Phi Kappa Phi (ΦKΦ)

Welcome to the Phi Kappa Phi Website.  We hope this website will enlighten you about Phi Kappa Phi at Villanova University.  If you have any questions that are not answered by the site, or if you have any type of feedback, please do not hesitate to contact us.  Use the links to your right to navigate the website.

ΦKΦ History at Villanova

The Villanova chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1974. Each year since then, our chapter has inducted between 150 and 200 of the top seniors and juniors in the University. In 1999, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of our chapter, and we were honored for that at the most recent triennial meeting of the National Society. During our tenure as a member society of Phi Kappa Phi, Villanova inductees have won many graduate fellowships from the Society. Our most recent induction, in the spring of 2009, included 101 of the top seniors and juniors at the University. Our next induction is scheduled for April 11, 2010.

Overview of ΦKΦ

Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, the Society's membership currently numbers more than 1 million scholars around the world.  Students, faculty, professional staff and alumni are inducted into the Society annually, drawing membership from all divisions within the academic institution.  This puts Phi Kappa Phi in a unique positions as a unifying force in education today to cultivate consciousness of relationships by bringing together individuals from a variety of disciplines.  Having celebrated its centennial anniversary in 1997, The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is the oldest and largest interdisciplinary honor society and is a charter member of the Association of College Honor Societies founded in 1925.

Phi Kappa phi is an honor society, not an honorary society society or fraternity.  Membership is earned; it is a true honor.  Phi Kappa Phi insists upon high quality in the institutions to which it grants chapters, e.g. strong faculties and ample libraries.  It thus fulfills an obligation to assure its initiatives that they are coming into a truly significant organization.  benefits and opportunities associated with membership include:

  • Recognition for superior academic performance and exemplary character
  • Affiliation with 900,00 distinguished members worldwide and 281 colleges and universities throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines.
  • Association of kindred spirits - kindred in the sense that Phi Kappa Phi members possess integrity of character and the highest ideals, as well as an abiding love of learning.
  • Funding of Research and Programs with which members are affiliated through the Society's Promotion of Excellence Grant Program
  • Leadership opportunities that exist at the chapter, regional and national levels; members may serve as chapter officers, local, regional, or national committee or members and/or members of a twelve-person National Board of Directors
  • Links to up-to-date Society and member information via the Society's official National web site
  • National Awards such as the Phi Kappa Phi Scholar Award, which recognizes scholarly activities, and the Phi Kappa Phi Artist Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in the broad realm of the arts.
  • National Scholarships in the form of Phi Kappa Phi Graduate Fellowships and Awards of Excellence for students pursuing first-year graduate study that total up to $380,000 each year; additionally, at the local level, Phi Kappa Phi chapters award approximately $150,000 in scholarships annually.
  • Networking opportunities at local and regional conference and at national triennial conventions
  • Publications such as the Society's scholarly journal National Forum: The Phi Kappa Phi Journal, which offers insight into significant cultural, social and scientific issues, and The Phi Kappa Phi Newsletter, which keeps readers abreast of the national activities and programs of the Society and the accomplishments of members
  • Respect of peers and employers for the well-recognized mark of achievement associated with Phi Kappa Phi membership
  • Scholarly Presentations and Programs at national conventions, regional conferences and chapter-sponsored events; members have opportunities to both attend as well as present their work at numerous Phi Kappa Phi-sponsored events

History of ΦKΦ

In 1897, a group of ten University of Maine students, led by Marcus L. Urann, perceived a need for an honor society on broader lines than any then in existence.  Assisted by interested professors, these students formed the Lambda Sigma Eta Society.  A year later, the name was changed to the Morrill Society, in honor of the sponsor of the Congressional Act that provided support for the land-grant colleges.

In 1900, the Society was transformed into a national organization by action of the presidents of its founding chapters at the University of Maine, the University of Tennessee and the Pennsylvania State College (now The 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, "Let the love of learning rule humanity".

From Marcus Urann's vision has emerged The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the oldest and largest interdisciplinary honor society whose primary objective has always been the recognition and promotion of superior scholarship.

ΦKΦ Symbols


The Phi Kappa Phi Key consists of the badge - a globe against the background of the sun, whose rays form an expansive corona and radiate in a number of symmetrical concentrations from behind the globe.  These rays signify equivalence among the various branches of leaning and represent the dissemination of truth as light.  Encircling the globe is a band containing the Greek letters ФΚФ that symbolizes a fraternal bond that girds the earth and binds the lovers of wisdom in a common purpose.

Phi Kappa Phi ribbon

The Phi Kappa Phi ribbon is a meander pattern, common in ancient Greek art and symbolic of the classical features of the Society.

Phi Kappa Phi seal

The seal of the Society has at its center the badge.  This in turn is surrounded by a crenellated line that represents the battlements and walls of Troy as well as a technological aspect of the ancient Greek culture.  In the space between this line and the periphery of the seal appear three stars just above the badge, one for each of the three original chapters.  Just below the badge is the phrase "Founded in 1897."