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Club & Greek

Phi Eta Sigma Inducts New Scholars

In a night celebrating the scholastic excellence of the 2019 freshman class, the Monmouth University Phi Eta Sigma chapter conduct­ed its annual induction cer­emony on the first Friday of March at 7:00 PM.

With Pollak Theater setting the stage, the Phi Eta Sigma honors society for first-year students inducted its newly-recognized academics duti­fully, celebrating not only the importance of academic achievement but stressing the importance of admirable character and soundness of body and mind.

Out of the approximate 1,025 members of the Uni­versity’s graduating class of 2022, 416 qualified for honors by Phi Eta Sigma by achieving a 3.5 grade point average or higher in their first semester.

Founded at the University of Illinois in 1923, Phi Eta Sigma has established over 378 higher learning insti­tutions around the United States, and Monmouth Uni­versity’s chapter is the 272nd chapter circa. 1987.

The Society began as a freshmanmen’s honorary fra­ternity, where there was a se­cret password used, a formal handshake, and club-exclusive meetings. In 1974, Phi Eta Sig­ma became non-gender-spe­cific and opened the induction ceremony to non-members.

There are over 1.1 million lifetime members of Phi Eta Sigma

Entering Pollak Theater on induction night, standing out were a panel onstage of six seats, a podium with a beauti­ful floral arrangement before it, and, showcased on the back wall, a vivid image of the Phi Eta Sigma crest.

In a striking gold and black color, the Crest symbolizes nobility, higher development, and intelligence in its imagery, including a torch and a book, a pyramid, a gold star, and a key. In Greek, the phrase “Knowl­edge is Power” adorns a scroll on the Crest.

At the helm of the ceremony speeches were internationally-accomplished faculty advisor Golam Mathbor, Ph.D.,and representatives from Phi Eta Sigma’s executive board: His­torian Jess Romanik, Secre­tary Arbaz Khan, and Trea­surer Jeremy Eletto.

“Phi Eta Sigma, into which you are about to be inducted, emphasizes those personal qualities which are essential to a successful and happy life…” Mathbor addressed the first-year candidates, “The person who succeeds must possess three important qualities: vigor and discipline of mind, care, and respect for the body, and, above all, nobility and generosity of character.”

Nancy Mezey, Ph.D., Dean of the Honors School as well as a full professor of Sociol­ogy, and Professor William Gorman, from the Department of History and Anthropology, were key speakers alongside the society’s executive board. They provided their valuable insight into both academic and personal spheres to en­courage the incoming Phi Eta Sigma members to cultivate their best selves as they move through their lives.

Mathbor and the executive board members lead the in­ductees through the affirma­tion of honorable qualities for their future lives, to which they collectively responded: “I will”. It was a powerful mo­ment, followed by the official welcoming to the Society, and the awarding of certificates to the individual new members by name.

Visibly proud, Mathbor con­cluded the ceremony by shar­ing his appreciation for the faculty, parents, and students with his Vote of Thanks.

“A leader to me is a person who can outstandingly influ­ence others,” Mathbor ex­pressed to the audience. “This influence is about competen­cy and character…remember, your character is your des­tiny.”

Mathbor continued, “Citi­zens of competence and char­acter are the greatest gifts of mankind. You have already demonstrated your leadership qualities…Hopefully, you will continue maintaining this aca­demic excellence in your fu­ture career here at Monmouth and beyond.”

Following the ceremony, faculty, students, and their families in attendance gath­ered in the lobby for refresh­ments.

“Getting off to a good start sets the bar for your academic career,” PES Treasurer Eletto spoke on the importance of Phi Eta Sigma, “this Society is a means for success.”

PES Historian Romanik, now a sophomore, looked back on the impact on her own progress, “Attending the event as a freshman encouraged me to be more active in the Soci­ety and at the University on a whole.”

When asked about the im­pact of Phi Eta Sigma, new­ly-inducted members AJ Benfante and Nathan Heisey commented:

“It is a great head start to your academic career as a first-year student,” Benfante said, “and provides personal motivation for the future.”

“It really is a valuable learn­ing experience,” Heisey add­ed, “and it also looks very good for your resume, and for future employers to see that you worked hard.”

Inductee Leah Frain also expressed her appreciation for the Society: “An academ­ic community like this is re­ally important for like-minded students to meet.”

Frain concluded, “It is in­credibly helpful for freshmen to realize that their hard work is appreciated by Monmouth, and by Phi Eta Sigma.”