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.

1.

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

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

3.

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

4.

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

5.

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.

6.

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.

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​MISSION AND HISTORY

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

 

Leadership

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Molly M. Lawrence

Grand President

The University of Alabama

Timothy A. Lemper, Esq.

Grand Vice President
Indiana University

Mary Jo Custer

Grand Historian
Syracuse University

Alex Belisle

Committee Member

Boise State University

Tony Kemp

Committee Member

Mercer University

Jennifer Miller

Committee Member

McKendree University

Rebecca Gilbert

Student Committee Member

Florida State University

Alyssa Kane

Student Committee Member

IUPUI

Michaela Mahekeya

Student Committee Member

Georgia Southern University

EMERITUS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS

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

 

Headquarters

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.

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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.

Executive Director

Mary Lee Caldwell, PhD
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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.

Coordination of Chapter and Membership Services

Jaylin L. Goodwin
 

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

phietasigmahq@gmail.com

Contact Us

 

Chapter Listing

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Gold marks active chapters of Phi Eta Sigma

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

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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

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Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, Inc.