The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi’s primary objective is the recognition and encouragement of superior scholarship in all academic disciplines. The society is convinced that in recognizing and honoring those persons of good character who have excelled in scholarship, in whatever field, it will stimulate others to strive for excellence. Moreover, the society serves the interests of the student capable of excellence by insisting that in order to acquire a chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, an institution provide the means and atmosphere conducive to academic excellence.
In 1897 a group of 10 students at the University of Maine, who perceived a need for an honor society on broader lines than any then in existence, was assisted by interested professors to organize the Lambda Sigma Eta Society. A year or so later the name was changed to the Morrill Society, in honor of the sponsor of the Congressional Act which provided for land-grant colleges.
In 1900 it was transformed into a national society by action of a committee composed of the presidents of the University of Maine, the University of Tennessee, and Pennsylvania State College (now The Pennsylvania State University). The chapters in these institutions are the founding chapters.
The society was renamed Phi Kappa Phi, from the initial letters of the Greek words forming its adopted motto: “Philosophia Krateito Photon,” roughly translated as “Let the love of learning rule humanity.” Phi Kappa Phi currently has chapters in institutions from Maine to the Philippines and from Alaska to Puerto Rico.
Southeastern’s chapter was chartered and installed on May 11, 1956.
Phi Kappa Phi’s badge, which apprears on the key, is a globe against the background of the sun, whose rays form an expansive corona and radiate in a number of symmetrical concentrations from behind the globe. These signify equivalence among the various branches of learning and represent the dissemination of truth as light. Encircling the globe is a band containing the Greek letters for Phi Kappa Phi and symbolizing a fraternal bond which girds the earth and binds the lovers of wisdom in a common purpose.