Fast Facts


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.


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


Since its founding, more than 1,100,000 scholars have been inducted into Phi Eta Sigma.


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


More than $275,000 in scholarships are awarded annually by the national organization, and many additional thousands are awarded by local chapters.


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.


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.


Phi Eta Sigma was founded 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 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.

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, Grand President, 1959



Molly M. Lawrence

Grand President

The University of Alabama

Tony Kemp

Committee Member

Mercer University

Lindsey Jorgensen

Student Committee Member

Brigham Young University

Timothy A. Lemper, Esq.

Grand Vice President
Indiana University

Mary Jo Custer

Grand Historian
Syracuse University

Jennifer Miller

Committee Member

McKendree University

Lisa Ruch

Committee Member


Nick Swanson

Student Committee Member

The Catholic University of America

Unnati Nayak

Student Committee Member



B.J. Alexander, PhD

Grand President Emeritus

Tarleton State University

John R. Harrell

Grand President Emeritus

Indiana University

John W. Sagabiel, PhD

Grand President Emeritus

Western Kentucky University

Read more about the roles and responsibilities of members of the executive committee by clicking here.

Alternate Committee Members

Golam Mathbor

Alternate Advisor Delegate

Monmouth University

Sydney Helgeson

Alternate Student Delegate

The University of Alabama

Preston McGee

Alternate Student Delegate

The University of Alabama


The first national headquarters of Phi Eta Sigma was established in 1952 at Auburn University under the leadership of Dean James Foy. In 1992, the headquarters moved to Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, KY. In July 2019, the headquarters relocated to its current home in Tuscaloosa, AL on the campus of the University of Alabama.


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 this past year.

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 more than 15 years. She is also a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, 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 L. 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


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.


Mailing Address:

University of Alabama

Phi Eta Sigma

Box 870261

Tuscaloosa AL, 35487-0328

Shipping Address:

University of Alabama

Phi Eta Sigma

270 Kilgore Lane, Room 2203

Tuscaloosa AL, 35401

Phone Number:

(205) 348-0975

E-mail Address

Contact Us
Chapter Listing

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

In Fall of 2019, the National Executive Committee met and approved a proposal laying out a new regional alignment for our chapters. One goal of this proposal was to reduce our number of regions by more than half and redistribute the number of chapters in each region proportionally. 

With the new alignment, each of the six regions are named based on geographical location. The new region names are West, Midwest, Central, Northeast, East, and Southeast. Our hope is with the simplification of these new regions, both in name, geographical location, and size, our chapter members and advisers will not only be able to easily identify which region they belong to, but that we will be able to create more opportunities for chapters to connect with others in their region. 

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

















North Carolina

South Carolina 


West Virginia

New Mexico





West Virignia






North Dakota


South Dakota







New Hampshire

New Jersey

New York 


Rhode Island










  • LinkedIn - White Circle
  • w-facebook
  • Twitter Clean
  • Instagram - White Circle

Follow us on social media:

Phi Eta Sigma National Headquarters

Phi Eta Sigma

270 Kilgore Lane, Room 2203

Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

University of Alabama

Box #870261

Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0328

(205) 348-0975

Copyright © 2020. All Rights Reserved. 

Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, Inc.