Fairfield University's Honor Societies

Phi Beta Kappa

The Phi Beta Kappa Society is the oldest and most widely recognized national academic honor society in the United States. Founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, the Society's aim is to encourage academic excellence in the broad range of the liberal arts. Membership is restricted to students who complete most of their course work in the liberal studies curriculum; typically those are students who pursue B.A. or B.S. degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences. Fairfield's chapter, Zeta of Connecticut, was established in 1994. Each spring it inducts new members from among the most academically talented students. Election to this chapter is based on academic standing (top 10 percent of the class), evidence of broad intellectual curiosity, independent work and thought, and other intellectual accomplishments; it is limited to seniors and a highly select group of juniors.

Students are chosen on the basis of their broad cultural interests, scholarly achievement, and good character. All have demonstrated outstanding work in the liberal arts.

Phi Beta Kappa aims to promote learning, morality, and collegiality. For over two hundred years Phi Beta Kappa has encouraged scholarship and a life-long commitment to the liberal arts. Among the members of Phi Beta Kappa have been seventeen United States presidents, dozens of Senators, and men and women in a broad range of professional fields. When the Zeta Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was chartered at Fairfield University, Fairfield joined an elect company of 262 colleges and universities. Nationwide, only one percent of college seniors are invited to join Phi Beta Kappa annually.

Contact: Aaron Perkus
Ext.: 2918; E-mail: aperkus@fairfield.edu


Alpha Sigma Nu

Alpha Sigma Nu, the National Jesuit Honor Society, serves to reward and encourage scholarship, loyalty, and service to the ideals of Jesuit higher education. The Fairfield chapter was reactivated in 1981 and includes outstanding undergraduate and graduate students who are encouraged to promote service to the University and provide greater understanding of the Jesuit ideals of education within the University community.

Undergraduate students must have a scholastic rank in the top 15 percent of their junior class, must have demonstrated a proven concern for others through involvement in extracurricular activities and service to the University, and must have manifested a true concern and commitment to the values and goals of Jesuit education. All juniors with a high enough grade point average are invited to submit essays about their activities. Only four percent of a junior class can join and final decisions on membership are made by present undergraduate members of ASN.

Graduate students are nominated by their respective deans and are then given the opportunity to accept induction into ASN. Graduate members should have demonstrated the same values of scholarship, service and commitment to Jesuit educational ideals.

Selection of new members takes place during February and the induction of new members is held in October.

Contact: Thomas C. Pellegrino
Ext. 2244 / E-mail: tcpellegrino@fairfield.edu


Beta Gamma Sigma

Membership in Beta Gamma Sigma is the highest national recognition a student in business can receive at a school accredited by AACSB-International, The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. There are currently 317 BGS chapters with 385,000 members inducted during its more than 85 years of existence. The mission of BGS is to encourage and honor academic achievement and personal excellence in the study and practice of business. Invitations to join Fairfield University's chapter are extended to undergraduate juniors and seniors, graduating master's students, and faculty on the basis of academic excellence and integrity.

Contact: Milo Peck (Ext. 2896) and Pat Poli (Ext. 2882)


Alpha Epsilon Delta

The main function of Alpha Epsilon Delta is to recognize publicly outstanding scholastic achievement among pre-health students. Each campus chapter has the responsibility of making a significant contribution to the extracurricular educational experience of the members and all other pre-health students on campus, as well as engaging in service to the community. Candidates for membership should have demonstrated some sense of responsibility and willingness to serve the pre-health science needs of all such students, and contribute to worthwhile student activities; they should possess those qualities which the members are looking for in their personal health care providers and which committees on admission are seeking in the candidates that they accept for health professions programs. Fairfield University's chapter of Alpha Epsilon Delta, Alpha of Connecticut, was established at Fairfield in 1962. It inducts about 15 members each year.

