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Caldwell, N.J., May 4, 2016 – Caldwell University held its inaugural Phi Kappa Phi induction ceremony on May 3.

Fifty students, faculty, staff and alumni were welcomed into the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society.

Caldwell University President Nancy Blattner said PKP’s motto of ‘“Let the Love of Learning Rule Humanity’ so beautifully complements” Caldwell University’s emphasis on lifelong learning and the pursuit of truth as graduates are called to contribute to a more just society.

The mission of PKP, with its emphasis on academic excellence in all fields and the encouragement of service to others, resonated with her. “Truly the values of PKP and Caldwell University are clearly well matched.”

The first class of initiates at Caldwell “holds a special place” in her heart, she said, recalling her history with PKP, first as a doctoral student, continuing as a charter member, and then as an administrator who started a chapter at her previous institution and now at Caldwell University.

Associate Professor of Biology William Velhagen Jr., Ph.D., president of Caldwell University’s chapter, told the initiates, “We are pleased and proud that each has chosen to become part of a century-old community of scholars and professionals that includes men and women who have distinguished themselves in positions of leadership, and whose careers have been characterized by achievement.”

The installation of the Caldwell chapter comes after a thorough chartering process and approval from the society’s board of directors. To be eligible, an institution must be a regionally accredited four-year college or university with an established reputation for excellence and an expressed commitment to upholding the values of the society.

The university was inducted as a chapter on April 13 at an event on campus attended by the Phi Kappa Phi Society Executive Director Dr. Mary Todd.

“Phi Kappa Phi is pleased to welcome Caldwell University to our growing community of scholars,” said Dr. Todd. “Caldwell’s commitment to excellence is evident in the transformative changes of the past few years and in its determined focus on collaborative learning and community partnerships.”

On April 26, the National Executive Board of Phi Kappa Phi awarded Dr. Blattner Distinguished Membership status in recognition of her extensive service to and unwavering support of the honor society. The university celebrated that honor at the May 3rd ceremony.

Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1897 under the leadership of Marcus L. Urann, who had a desire to create a different kind of honor society—one that recognized excellence in all academic disciplines. Today, the Society has chapters on more than 300 campuses in the United States and the Philippines and inducts more than 30,000 new members each year. Membership is by invitation only to the top 7.5 percent of juniors and the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students along with faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction.

More about Phi Kappa Phi

The Society’s mission is “to recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others.” Since its founding, more than 1.25 million members have been initiated. Some of the organization’s more notable members include former President Jimmy Carter, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, novelist David Baldacci and YouTube cofounder Chad Hurley. The society has awarded approximately $15 million since the inception of its awards program in 1932. Today, more than $1 million is awarded each biennium to qualifying students and members through graduate fellowships, undergraduate study- abroad grants, member and chapter awards and grants for local and national literacy initiatives. For more information about Phi Kappa Phi, visit