Phi Eta Sigma: A Look into Moravian’s Chapter of the Nation’s Oldest Honor Society


Natalie Stabilito and Nadia Belverio, Class of ‘22, volunteering at card making for students in quarantine at the HUB Kiosk. Photo courtesy of Mikayla Dennis.

Phi Eta Sigma is a National Honors Society which offers membership to freshmen students who demonstrate excellence in their first semester by achieving either a 3.5 GPA or the top 20% of their class.

The society recognizes students for their scholastic achievements, encourages campus involvement and working together in service, and provides students with scholarship opportunities on a national level.

Phi Eta Sigma is the nation’s oldest and largest honor society for first-year students, but Moravian College withdrew its membership in 2009 due to lack of interest. However, they renewed their chapter in February of 2018 with a plan to better promote academic excellence.

Since its reinstatement, Moravian’s chapter of Phi Eta Sigma has hosted induction ceremonies for new members, service events like card making and creating memory books, and has encouraged attendance at campus events. 

Attendance at these events often counts as a point toward members’ academic honor chords, which are distributed at graduation. Each member is required to collect eighteen points by attending these service and campus events by their graduation date in order to receive their chords. In addition to attending, members are also required to create a 1-2 minute FlipGrid video to submit to the advisors and members of the board as proof of their attendance at said event.

Although COVID has globally restricted “normal” ways of hosting or participating in events, Moravian has adjusted to this well by continuing to host guest speakers and various activities via Zoom. 

“I didn’t know what would happen when COVID hit,” said Mikayla Dennis, the current vice president of the Moravian chapter. “But the pandemic has allowed us the opportunity to reach more students by being more accessible online, which has made us aware of our lack of presence on social media.”

Since the start of the 2020-2021 school year, board members of Phi Eta Sigma have consistently sent out emails regarding events that count toward points, but lacked a commutative presence on social media. In attempts to change this, board members strongly encouraged existing members of the society to apply for the Correspondent/Social Media position for the upcoming school year. Responsibilities of this position include creating graphics, taking pictures during events, and creating a more interactive presence on social platforms.

Moravian welcomed 32 new members into its 340th chapter of Phi Eta Sigma on Sunday, March 14th. 

“I am a new member of Phi Eta Sigma,” said Sarah Brodine, Class of ‘24. “I joined in hopes of expanding my social group and meeting like minded academically inclined students.I recently participated in making cards for the students on campus that have been quarantined. I value being a member because Phi Eta Sigma offers many opportunities to participate in and promotes staying on top of schoolwork.”

The board members of Phi Eta Sigma as well as its advisors, assistant professor of biology Dr. Natasha Woods and Kim Demyan, assistant director of Reeves Library, have turned this society around in such a positive light in taking these strides to create a greater presence both on campus and on social media, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“When I became the Vice President of the newly chartered Phi Eta Sigma Chapter my freshman year, I had no idea the journey that was in store,” said Chrissy Anselmo, Class of ‘21. “Through PES I have been able to get first-hand experience building an organization, working with many students and faculty, and I even got to represent Moravian at the national level in Washington, DC, in 2018. I am so proud of the strides PES has made on campus. I wish the organization many more successful years to come!”