Puget Sound provides many opportunities to recognize student achievement through membership in academic honor societies.
Campus honor societies include:
- Phi Beta Kappa
- Phi Kappa Phi
- Mortar Board
- Phi Eta Sigma
- Phi Sigma Biology
- Sigma Alpha Iota
- Alpha Kappa Delta Sociology
- Order of Omega
- Pi Kappa Delta Sociology
- Lambda Pi Eta
- Psi Chi National
- Upisilon Pi Epsilon
- Sigma Pi Sigma
- Theta Alpha Kappa
University of Puget Sound is one of five private colleges in the Northwest granted a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s most distinguished and selective academic honor society. Founded in 1776 at The College of William and Mary, it is the nation’s oldest undergraduate honors organization. It takes its name from the initial letters of its motto, Philosophia Biou Kubernetes, “Philosophy (the love of wisdom) is the guide of life.” The objectives of liberal learning encouraged by Phi Beta Kappa include not merely knowledge but also intellectual honesty, tolerance, and a broad range of intellectual interests. The society’s distinctive emblem, a golden key, is widely recognized as a symbol of academic achievement.
The chapters elect members from candidates for degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, usually from the upper 10th of the graduating class. In addition to an outstanding record of academic achievement, the stipulations for eligibility adopted in 1952 require that candidates have done at least three-quarters of their work in an area of the liberal arts and sciences, as well as demonstrate a knowledge of mathematics and a foreign language.
The national Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi had its beginnings at University of Maine in 1897. It was known then as the Lambda Sigma Eta Society and, later, as the Morrill Society, in honor of the sponsor of the congressional act that provided for land-grant colleges. In 1900 it was transformed into a national society by action of a committee composed of the presidents of University of Maine, University of Tennessee, and Pennsylvania State College (now Pennsylvania State University). The society was renamed Phi Kappa Phi from the initial letters of the Greek words forming its adopted motto: Philosophia Krateito Photon, roughly translated as “Let the love of learning rule humanity.”
The national Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi recognizes and encourages superior scholarship in all academic disciplines. Chapters are granted to institutions that provide the means and atmosphere conducive to academic excellence. Admission to the society is by invitation and requires approval by a chapter in accordance with the bylaws of both the chapter and the national society. Both require superior scholarship and good character as criteria for membership.
(Source: The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, 1998)
This national honor society, which recognizes college seniors for their achievements in scholarship, leadership, and service, creates opportunities for continued leadership development, promotes service to colleges and universities, and encourages lifelong contributions to the global community.
Mortar Board began in 1918 as the first national organization honoring senior college women. When the society opened its membership to men in 1975, it maintained its ties to its founders and heritage by changing the preamble to its constitution to include a stronger commitment to the advancement of the status of women. Since 1918 more than 22,000 college seniors have been initiated into Mortar Board.
Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society has been in existence since 1923, and recognizes academic achievement in freshmen. Students with at least a 3.5 GPA as freshmen are eligible for membership. The Puget Sound chapter was established in spring 2006, to follow the great leadership of the SPURS National Honor Society. We continue to promote academic excellence and service to the campus and community.
The Phi Sigma Biological Sciences Honor Society, founded at Ohio State University in 1915, is a national organization devoted to the promotion of research and academic excellence in the biological sciences. The Puget Sound chapter, Alpha Phi, was chartered in 1948 by such noted Puget Sound biologists as James R. Slater and Gordon D. Alcorn. Students are nominated for membership by the biology faculty based on their scholarship and research activities. Phi Sigma is active in the life of the university; the members organize the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium every spring at which students in all the sciences present the results of their research projects, they offer free tutoring to biology students, and they participate in community service in the Tacoma area.
Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD) is the International Sociology Honor Society. AKD was founded in 1920 at the University of Southern California by Dr. Emory S. Bogardus and became affiliated with the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS) in 1967. AKD is also affiliated with the American Sociological Society (ASA). Alpha Kappa Delta is a non-secret, democratic, international society of scholars dedicated to the ideal of Athropon Katamannthanein Diakonesin or "to investigate humanity for the purpose of service." Membership is open to undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty members from active chapters who meet our minimum standards. Currently, there are more than 101,000 members in Alpha Kappa Delta and over 630 chapters.
Psi Chi is the International Honor Society in Psychology, founded in 1929 for the purposes of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship, and advancing the science of psychology. Membership is open to graduate and undergraduate men and women who are making the study of psychology one of their major interests, and who meet the minimum qualifications. Psi Chi is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies and is an affiliate of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Association for Psychological Science (APS).
Puget Sound has a chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota, an all-female music organization. Our chapter has a long and honorable history with missions that promote music and music service to communities. Chapter activities are varied in nature and strike a balance between community service, professionalism, and sociability. The members of Sigma Alpha Iota are also very diverse, with women studying everything from Psychology to Music Performance and coming from all areas of music such band, orchestra, voice, and piano. In the past, philanthropy projects have included a music marathon, singing valentines, and music camps at the YWCA and Boys & Girls Club.
Lambda Pi Eta was founded in 1985 at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and became a national honor society in 1987. It was affiliated with the National Communication Association in 1988 and became the official National Communication Honor Society of NCA in 1995. The group is composed of undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in the field of communication studies and recognizes their high academic achievement.
Order of Omega is a leadership honor society for members of fraternity and sorority organizations. Order of Omega recognizes juniors and seniors who have exemplified high standards in the areas of scholarship, leadership, involvement within their respective organization and within the fraternity/sorority, campus, and local community. Members are selected from the top 3 percent of students at each institution. To date, over 500 chapters have been chartered throughout North America, each sharing the common goal of recognizing the many outstanding student leaders at their institution.
In 1976, Professor Albert Clark, F.S.C., established Theta Alpha Kappa at Manhattan College in Riverdale (the Bronx), New York for the purpose of recognizing the academic achievements of religion and theology students. Since then, Theta Alpha Kappa has grown to more than two hundred chapters nationally in four-year educational institutions ranging from small religiously affiliated colleges to large public research institutions. It is the only national honor society dedicated to recognizing academic excellence in baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate students and in scholars in the fields of Religious Studies and Theology.
Founded in 1921, Sigma Pi Sigma is a member honor society of the Association of College Honor Societies. Our society has some 75,000 historical members. Election to Sigma Pi Sigma is a lifetime membership. Sigma Pi Sigma exists to honor outstanding scholarship in physics; to encourage interest in physics among students at all levels; to promote an attitude of service of its members towards their fellow students, colleagues, and the public; to provide a fellowship of persons who have excelled in physics. Sigma Pi Sigma’s mission is not completed in the induction ceremony with the recognition of academic accomplishment. In the four dimensions of honor, encouragement, service, and fellowship, the mission of Sigma Pi Sigma takes a longer view.
Upisilon Pi Epsilon was first organized at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, in 1967. The international organization now consists of chapters in various colleges and universities in North America and overseas. UPE is the first and only, existing international honor society in the computing and information disciplines. The computing and information disciplines are relatively young. Yet despite their comparative youth, the computing and information disciplines have had an unparalleled effect on almost every aspect of contemporary life. Indeed it is difficult to predict the ultimate place of the computer in our world. It is the express purpose of Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE) to promote the computing and information disciplines and to encourage their contribution to the enhancement of knowledge.
Pi Kappa Delta is an honorary consisting of educators, students and alumni that cultivates articulate citizenship through the promotion of ethical, humane and inclusive communication and educational practices; supports comprehensive approaches to forensics pedagogy and practice; encourages the creation of professional development opportunities for forensic educators; and seeks to expand access to intercollegiate speech and debate activities. Pi Kappa Delta supports a broad diversity of speech and debate events, forms and formats, and works to nurture the institutional and financial capacity of the entire forensic community.