Contact: Geoffrey A. Church, Ph.D.
Ext.: 2485; E-mail: gchurch@fairfield.edu


Alpa Kappa Delta

Founded in 1920, Alpha Kappa Delta, the international sociological honor society, has more than 400 chapters throughout the world. The purpose of Alpha Kappa Delta is to promote human welfare by developing scientific knowledge that may be applied to the solution of social problems.

Contact: Dr. Rose Rodrigues
Ext.:2784; E-mail: Rodrigues@fairfield.edu


Alpha Mu Gamma

Alpha Mu Gamma, the National Foreign Language Honorary Society, was founded in 1931 with the purposes of recognizing students' achievement in the field of foreign language study; stimulating a desire for linguistic achievement; encouraging a continuing interest in the study of foreign languages, literature and civilizations; and fostering sympathetic understanding of other peoples and international friendship. Alpha Mu Gamma is the official sponsor of National Foreign Language Week. More than 350 charters have been granted to chapters in the United States and Puerto Rico. Chapters are found both in state and private universities and in public and private colleges.

The Eta Pi Chapter at Fairfield University was established by Fr. Victor Leeber in 1970 and currently it is the largest and most active group in the society, nationwide. Our chapter has hosted two successful national conventions (2001 and 2009) and student members have also attended conventions and given presentations at other universities. Since 2008 several Fairfield University AMG members have been among the recipients of the three major national scholarships that Alpha Mu Gamma awards annually.

For further information, please visit the Fairfield University Chapter of Alpha Mu Gamma website.

Co-Advisor: Dr. Eileen Wilkinson
Ext.: 2613; E-mail: ewilkinson@fairfield.edu
Co-Advisor: Angela Tauro
E-mail: atauro@fairfield.edu


Alpha Sigma Lambda

Alpha Sigma Lambda, founded in 1946, is a cross-disciplinary national honor society for adult students continuing their education at the undergraduate level. It recognizes the academic achievements of adults who excel scholastically while facing competing interests of home and work.

A chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda has been established for evening undergraduate degree students. This national honor society recognizes the special academic achievement of adults who accomplish academic excellence while facing competing interests of home and work. Members are elected only from the highest 10% of the matriculated students, with a 3.2 GPA or better. An annual induction into the society takes place in the fall.

Contact: Alexandra Richardson or Karen Donnelly
Ext.: 2911; E-mail: arichardson@fairfield.edu
Ext.: 3336; E-mail: kjdonnelly@fairfield.edu


Beta Alpha Psi

Beta Alpha Psi is an honorary organization for Financial Information students and professionals. The primary objective of Beta Alpha Psi is to encourage and give recognition to scholastic and professional excellence in the business information field. This includes promoting the study and practice of accounting, finance and information systems; providing opportunities for self-development, service and association among members and practicing professionals, and encouraging a sense of ethical, social, and public responsibility.

Co-Advisor: Dr. Milo Peck
Ext.: 2896; E-mail: mpeck@fairfield.edu
Co-Advisor: Jo Ann Drusbosky
Ext.: 2824; E-mail: jdrusbosky@fairfield.edu


Chi Sigma Iota

Chi Sigma Iota is an international honor society that values academic and professional excellence in counseling. It promotes a strong professional identity through members (professional counselors, counselor educators, and students) who contribute to the realization of a healthy society by fostering wellness and human dignity. Its mission is to promote scholarship, research, professionalism, leadership and excellence in counseling, and to recognize high attainment in the pursuit of academic and clinical excellence in the profession of counseling. Founded at Ohio University in 1985, Chi Sigma Iota currently has over 11,000 active members in 262 chapters.

