Moravian College Renews Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society Charter

On Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, rain did not stop 600 people from filling the pews of Central Moravian Church to witness the induction of 260 Moravian College students into the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society.

The ceremony honored those who had demonstrated academic excellence during their freshman year of college, and it marked the renewal of Moravian College’s membership as the 340th chapter in the organization.

Founded in 1923, Phi Eta Sigma is both the nation’s oldest and largest honor society for first-year college and university students in all disciplines. Moravian College had long been a member of the organization but withdrew in 2009 due to lack of interest. With its Strategic Vision 20/20 Plan and interest in first-year students in mind, the College decided to once again involve itself in the honor society, seeing in it an opportunity to promote academic excellence.

In order to be inducted into the society, students must have had at least a 3.50 GPA during their freshman year and be in the top 20% of their class.

Having left Phi Eta Sigma nearly ten years ago, the College had virtually no documentation of its involvement with the organization, leaving it up to a new generation of leaders to start from scratch. Nevertheless, they are optimistic. Lisa Johnson, a co-advisor for the chapter, said, “We have an amazing group of students who are all poised to do some really great things. I am looking forward to seeing where this journey takes us!”

The chapter is headed by a devoted set of officers and advisors determined to work with all inducted members to rebuild Moravian College’s place in the society. Focused on devising a constitution, involving itself in the community, and promoting academic excellence, the chapter has been hard at work. With the motto, “scholarship, fellowship, achievement,” it hopes to build on its first-year success and make an impact reflective of its academic accomplishments.

Two community service project events will be the focus for every academic year, with smaller activities dispersed throughout. “We hope to provide the opportunity to engage all students in community service and acknowledge their hard work and initiative,” said Johnson.

Because a lot can be learned from the past, it is no surprise that the new chapter of Phi Eta Sigma is looking at its prior involvement to ensure its success this time.

The old chapter did not take its involvement seriously, only demonstrating its membership through an induction ceremony and the signing of a membership book. The lack of organization, engagement, and vision ultimately led to the end of Moravian College’s involvement.

In the new chapter, contributions will be made from all kinds of members, who will look to impact the community.

Like the rich history of Moravian College, Phi Eta Sigma has a history of its own. The new chapter embraces that history, recognizes the faults of its past, and aims to make improvements to guarantee its future success.

While Moravian College’s association with Phi Eta Sigma lasted only for a decade, the re-established chapter does not plan on leaving any time soon. According to co-advisor Dr. Kevin Hartshorn, there is a lot of excitement with the reintroduction of the chapter.

With the officers and committees already hard at work, the future of the chapter looks promising. “We are confident that this chapter of Phi Eta Sigma has a bright and long future ahead of it it,” Hartshorn said.