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of Phi Eta Sigma


In 2020 the Phi Eta Sigma National Board of Directors announced the adoption of the promotion of literacy as our national philanthropic mission.  Literacy is not only the ability to read and write, but it also represents competence or knowledge in a specific area. As the largest and oldest honor society recognizing first-year college students, Phi Eta Sigma is positioned to make a significant contribution to literacy efforts as our philanthropic mission.  Read more below about our annual 5K for $10K Run for Reading benefitting Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, Founder's Day Philanthropy Challenge, and the Mary Jo Custer Chapter Philanthropy Award Contest at Convention.



During September and October 2021, Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society asked members, alumni, family, and friends to participate in the Inaugural 5K for $10K Run for Reading Benefitting Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The 5K Run portion of the event could be completed by participants between October 14-28, but fundraising began earlier on September 8.​There were a total of 223 individual participants who signed up for the 5K representing 40 different Phi Eta Sigma chapters across 30 states and the District of Columbia. As a result, Phi Eta Sigma was pleased to announce that a donation of $12,671 was made to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library following the conclusion of the 2021 event.

In 2022, we were thrilled to announce that we have made the 5K for $10K an annual event. The race period kicked off on Sunday morning (Oct. 16) of the National Convention of the convention with a "fun run" around Birmingham! 


Participants in the 2022 event competed from the Oct. 16 through Dec. 12, with each runner able to provide a personalized link to donors or sponsors. Please visit the RunSignUp page linked below for more information about the event/ Any additional 5K-specific questions can be answered by Brett Hudson at

We can't wait until this year's event! Stay tuned for more information on the 2023 5K for $10K!

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The month of March is National Reading Month, and Phi Eta Sigma is challenging all of our chapters to hold service projects in their local community focused around literacy. Starting on March 1, we hope our chapters will partner with a local elementary school or after-school youth program to read to their students, read with their students, get them book donations, and more generally serve the national philanthropic mission of literacy.


March 22, 2023 will also mark exactly 100 years since Phi Eta Sigma was founded at the University of Illinois. Each year on March 22 we celebrate Founder’s Day, and in 2023 we plan to celebrate big. On that day, we will have a webinar featuring a speaker from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (the benefactor of our 5K for $10K) discussing the importance of our national philanthropic mission of literacy, the culmination of any local service projects your chapter holds in the weeks prior. This webinar will also count as a Member of Distinction point opportunity for current students who attend.


In 2020, we announced a new philanthropic competition and chapter award component of the Phi Eta Sigma National Convention. At the 2022 National Convention in Birmingham, Alabama, we were proud to rename this award officially to the Mary Jo Custer Chapter Philanthropy Award.


In the months that led up to this year’s National Convention, chapters collected books, stuffed animals, and monetary donations to benefit the Birmingham community. After the totals were counted, it was announced that the McKendree University chapter was the winner of the 2022 Mary Jo Custer Chapter Philanthropy Award!


We are excited to continue this competition at our 2023 National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. For all the details as they become available on this competition, please visit

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Member of Distinction
Member of Distinction

Participate in qualifying national & local chapter events to earn points toward your Member of Distinction status in 2023-24.

In 2021, Phi Eta Sigma launched a new Member of Distinction program. The first class of MOD members was recognized at the National Convention this October in Birmingham, Alabama. We are proud to announce the program will continue this year. In its second year, Phi Eta Sigma's Member of Distinction program gives students a chance to earn a commendation and a special level of distinction by participating in qualifying national and local chapter events. In addition to earning this significant honor, Members of Distinction will receive exclusive graduation regalia and special programming opportunities. Read below for more information on point-earning events and other details.

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Earn four points from qualifying Member of Distinction programs (see details below).

Have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale

Be a member in good standing with your local chapter

Students must earn four points and submit their application and documentation to qualify for Member of Distinction by April 1, 2024.

Point Opportunities for 2023-24 Academic Year:


Option 1: Leadership

  • Attend 5 of the 8 Chapter Operations 101 Webinars

Option 2: Financial Literacy



Option 3: Physical Health

  • Log 10 workouts within the Caliber App (Details coming soon: this is a new program which will launch later this fall)

Option 4: Physical Health

  • Complete the race portion of the 5K for $10K this fall



Option 5: Service

  • Complete 10 service hours (At least 5 must be related to literacy)

Option 6: Philanthropy

  • Raise $100 for the 5K for $10K this fall


Additional Opportunities:

Option 7: Local Involvement

  • 10 hours of Phi Eta Sigma involvement at the local chapter level

Option 8: Regional and National Involvement

  • Attend the National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, and our Regional Workshop coming spring 2024

Once you have completed all the requirements to earn Member of Distinction status, you must fill out and submit an application to the National Office that will be made available in the coming months.

Stay tuned for more information.

Upcoming Webinars + Events

In the Chapter Operations 101 webinars, chapter leaders will explore a specific topic and be given very specific blueprints to strengthen their chapters and keep them thriving during their time on campus and well after they leave.


Our Future With Phi Webinar focuses on explaining all the benefits and resources available to you as a member of the Honor Society. These include but are not limited to national scholarship awards, leadership opportunities, exclusive member programs, philanthropic projects and so much more! 

Register below to attend an upcoming webinar of the Fall 2023 Semester.

October 6, 2023 at 12:30 PM -

Chapter Operations 101: Philanthropy

Regional Workshops
Regional Workshops

In Spring 2023 we launched online Regional Workshops in place of former regional conferences to help bolster and strengthen the relationships between our students and chapters in close geographic proximity to one another. The purpose of these Regional Workshops is to cultivate leadership structures, offering students valuable leadership experiences, opportunities to enhance their resumes, and a chance to help shape the future of Phi Eta Sigma beyond their own campus.


These workshops will provide students a chance to become involved in leadership positions at the national level and will also be where we announce more programming events to come. We thank everyone who attended the 2023 Workshops and are excited for next year's already!


All of these workshops will run for two hours. They’ll be valuable experiences for students and advisors alike, especially for students who are currently chapter officers or have their eyes on becoming chapter officers, and really any student who wants to become more involved in Phi Eta Sigma! 


The Forum of Phi Eta Sigma


The Forum of Phi Eta Sigma is published annually as the official magazine of the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, Inc. It contains a comprehensive and current overview of the Society's yearly accomplishments. 

Each new member receives a copy of the current issue following induction, and an appropriate number of copies for distribution is sent to each chapter adviser in January of each year.


Hints on Learning & Studying

Hints on Learning and Studying is an extremely popular study tool developed initially for Phi Eta Sigma by Dr. R. J. Van Tassel, a psychology professor at Miami University of Ohio. Originally printed as an 8-page pamphlet, this copyrighted publication at one time saw annual distribution of approximately 175,000 copies without charge to campuses that host a chapter of Phi Eta Sigma. This pamphlet, which has undergone several revisions since its inception, addresses effective study habits such as preparation for studying, productive reading, note taking, and memorizing skills, as well as suggestions for the successful preparation of term papers and preparing for exams. 

Our members and chapter leaders have found many creative and helpful uses for this study guide, in addition to applying its concepts to their individual learning program. 

  • General orientation sessions for new members

  • A resource for tutoring fellow students

  • Community service projects such as volunteer tutoring programs for

  • local schools

  • A means of promoting the aims and objectives of Phi Eta Sigma

The “Hints” publication is now available only online. Chapter leaders will want to refer to the link in their Phi Eta Sigma recruiting and promotional material, as well as in any tutorial programs they may provide. 

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