Fairfield University's chapter, Gamma Lambda Chi, invites qualified candidates who are advanced counselor education students to become members each spring. The Gamma Lambda Chi chapter provides a forum for professors, students, alumni and local professionals to interact, discuss issues and share professional concerns.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Bogusia Skudrzyk
Ext.: 2759; E-mail: Bskudrzyk@fairfield.edu


Lambda Pi Eta (Communication)

Lambda Pi Eta is the national undergraduate honor society in communication. The primary purpose of Lambda Pi Eta is "to recognize, foster, and reward outstanding scholastic achievement in communication." Since its inception in 1985, the honor society has grown to more than 400 chapters nationwide. In March 1997, the National Communication Association (NCA) recognized our local chapter, Epsilon Sigma, in hopes of promoting and honoring academic excellence in communication here at Fairfield University. Membership is conferred upon graduating seniors who maintain high standards of general scholarship, achieve outstanding academic success in communication, and demonstrate genuine commitment to the field of communication. Each year, approximately 10 to 15 percent of senior communication majors meet the criteria of membership in Lambda Pi Eta.

Contact: Dr. M. Sallyanne Ryan, advisor
Ext.: 2566; E-mail: sryan@fairfield.edu


National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS)

NSCS recognizes outstanding academic achievement among first and second year college students. NSCS was founded by Steve Loflin, who worked as the director of Student Activities at George Washington University. He noticed that while honors organizations existed for students, few offered admittance to first and second year students. This society was formed soon after to recognize new students' academic achievements and provide connections between students with similar academic goals and pursuits.


Omicron Delta Epsilon (Economics)

Fairfield University hosts a chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon, the international honor society for economists. Its purpose is to recognize outstanding achievement in the study of economics. Working with the Economics Club, ODE also supports on-campus activities that engage the community in conversations about important economic topics and trends, both in the academy and in the national and global marketplace. ODE membership is open to any student who is an economics major or minor, who has completed 12 credits in economics with a B average, and who has a B average overall. Students in ODE receive a certificate of membership, lifetime membership in the organization, and a one-year subscription to society's publication, The American Economist. Fairfield's economics department also awards honor cords at graduation to each member. See the organization's website at http://www.omicrondeltaepsilon.org.

Contact: Dr. Kathy Nantz, advisor
Ext.: 2271; E-mail: nantz@fairfield.edu


Phi Alpha Theta (History)

Phi Alpha Theta, the international honor society in history, was organized at the University of Arkansas in 1921. As of 1997, 220,000 students have been initiated into its campus-based chapters. The Fairfield University chapter was founded in 1977 to recognize and reward excellence in the study of history; admissions requirements include a 3.1 GPA in history, and a 3.1 GPA overall. Phi Alpha Theta is one of few honor societies that encourages students to present papers at its gatherings. It offers several awards and prizes for excellence in history. The Fairfield chapter inducts about 15 members each year.

Contact: Dr. William Abbott
Ext.: 2514; E-mail: Wmabbott@fairfield.edu


Pi Mu Epsilon (Mathematics)

Pi Mu Epsilon is the national mathematics honor society. The Fairfield University Connecticut Beta chapter was chartered in 1986. The purpose of PME is the promotion of scholarly activity in mathematics. Students are invited to membership based upon their outstanding academic achievements in mathematics. PME sponsors several mathematical activities throughout the year.

Contact: Dr. Joan Weiss
Ext.: 2223; E-mail: weiss@fairfield.edu


Pi Sigma Alpha (Politics)

Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society, was founded for the purpose of bringing together students and faculty interested in the study of government and politics; to stimulate scholarship and intelligent interest in political science; and to provide a framework for enriching the exposure of its members and the wider University community to the study of government and issues of public concern.

Contact: Marcy Patton


Psi Chi (Psychology)

Psi Chi, the national honor society in psychology, was founded in 1929 for the purpose of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship and advancing the science of psychology. It inducts both undergraduate and graduate members. It currently has 868 chapters nationwide.

Contact: Dr. Judy Primavera, advisor
Ext.: 2233; E-mail: jprimavera@fairfield.edu


Sigma Iota Rho

Sigma Iota Rho, the international studies honor society, was founded at American University in 1984 to promote and reward the scholarship and service among students of international studies, international relations, and global studies.

