as work on our strategic plan continues, our national office is marshaling new technology to better track and serve our members and support our chapters. Those efforts are already yielding big dividends. Last fall, we added four new chapters at Ave Maria University, Meredith College, Sacred Heart University, and Winston-Salem State University.

We’re also entering the second year of our new Benefactors program, which offers more opportunities for our donors to deepen their involvement with Phi Kappa Phi. I’m grateful to the many members who have embraced the opportunity to become Benefactors. You can find out more about our Benefactor program and other giving opportunities at

There are other ways to support Phi Kappa Phi and grow it for the future. Let me encourage you to keep your membership active. Your engagement is critical in sustaining the important work that we do, and membership brings many advantages and opportunities, such as special savings on numerous products and services. Renewing membership is easy at

Happy spring, everyone, and thank you for supporting Phi Kappa Phi. As always, please feel free to reach me at