Established in 1897, the Honorary Society of Phi Kappa Phi was founded to honor academic achievement through offering membership in the Society to the top ten high percent of a college senior class. Organized at the University of Maine, Phi Kappa Phi was envisioned to be a national organization with no specific affiliation to any one academic field or discipline and had grown steadily to encompass 275 chapters in the U. S. and the Philippines by 1996.
The OSU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi was established in 1924 and was the 35th chapter to be chartered. Prior to the establishment of Phi Kappa Phi, a local honorary organization, the Forum Society, operated at OSU from 1914 to 1924. Many of the members of the Forum Society were initiated into Phi Kappa Phi when the earlier club dissolved in 1924. With its primary focus as an honorary society, the OSU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi has over the years organized a number of annual initiation ceremonies and honorary accolades. From 1936 to 1975, the chapter held two annual ceremonies, one in the Fall and one in Spring, to induct new members. Candidates for initiation were usually selected and invited to an earlier ceremony, the Junior Honors Accolade, to consider membership in Phi Kappa Phi. Any returning student in their junior year with a 3.25 GPA or above was invited to the Junior Honors Accolade. A ceremony honoring freshman academic achievement was also held annually for several years. Among the traditions associated with initiation include picnics held at Tunison Park, a 7.5 acre parcel of timbered land near Avery Park that the chapter agreed in 1960 to lease to the City of Corvallis for park development.
In addition to initiation activities, the OSU Chapter has played a prominent role in organizing forum discussions and sponsoring lectures on campus such as the Biology Colloquia series. Administratively, the OSU Chapter was influential in the establishment of resident student counselors in campus living groups. In 1965, the OSU Chapter hosted Phi Kappa Phi's 25th National Convention. As of 1982, 9,055 students, faculty, and alumni had been invited to pursue membership in the OSU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi.
These records were generated by the OSU Chapter of the Honorary Society of Phi Kappa Phi and document the origins and development of the group, the yearly process of the selection of pledges and members, sponsorship of the Biology Colloquium lecture series, and the awarding of fellowships and scholarships by the chapter. Materials pertaining to the Forum Honor Society, a local honor society which preceded the establishment of Phi Kappa Phi at Oregon State, can also be found in this collection. Given differences in the seriesdesignations between the paper and microfilm records in this collection, the microfilm reels are described separately below and in the inventory. The paper records are organized into 10 series: I. Membership; II. Correspondence; III. Minutes; IV. Committees; V. Administrative; VI. Newspaper Clippings; VII. Brochures/Flyers; VIII. Book; IX. Photographs; and X. Scrapbook.
Series I consists of records relating to chapter membership and includes lists of active members and prospective student and faculty candidates for membership, samples of membership registration cards, sign-in sheets for chapter events, correspondence and minutes relating to the annual initiation ceremonies, and brochures of the initiation and awards ceremonies. Primarily consisting of correspondence, series II documents interaction between the chapter and the national office, members, and prospective pledges. Included in this series are circular/form letters to members and pledges concerning initiation ceremonies, lectures, and officer elections. Among the subjects addressed in the correspondence are the Biology Colloquium, national conventions, junior honor societies in high schools, the Phi Kappa Phi song, Tunison Park, the 65th anniversary of the chapter, petitions for new chapters, and letters of support regarding the establishment of the OSU chapter.
The minutes in series III are from annual, business, and executive committee meetings of the chapter. The committee records primarily contain correspondence and reports generated by committees involved in chapter administration and activities, including the evaluation of fellowship/scholarship applicants, chapter investments, student candidates for initiation, lecture presentation, and the nomination of officers.
Series V consists of reports, manuals, pamphlets, and correspondence relating to the chapter's budget, administrative procedures, and ceremonial structure. Included among the items in this series are: the OSU chapter charter, annual chapter reports, constitutions and bylaws, initiation ritual guidelines, budget reports, reports from the national office, procedural handbooks, and materials pertaining to the Forum Honor Society.
The newspaper clippings, cut from the Barometer and the Corvallis Gazette-Times pertain to the chapter's annual initiation ceremonies, chapter officers and members, the Biology Colloquium and other lectures sponsored by Phi Kappa Phi. The brochures and flyers contain general information about the history and structure of the OSU chapter as well as lectures and other events sponsored by the chapter. Copies of the Phi Kappa Phi newsletter for the chapter and national organization can also be found in this series. Series VIII is a book, In Pursuit of Excellence: The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi: 1897-1971, by Edward Shriver.
The photographs depict the 1986 national Phi Kappa Phi convention and J. Kenneth Munford, past President of the OSU Chapter, receiving a plaque for his service to Phi Kappa Phi as national President (1968-1971). Munford is also pictured in the photos of the convention receiving honors from OSU chapter president Susan Stafford. The scrapbook contains various materials covering the years 1924 to 1951 and includes newspaper clippings, photographs, the petition creating the chapter, Honor Convocation programs, and a flyer with the Phi Kappa Phi song. There is also a newspaper clipping from the Barometer on the establishment of the Forum Honor Society in 1914. There are two series in the microfilm records: I. General Subject File and II. Yearly Records. Both series contain administrative handbooks and brochures, correspondence, lists of potential student and faculty initiates, reports, minutes, and newspaper clippings pertaining to the annual awards and initiation ceremonies, the Biology Colloquium and other lectures sponsored by the chapter, national Phi Kappa Phi conventions, and candidates for scholarship and fellowship awards.
Restrictions on Access :
Series IV contains samples of scholarship/fellowship applications with confidential student information. These materials are subject to review by OSU Archives Staff prior to researcher access.Preferred Citation :
Phi Kappa Phi -OSU Chapter Records, Oregon State University Archives, Corvallis, Oregon.
Given differences in the series designamtions between the paper and microfilm records ni this collection, the microfilm reels are described separately.
The paper records are organized into 10 series: I. Membership; II. Correspondence; III. Minutes; IV. Committees; V. Administrative; VI. Newspaper Clippings; VII. Brochures/Flyers; VIII. Book; IX. Photographs; and X. Scrapbook.
There are two series in the microfilm reocrds: I. General Subject File and II. Yearly Records. Series I is organized by topic, while Series II is arranged in chronological order.
Processing Note :
These records were previously designated as Record Group 165, and were transferred to the Manuscript Collection in June 2000.Related Materials :
In addition to the records of Phi Kappa Phi, the Archives has materials from other honorary societies with chapters at OSU, including Epsilon Pi Tau (Industrial Arts and Vocational Education), Omicron Nu (Home Economics), Sigma Xi (Science), and Xi Sigma Pi (Forestry). The papers of several former Phi Kappa Phi OSU Chapter Presidents can also be found in the Archives: Willibald Weniger, Edwin T. Reed, E. B. Lemon, Francois Archibald Gilfillan, and J. Kenneth Munford.
The papers of J. Kenneth Munford, former chapter president and president of the national office (1968-1971) contain a more extensive set of Phi Kappa Phi newsletters and other OSU chapter materials.
Detailed Description of the Collection