Honor Societies Descriptions

This file contains information about the honor societies I was inducted into: three while an undergraduate at Villanova University and one after college. I'm including it here to provide you with a little background on the societies, so you'll know a bit about them if you're invited to join. I've reduced this page to only the purpose, requirements, and motto of the societies. If you'd like more information, you can visit my honor societies information page, which is the original, longer version of this page; it contains all of what's here, plus information about keys, seals, histories, etc. (where possible). This information is copied verbatim (except for the history information which I summarized) from publications of the respective societies, however, I do not know the proper references for these publications, so I cannot give citations. If I get the proper citation, I will certainly include them here. I was also elected into the National Honor Society in high school, but I'm only providing a link to it here; you'll need to check their web site for more information about them.

Quick Links: Sigma Pi Sigma | Phi Kappa Phi | Phi Beta Kappa | Sigma Xi -- this is the order in which I was inducted into these societies.

Sigma Pi Sigma -- Physics


The primary objective of Sigma Pi Sigma is to serve as a means of awarding distinction to those of high scholarship and promise of achievement in physics. As a part of the Society of Physics Students, Sigma Pi Sigma endeavors to help students attain a clearer understanding and appreciation of physics, to promote further interest in the advanced study of physics, to foster the spirit of scientific research, to encourage a professional spirit and friendship among students of physics, and to popularize interest in physics on the part of the collegiate community and the general public.


Undergraduate candidates must be in the upper one-third of their class in general scholarship to meet the minimum standard that chapters may use. A higher average than this for physics courses is often established. Undergraduate candidates must have completed at least three semesters of full time college work and at least three semester courses in physics that can be credited toward a physics major.


Investigation, the Forerunner of Knowledge.
Σ κ ε ψ ι ς   Π ρ ο σ τ α τ η ι ς   Σ υ ν ε σ ε ω ς
(Skep'-sis Praw-stah'-tays Soon-ess'-eh-oce)

Phi Kappa Phi (Villanova Phi Kappa Phi) -- all fields / interdisciplinary


The primary objective of the national Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is the recognition and encouragement of superior scholarship in all academic disciplines. The Society is convinced that in recognizing and honoring those persons of good character who have excelled in scholarship, in whatever field, it will stimulate others to strive for excellence. Moreover, the Society serves the interests of the student capable of excellence by insisting that in order to acquire a chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, an institution provide the means and atmosphere conducive to academic excellence.


Undergraduate students may be considered who have senior status and are scholastically in the upper 10 percent (or less, if the chapter's bylaws so provide) of their class; or who have reached the final period of their junior year and are scholastically in the upper five percent (or less, if the chapter's bylaws so stipulate) of their class. In no case, however, may the total number of undergraduates elected in any one year exceed 10 percent of the candidates for graduation in that year.


Let the love of learning rule humanity.
Φ ι λ ο σ ο φ ί α   Κ ρ α τ ε ί τ ω   Φ ω τ ῶ ν
(Philosophía Krateítõ Phõtôn)

Phi Beta Kappa (Villanova Phi Beta Kappa) -- Arts and Sciences


Phi Beta Kappa [is] the nation's oldest and most prestigious undergraduate honors organization. For more than 200 years, the Society has pursued its mission of fostering and recognizing excellence in the liberal arts and sciences, and its distinctive emblem, a golden key, is widely recognized as a symbol of academic distinction.


In order to gain election, you must have excelled in a broad array of undergraduate courses in the arts and sciences offered at one of the 249 colleges and universities in the United States that are sufficiently rigorous and intellectually challenging to shelter a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. By your election to Phi Beta Kappa, you have shown a devotion to intellectual pursuits and the objectives of a liberal education.


Love of wisdom, the guide of life.
Φ ι λ ο σ ο φ ί α   Β ί ο υ   Κ υ β ε ρ ν ή τ η ς
(Philosophia Biou Cybernētēs)

Sigma Xi (University of Maryland Sigma Xi) -- Scientific Research

Culture, Mission, and Vision Statements

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society is the honor society of scientists and engineers that recognizes scientific achievement.
Culture: The Society is a diverse organization of members and chapters dedicated to companionship in science and engineering and to the advancement of knowledge through research, service and teaching.
Mission: To enhance the health of the research enterprise, foster integrity in science and engineering and promote the public's understanding of science for the purpose of improving the human condition.
Vision: Sigma Xi will be recognized as the global interdisciplinary society that promotes ethics and excellence in scientific and engineering research.


Membership in Sigma Xi is by nomination which is conferred in one of two ways, and is NOT dependent on the nominee having a specific education degree. Students and non-students follow the same review process.

Individuals may request nomination to membership through a Sigma Xi chapter or through the Sigma Xi Committee on Qualifications and Membership.


Companions in Zealous Research
Σ π ο υ δ ῶ ν   Ξ υ ν ῶ ν ε ς
(Spoudon Xynones)

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James Marshall (e-mail me)

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