Southern Virginia University Recognizes New Members of National Honor Society Phi Kappa Phi

· March 28, 2017

On Mar. 24, the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi held an induction ceremony for its newly established chapter at Southern Virginia University.

Membership in the Honor Society is by invitation only, and is extended to the top 7.5 percent of juniors and the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students. The Honor Society may also extend membership to faculty, professional staff and alumni who have attained scholarly distinction and whose work expresses the Society’s motto, “Let the love of learning rule humanity.” This year, the society initiated 24 student members and one staff member who have achieved high degrees of excellence throughout their academic careers.

Dr. Madison Sowell opened the ceremony with an address centered on the Phi Kappa Phi motto: Let the Love of Learning Rule Humanity. Sowell stated that the students inducted into the newly installed 341st chapter of Phi Kappa Phi at Southern Virginia represent a special love of learning and achieving academic excellence that will ultimately be a gateway to success in future professional and academic endeavors.

“(The love of learning) is a sincere yearning to know new things and eventually to understand all things,” Sowell explained. “It is the desire to ask questions in order to gain understanding and appreciation for the human condition, for the natural world, and for the unseen spiritual world that surrounds us.”

Sowell initiated the first contact between the university and the Honor Society. Because of his work and that of many other devoted members of the Southern Virginia faculty and staff, Phi Kappa Phi installed its 341st chapter at Southern Virginia in Feb. of this year. That installation marked the end of a rigorous two-year chartering and approval process during which Southern Virginia was recognized for its regional accreditation and excellence in upholding the values of Phi Kappa Phi. The diligence and hard work of those who enabled the installation of this chapter is a representation of the university’s dedication to its students.

“The Honor Society blesses the lives of students,” said Phi Kappa Phi Chapter President Dr. Debra Sowell. “To me, that’s what education is all about.”

Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1897 under the leadership of Marcus L. Urann. With the welfare of university students in mind, Urann desired to create an honor society that recognized excellence in all academic disciplines. Today, the Society has chapters on 300 campuses in the United States and the Philippines and inducts approximately 30,000 new members each year.

The Honor Society’s mission is to recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage a community of scholars in service to others. This mission is exactly in line with Southern Virginia’s mission—to prepare leader-servants in the workplace, the world, in the community, in the church and in the home. The establishment of Phi Kappa Phi at the university will motivate students to further strive for academic excellence that will enable them to find success in all aspects of life.

“The Honor Society steps up our commitment to academic excellence,” said Interim Provost, Dr. Scott Dransfield. “Participation in Phi Kappa Phi strengthens our university’s mission.”

Those presented as charters of Phi Kappa Phi’s 341st chapter at Southern Virginia University on Feb. 8 include:

Dr. Alan Whitehurst
Dr. Jon Wallin
Dr. T.R. Porter
Dr. John Armstrong
Dr. Debra Sowell
Dr. Madison Sowell
President Reed Wilcox
Dr. Rachel Wilcox
Dr. Randall Cluff
Professor Arlene Fuentes
Dr. Annie Waddoups
Dr. Kathleen Knight
Dr. Barbara van Kuiken

Student initiates presented on Mar. 24 include:

Abigail Akins (’17)
Abigail Akins (’17)
Joanna Armstrong (’17)
Jared Attridge (’17)
Rachel Austin (’17)
Molly Brewer (’18)
Abigail Clark (’17)
Madison Clark (’18)
Jefferson Cook (’17)
Kathryn DeLaMare (’17)
Brigham Doxey (’17)
John Gaughan (’17)
James Gebler (’17)
Austen Hammond (’17)
Stockton Hiatt (’18)
Anna Kennedy (’18)
Samuel Mellor (’17)
Uzoma Nwobi (’17)
Garret Oakley (’17)
Brad Pinkston (’17)
Gabriel Ramirez-Arellano (’18)
Jessica Rasmussen (’17)
Anna Taylor (’18)
Rebekah Taylor (’17)
Russell Tyler (’17)

Staff Initiate Presented on Mar. 24:

Chris Pendleton (’08)