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Caldwell, N.J. – April 15, 2016 – It was a joyful celebration as The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi installed its 335th chapter at Caldwell University on Wednesday, April 13.

Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to bring Phi Kappa Phi to Caldwell,” said the university President Nancy Blattner who had set her sights on achieving this goal since she came to Caldwell in 2009. Phi Kappa Phi is a distinctive honor society and for members being inducted it should be “a pinnacle of their higher education experience” whether they are undergraduates, master’s or doctoral students, she said.

Society Executive Director Dr. Mary Todd conducted the installation of the chapter and the chapter officers. “Phi Kappa Phi is pleased to welcome Caldwell University to our growing community of scholars,” said Society Executive Director Dr. Mary 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.”

Faculty and staff who were elected officers by the chartering group to serve the newly installed chapter, include Dr. William Velhagen Jr., Ph.D. as president; Lynne Alleger as president-elect; Maria Miceli as treasurer; Professor Rachel Carey as secretary, and Dr. Francine Del Vecchio, Ed.D. as public relations officer.

The faculty and staff members who were installed as charter members in addition to the officers are: Nancy Becker, Ed.D, Megan Bratkovich, Robin Davenport, Rebecca Driscoll, Samuel Miller and Benjamin Lammers, Ph.D.

Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Barbara Chesler and Board Member Dr. Linda Luciano were inducted into the inaugural class.

Velhagen said they were proud that each person has chosen to become part of “a century-old community of scholars and professionals that includes individuals who have distinguished themselves in positions of leadership and whose careers have been characterized by achievement.”

The Society’s motto is “ Let the love of learning rule humanity.” Micelli explained the symbolism of the motto and the organization’s badge.

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 of excellence and an expressed commitment to upholding the values of the Society.

Faculty, staff and students will be inducted at the first initiation ceremony on Tuesday May 3.

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