Fairfield Students Inducted Into National Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society

Fairfield Students Inducted Into National Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society

The Zeta of Connecticut Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honor society, recently inducted the 2024 cohort of Fairfield juniors and seniors.

The Zeta of Connecticut Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at Fairfield University inducted 28 students into the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honor society during its Spring 2024 induction ceremony. The annual event celebrates the academic achievement and excellence of Fairfield’s scholars, and is attended by students, faculty members, and guests. This year in particular was special for the Fairfield Zeta Chapter, celebrating 30 years on campus. 

“Not only did we honor students in the College of Arts and Sciences who have distinguished themselves academically, but we were especially privileged to induct Provost Christine Siegel as an honorary member to our chapter,” said Chapter President Julie Mughal, who serves as associate director for humanitarian action in the Center for Social Impact. “We look forward to continuing to celebrate excellence in the liberal arts and sciences in our next decade at Fairfield University.”

Presiding over the ceremony were executive officers of the Phi Beta Kappa, Zeta of Connecticut Chapter: President Mughal, MA; Vice President Betsy A. Bowen, PhD; Secretary/Treasurer Elizabeth Petrino, PhD; Historian/Archivist William M. Abbott, PhD; and Past President Margaret M. McClure, PhD.

Fairfield University Provost Christine Siegel, PhD, professor of psychological and educational consultation in the School of Education and Human Development, delivered the keynote address at the ceremony. 

“We live in times that are indeed unprecedented in their complexity and in their extremely large unknowns; and yet we have proceeded to act, to make decisions, and — for the students who are being recognized today — to have not only prevailed but to have also succeeded, academically and socially,” she said. “This suggests to me that you have indeed evidenced tact and foresight in your journey to today’s induction.”

Dr. Siegel reminded those in attendance of the history of Phi Beta Kappa, whose letters stand for the Greek phrase and important motto, "Love of learning is the guide to life." The honor society began in 1776 at the College of William and Mary, as its founders faced present and future uncertainty. 

“The (founders) recognized the need for a roadmap to the unprecedented, complex, largely unknown life they were living, and they wisely chose love of learning as their guide,” said Dr. Siegel. “As you think about your own guide to life, was it your love of learning that drew you to Fairfield University during the height of the pandemic? Did that love of learning (the light that burns inside you) bolster you through some of the more challenging courses, thorny assignments, late night study sessions? Was that love repeatedly engaged as you studied science, math, languages, social sciences, and humanities? Is it the reason that nothing other than a broad-based liberal education made sense to you?”

She continued, “I can easily recognize the guiding light that is my love of learning. Interest, curiosity, and desire to know more swayed me toward an academic life that decades later is reflected by college degrees, teaching positions, publications, presentations, administrative roles, and elected offices.” 

Each spring, Phi Beta Kappa inducts new members from among the most academically accomplished seniors and a highly select group of juniors at Fairfield. Election to the Zeta of Connecticut Chapter is based on academic standing (top 10 percent of the class), evidence of broad intellectual curiosity, independent work and thought, outstanding work in the liberal arts and sciences, and good character. Membership is restricted to students who complete most of their coursework in the liberal studies curriculum — typically, students pursuing bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences. 

Phi Beta Kappa aims to promote learning, morality, and collegiality. For more than 200 years, Phi Beta Kappa has encouraged scholarship and a life-long commitment to the liberal arts. Members of Phi Beta Kappa include 17 United States presidents, dozens of senators, and men and women in a broad range of professional fields. Nationwide, only one percent of college seniors are invited to join Phi Beta Kappa annually. 

Only 10 percent of colleges and universities in the United States have been awarded a Phi Beta Kappa chapter. Its chapter established in 1994, Fairfield University is one of only six colleges and universities in the state of Connecticut — and one of only 14 Jesuit colleges and universities nationwide — to have a Phi Beta Kappa chapter.

2024 Phi Beta Kappa Inductees:

Seniors: Abigail J. Araujo, Amelia A. Bowles, Thomas J. Burke, Kelley A. Carzo, Francesca I. Coppola, Molly Cronin, Audrey M. Didier, Isabella S. Dolan, Samantha C. Fuchs, Thomas J. Lane, Brooke A. Lathe, Ann W. Marino, Kiersten J. Nicolosi, Jada L. Ormsbee, Ariana V. Perlini, Peyton E. Perry, Taylor A. Soyland, Madeline A. Suarez, Anne Q. Tomosivitch, Gianna M. Valela, Abigail R. White, and Ashley Y. Zheng.

Juniors: Abigale M. Evangelista, Caitlin E. Fanella, Max R. Limric, Jillian A. O’Brien, Julia S. Tomcho, and Joseph P. Trucchio.

2024 Spring Phi Beta Kappa Induction

2024 Spring Phi Beta Kappa Induction

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