The University’s Phi Eta Sigma chapter held its annual induction ceremony of 156 first year students in Pollak Theater on Friday, March 9. Phi Eta Sigma is the nation’s oldest and largest honor society for first-year college and University students. The honor society is based upon the principles of “Vigor and discipline of mind; care and respect for the body; and above all, nobility and generosity of character,” all characteristics that are expected of its members.
In order to qualify for membership into the honor society, newly inducted members must have achieved a 3.5 grade point average or higher during their first semester as a college. The ceremony began at 7 p.m. with opening remarks from Society President Shannon Marren, a senior biology student. The audience consisted of inductees, families of inductees, and faculty and administration. Marren then introduced Phi Eta Sigma’s faculty advisor Golam Mathbor, Ph.D., a tenured Full Professor in the School of Social Work.
“The students, standing before you, are the officers of the Monmouth University Chapter of Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society. You are among the select few students who have met the requirements necessary for induction into Phi Eta Sigma,” Mathbor said.
Senior biology student, Sam Barnada, Phi Eta Sigma Historian then approached the podium. “Phi Eta Sigma was founded at the University of Illinois in 1923 to recognize and promote superior scholarship among freshmen,” Bernada explained. “The Society has established chapters in over 378 institutions of higher learning in the United States. We are the 272nd Chapter, established in 1987.
Bernada informed the audience and new inductees on a brief history of the organization, claiming that Phi Eta Sigma was originally a freshman men’s scholastic honor fraternity having a formal grip, a password, and secrets. In 1974, the society dropped the word “fraternity,” and accepted both men and women into membership, as well as opening the induction ceremony to non-members.
Phi Eta Sigma has held membership in the Association of College Honor Societies since 1937. It is the honor aspect, which they emphasize, stressing the academic nature of the society.
“Membership in Phi Eta Sigma is an honor conferred on those who, at the beginning of their college careers, give promise of continued excellence in scholarship. You have demonstrated your ability,” Bernada said to the inductees.
“In admitting you to membership in our Society, we stress, not only the importance of scholastic excellence, but the importance of three elements required for you to complete development as individuals – an unimpeachable character, a well-cared for body, and a well-disciplined mind,” she continued.
“The honor of membership is conferred on you in recognition of your exceptional scholastic record. You are among the select few students who have met the requirements necessary for induction into Phi Eta Sigma,” said Mathbor. “Once you have been inducted, you are a member for life.”
Following the collective speech by members of the society’s executive board, which included Jeremy Eletto, Treasurer, Arbaz Khan, Secretary, and Juliana Illiano, Vice President, Marren took asked inductees to stand and answer, “I will” if they accepted the society’s guidelines. All of the student inductees rose up from their seats and agreed. All new members in attendance then came forward and received keys and membership certificates.
Following the ceremony, students and relatives were encouraged to gather in the lobby of Pollak for light desserts and drinks.
PHOTOS COURTESY of Shannon Marren