Phi Kappa Phi Adds Three New Chapters

Danny Heitman
Nov 22, 2023

Phi Kappa Phi is growing, with three new chapters installed at campuses around the United States during an especially busy autumn 2023 season.

Fall is typically an active time for Phi Kappa Phi as many of its approximately 325 campus chapters initiate new members. But in October and November, three newly created chapters gathered for the first time, expanding the Society’s community of scholars.

The new chapters are located at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Florida; Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina; and Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Ave Maria University, a Catholic institution of higher learning established in 2003, installed its new chapter on Oct. 17. Its first slate of officers includes President Agnes Berki, Presidents-elect Ladislav Sallai and Stephen Wirick, Secretaries Megan Hare and Marie Ferman, Treasurer TJ Ijima, and Public Relations Officer John Spadaccini.

“To have a chapter of Phi Kappa Phi on Ave Maria’s campus means inspiring our community to greater heights and possibilities,” Chapter President Agnes Berki said. “The motto of Phi Kappa Phi, ‘Let the love of learning rule humanity,’ and the motto of Ave Maria University, ‘The Splendor of Truth,’ resonate with each other on a deep and fundamental level. The pursuit of truth is the end to which all learning is directed; hence, the two mottos are mutually reinforcing.”

Meredith College, which installed its new Phi Kappa Phi chapter on Oct. 25, began in the 19th century as a small women’s college but has since grown to include abut 1,600 students, including men who are part of its graduate programs. Officers elected to serve the new chapter are President Betty-Shannon Prevatt, President-elect Laura Davidson, Secretary Jean Jackson, Treasurer Whitney Manzo, and Awards Officer Rebecca Duncan.

“I think it means Meredith College is able to have national recognition for the work and scholarship that we’ve already been doing,” new Chapter President Betty-Shannon Prevatt said of Phi Kappa Phi’s presence on campus.

Founded in 1963 with fewer than 200 students, Sacred Heart University now serves about 10,000 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students as the second-largest independent Catholic university in New England. Sacred Heart installed its new Phi Kappa Phi chapter on Nov. 3, with the following officers selected to advance its mission: President Christina Gunther, President-elect Molly Paguaga, Secretary Guljana Torikai, Treasurer Chris Lieby, Awards Officer Chris Mavrides, and Volunteer and Service Learning Officer Anne Johnson.

“Our new chapter means a deeper fostering of our community of academic excellence, where diverse disciplines converge in pursuit of knowledge and scholarly achievement,” Chapter President Christina Gunther said. “Our chapter symbolizes a commitment to recognizing and celebrating the outstanding achievements of our students, faculty, staff, and community partners while supporting our culture of lifelong learning and service within our university community. I am honored and humbled to serve as chapter president.”

Phi Kappa Phi began in 1897 with 10 seniors and two faculty members at the University of Maine. It now has about 100,000 active members around the world and awards $1.3 million a year to outstanding scholars.

“We’re thrilled to welcome these new chapters to Phi Kappa Phi’s community of scholars,” said Society Executive Director and CEO Bradley Newcomer. “Their commitment to academic excellence, leadership, and community service exemplifies Phi Kappa Phi’s highest ideals.”

For more information about starting a Phi Kappa Phi chapter on your campus, click here.