Fast Facts

1.

Founded in 1923 at the University of Illinois, Phi Eta Sigma is the nation's oldest and largest honor society for first-year college and university students in all disciplines.

2.

The three Greek words appearing on our crest form the motto of the organization: 'Knowledge is Power.'

3.

Since its founding, more than 1,200,000 scholars have been inducted into Phi Eta Sigma.

4.

Phi Eta Sigma chapters have been chartered on 378 campuses across the United States.

5.

More than $300,000 in scholarships are awarded annually by the national organization, and thousands are awarded by local chapters.

6.

Phi Eta Sigma is governed by a Constitution and Laws generated by student delegates attending national conventions. At the biennial conventions, student delegates also elect the national officers and Executive Committee members.

7.

The official magazine of the honor society, The Forum of Phi Eta Sigma, is published annually and distributed to active members through the local campus chapters.

​MISSION AND HISTORY

Phi Eta Sigma was founded on March 22, 1923, to encourage and reward high scholastic achievement among members of the freshman classes at the University of Illinois. This statement expresses simply the inspiration that moved the founders of Phi Eta Sigma in their formation of the society.  The initial inspiration for Phi Eta Sigma came from Dean Thomas Arkle Clark and it came out of his life's experience. Orphaned at three months, he was raised in the family of his mother's sister, whose name he took as his own, in rural Illinois. At age fifteen he was left by death as the sole support of his surrogate mother and an invalid brother. His motto by then was, 'Take a difficult task and ... do it better than those for whom the task is easy."

 

Transition into the future of Phi Eta Sigma, nurtured by the structures built by generations of leaders through the previous decades, was formalized by action over Summer 2019 when the national office was relocated physically to the campus of The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, KY.

 

A few basic principles - dedicated leadership, devotion to students, prudent management, constant improvement in efficiency - all infused with an enthusiastic commitment to service have served Phi Eta Sigma for nearly a century, and are ready to function for many more.

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A Historical Look at 
Phi Eta Sigma 

The past belongs to others;

the present is ours; combined,

they shape the future. Let us resolve, then, to pay homage to the past by setting high standards for the future. We can do no less.

- C.M. Thompson, National President, 1959

 
Leadership

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Molly M. Lawrence

National President

The University of Alabama

Tony Kemp

Advisor Committee Member

Mercer University

Lindsey Jorgensen

Student Committee Member

Brigham Young University

Timothy A. Lemper, Esq.

National  Vice President
Indiana University

Mary Jo Custer

National Historian
Syracuse University

Jennifer Miller

Advisor Committee Member

McKendree University

Lisa Ruch

Advisor Committee Member

IUPUI

Sydney Helgeson

Student Committee Member

The University of Alabama

Unnati Nayak

Student Committee Member

IUPUI

ALTERNATE COMMITTEE MEMBERS

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Golam Mathbor

Alternate Advisor Member

Monmouth University

Preston McGee

Alternate Student Member

The University of Alabama

EMERITUS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS

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B.J. Alexander, PhD

National President Emeritus

Tarleton State University

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John R. Harrell

National President Emeritus

Indiana University

John W. Sagabiel, PhD

National President Emeritus

Western Kentucky University

 
Headquarters

Mary Lee Caldwell, PhD

Executive Director

An alumna of Troy University and The University of Alabama, Dr. Mary Lee Caldwell brings more than 12 years of higher education experience to Phi Eta Sigma. With previous experience in leadership development, student governance, and citizenship, Dr. Caldwell has most recently served as the Director of the Believe UA program at The University of Alabama, where she helps students to reach goals through mentoring, resilience, and coaching programs. At UA, Dr. Caldwell also advises Omicron Delta Kappa honor society, and she was the recipient of the 2018 Crimson Spirit Award and the 2017 SGA Foundation Award. Her students selected her as a member of the Anderson Society and the XXXI Women’s Honorary. She also served as the chair of the 125 Years of Women at UA celebration.


Dr. Caldwell is an active member of the Tuscaloosa community. She founded Lean On: Alabama, a statewide non-profit that focuses on the promotion of collaboration among women of all generations in the state. Dr. Caldwell has been a member of the Alabama Girls State program’s staff for 20 years. She is also a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, the Rotary Club of Tuscaloosa, the United Way of West Alabama’s Volunteer Allocation Team, and the Women of the Capstone. Dr. Mary Lee Caldwell was named by the Alabama Media Group as one of 30 Women Who Shape the State in 2017.

Brett Hudson

Coordinator of Chapter and Membership Services

Hudson is a December 2013 graduate of The University of Alabama with a degree in Journalism, which he used to launch into a seven-year career as a sports writer. He covered high school sports in upstate New York and northeast Louisiana before four years covering the SEC, split between the Mississippi State and Alabama beats. Hudson started giving guest lectures at Mississippi State before teaching a journalism class for UA, which he continues teaching in addition to his work for Phi Eta Sigma.

Hudson and his wife Morgan have twin daughters. (No, twins do not run in the family. Yes, it was quite a surprise. They are not identical. They have very different personalities.) When he’s not watching Atlanta United or the Oakland Athletics, he can be found wherever there is a game of pickup basketball. 

Jaylin Goodwin

Coordinator of Chapter and Membership Services

Goodwin is a two-time graduate of Auburn University, with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Marketing) and a Master of Arts in Communication and Journalism. While working to complete her graduate degree, Goodwin worked as a graduate assistant in the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn, teaching an undergraduate course called Women and Leadership in addition to writing and producing content for the Office of Communications and Marketing.

 

As an undergraduate at Auburn, Goodwin was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and Mortar Board Honor Societies and was the President of the Panhellenic Council. She has also volunteered extensively with the Alabama Girls State program, sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, serving as a member on staff for the past five years.

Jo Hebson

Bookkeeper

After leaving the University of Alabama, where she studied Finance, Jo Hebson began a 30-year career in the banking industry working in branch banking and operations management.  Following her retirement, Hebson worked a short stint for the University of Alabama before her current role with Phi Eta Sigma.

Hebson volunteers her time as the Vice President of Finance for the Delta Zeta Sorority Alumni group at the University of Alabama.  She and her husband, Tim, live in Tuscaloosa with their two dogs, Belle and Bradshaw. In her spare time, Jo loves to travel and make t-shirt quilts for fun.

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Chapter Listing
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See something that needs updating on the map? Tell us in the Contact form located above.

Gold marks active chapters of Phi Eta Sigma

To see a full listing of our chapters, click here.

 
Chapter Regions

NORTHEAST

Find what region your chapter is in by finding the state where your school is located.

SOUTHEAST

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Alabama

Georgia

Florida

Mississippi

Tennessee

WEST

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EAST

Alaska

Arizona

California

Colorado

Hawaii

Idaho

Nevada

Kentucky

North Carolina

South Carolina 

Virginia

West Virginia

New Mexico

Montana

Oregon

Utah

Washington

West Virignia

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MIDWEST

Indiana

Illinois

Iowa

Michigan

Minnesota

Ohio

Wisconsin

Connecticut 

Maine

Massachusetts

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New York 

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

Vermont

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Arkansas

Kansas

Louisiana

Missouri

Nebraska

North Dakota

Oklahoma

South Dakota

Texas

CENTRAL