Contact: Jermain Griffin


Sigma Pi Sigma (Physics)

Sigma Pi Sigma, the national physics honor society, was founded in 1921. Today, it has more than 400 chapters nationwide and 75,000 historical members. Chapters are restricted to colleges and universities of recognized standing that offer a strong physics major. Students elected to membership must attain high standards of general scholarship and outstanding achievement in physics.

Contact: Dr. David Winn, advisor


Sigma Tau Delta

Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society, invites the top one-third of English majors to join its membership. Selection is based on cumulative grade point average and letters of invitation are sent each Spring semester to all Juniors who qualify.

Contact: Dr. Tommy Xie, advisor
Ext.: 2793; E-mail: lxie@fairfield.edu


Sigma Theta Tau

Sigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursing, was founded in 1922 by six nursing students at Indiana University. The founders chose the name from the initials of the Greek words Storga, Tharos, and Tima, to mean love, courage, and honor. The purpose of the Society is to recognize superior achievement, to develop leadership skills, to foster high standards, to encourage creative work, and to strengthen commitment to the ideals of the nursing profession. The Society is a partnership of more than 200,000 members residing in 70 countries, and it has 356 chapters in more than 400 colleges and universities. The Mu Chi Chapter of the Society was established at Fairfield University in 1989. Membership is conferred upon junior, senior, and graduate level students who demonstrate superior scholastic achievement, academic integrity, leadership potential, and marked accomplishment in nursing. The Chapter has grown to nearly 400 members.

Members of Mu Chi are committed to fostering nursing leadership, research and creativity. Standards for membership include demonstrated excellence in scholarship and/or exceptional achievement in nursing. Several Mu Chi members are active on both regional and international committees of Sigma Theta Tau International. Remarkable in its short history, the Mu Chi Chapter has received the prestigious "Chapter Key Award" four times. This award is presented to active chapters who exhibit overall excellence in achieving the goals and mission of Sigma Theta Tau International.

Further information: School of Nursing


Sigma Xi

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, was founded in 1886 as an honor society for scientists and engineers. Headquartered in Research Triangle Park, N.C., it is an international research society whose programs and activities promote the health of the scientific enterprise and honor scientific achievement. There are more than 80,000 Sigma Xi members in about 500 chapters at colleges and universities, industrial research centers, and government laboratories. In addition to honoring scientific achievement, Sigma Xi also encourages the support of original work in science and technology, and tries to promote an appreciation within the society at large for the role research has played in human progress. Membership is by invitation; full membership is conferred upon those who have demonstrated noteworthy achievements in research. Each year the Society initiates nearly 5,000 new members.

The Society is a diverse chapter-based organization dedicated to the advancement of science and engineering through outstanding programs and services delivered in a collegial and supportive environment.

The mission of Sigma Xi is to enhance the health of the research enterprise, foster integrity in science and engineering, and promote the public's understanding of science for the purpose of improving the human condition.

Vision: To be the global honor society of science and engineering.

Contact: Dr. Jim Biardi, advisor
Ext.: 3465; E-mail: jbiardi@fairfield.edu


Theta Alpha Kappa (Religious Studies)

Theta Alpha Kappa was founded by Albert Clark, F.S.C., in 1976 to provide an opportunity for religious studies students to be honored for excellence in their academic work. The Society annually awards the Albert Clark Prize for the best undergraduate student essay, chosen in national competition. The winning essay is published in the Journal of Theta Alpha Kappa.

Contact: Dr. Al Benney, advisor
Ext.: 2398; E-mail: benney@fairfield.edu


Awards for Top Students

The Bellarmine Medal, awarded by the University President to the senior with the highest Quality Point Average in all courses taken at Fairfield University over four years.

The Loyola Medal, awarded by the alumni to an outstanding senior and graduate student who have maintained an excellent academic record while substantially involved in community service and extracurricular activities.