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Academic Honor Societies

Academic work of superior quality is recognized by the College through membership in the following national academic honor societies:

Phi Beta Kappa
Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most prestigious of academic honor societies. It was founded at William & Mary in 1776, and few American colleges and universities have a chapter. The Delta Chapter of Virginia was installed in 1917; its charter, obtained in 1916, was the first to be granted by Phi Beta Kappa to an independent college for women in the South. Each year certain members of the senior class are elected to membership in the society in recognition of their high achievements in scholarship and maintenance of a balanced program of study in the liberal arts.

Alpha Kappa Delta
The Pi Chapter of Virginia of Alpha Kappa Delta, an international sociology honor society, promotes interest in sociology and social problems. Its membership is composed of juniors and seniors who have demonstrated serious interest in sociology and high academic achievement.

Alpha Sigma Lambda
The Lambda Phi Chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda was established in October 1997. This national honor society for students in continuing higher education honors those dedicated adult students who, while ably handling their responsibilities at home and at work, achieve and maintain academic excellence. Each year membership is awarded to Prime Time students on the basis of their scholastic achievements.

Chi Alpha Sigma
This chapter of the National College Athlete Honor Society was established in March 2006 and honors those student-athletes who have earned a varsity letter while maintaining a 3.4 or better QPR throughout their junior and senior years. The society also serves to foster citizenship, moral character, and friendship among academic achievers in college athletics.

Eta Sigma Phi
The Delta Alpha Chapter of Eta Sigma Phi was established in April 1961. This society encourages classical scholarship and appreciation of ancient learning. Each year students in advanced Latin and Greek courses are elected to membership on the basis of excellence of scholarship.

Iota Sigma Pi
A national chemistry honor society for women, the Lanthanum chapter (for Lynchburg Area) of Iota Sigma Pi was established in 1998. Founded in 1902, the objectives of the society are to promote interest in chemistry among women students, to foster mutual advancement in academic, business, and social life, and to stimulate personal accomplishment in chemical fields. The local chapter was founded by faculty at Lynchburg College, Sweet Briar College, and Randolph College, and serves to foster scientific and social interaction between the three colleges.

Lambda Pi Eta
The Omicron Omega Chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, the communication studies honor society of the National Communication Association, was established in April 2005. The society seeks to recognize outstanding scholarship in the area of communication studies, stimulate interest in communications fields, and promote professional development for majors. This society represents what Aristotle described as the three ingredients of persuasion: character, credibility, and ethics.

Omicron Delta Epsilon
The Phi Chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon, the international honor society in economics, was established in the spring of 1998. Omicron Delta Epsilon has among its objectives the recognition of scholastic attainment, the honoring of outstanding achievements in economics, and the establishment of closer ties between students and faculty in economics. Membership is awarded to undergraduates who have a genuine interest in economics and who have attained an outstanding performance level, not only in their economics courses, but also cumulatively in all courses.

Omicron Delta Kappa
Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), a national leadership honor society, was established in the spring of 1989. ODK was founded upon the idea that leadership of exceptional quality and versatility should be recognized. The society recognizes and encourages achievement in scholarship; athletics; social service, religious activities and campus government; journalism, speech, and mass media; and the creative and performing arts. Membership is awarded to juniors and seniors and to members of the faculty and administration.

Phi Alpha Theta
The Alpha Kappa Alpha Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national honor society in history, was established in the fall of 2001. Founded in 1921, Phi Alpha Theta seeks to promote the study of history through recognition of academic excellence, encouragement of scholarly research and good teaching, and facilitation of the exchange of ideas among students and faculty. Membership is not limited to history majors, but is open to anyone who has demonstrated serious interest in history and has met the societies’ standards of academic achievement.

Pi Delta Phi
A chapter of Pi Delta Phi, the national French honor society, was established in spring of 2002. The purpose of the society is to recognize outstanding scholarship in the French language and its literatures, to increase the knowledge and appreciation of Americans for the cultural contributions of the French-speaking world, and to stimulate and encourage French and francophone cultural activities. Pi Delta Phi was founded in 1906. Students will be nominated in recognition of their academic achievement in at least one semester of upper division French.

Pi Sigma Alpha
The Alpha Gamma Eta Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society, was established in April 2005. Founded in 1920, Pi Sigma Alpha seeks to stimulate scholarship and intelligent interest in political science and to create an enriching environment by raising critical issues of public concern. Membership is not limited to political science majors but to any juniors and seniors who meet the standards of academic achievement set by the society.

Psi Chi
A Chapter of Psi Chi, the national honor society in psychology, was chartered in April 1993. Founded in 1929 for the purposes of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship and advancing the science of psychology, Psi Chi is open to graduates and undergraduates who are making the study of psychology one of their major interests. Psi Chi is an affiliate of the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society.

Sigma Delta Pi
Chapter Web Site
Chi Beta, a chapter of the national Spanish honor society Sigma Delta Pi, was installed September 29, 2005. Sigma Delta Pi seeks to deepen understanding of the Hispanic world, to foster an appreciation for Hispanic culture, and to recognize high student achievement in advanced Spanish courses. Membership is not limited to Spanish majors. As part of its mission of greater understanding of Hispanic culture, Sigma Delta Pi offers travel scholarships to countries where Spanish is the primary language. Any student member may apply for these competitive awards.

Sigma Pi Sigma
A chapter of Sigma Pi Sigma, the national honor society in physics, was established in 1999. Sigma Pi Sigma is an honor society which operates within the Society of Physics Students. Sigma Pi Sigma nurtures a spirit of professional community among its members. Students elected to membership must attain high standards of general scholarship and outstanding achievement in physics. Membership is not limited to physics majors, but is open to anyone who has met the standards and who has demonstrated an interest in physics.

Sigma Tau Delta
A chapter of Sigma Tau Delta was established in 2006. Sigma Tau Delta, was founded in 1924 to recognize academic distinction among undergraduate students of English language and literature. Membership entails enrichment opportunities, including eligibility to submit creative work and literary criticism for publication in the Society’s journals.

Sigma Xi
Sigma Xi was founded in 1886 to honor excellence in scientific investigation and encourage a sense of companionship and cooperation among researchers in fields of science and engineering. Faculty members of Sigma Xi can nominate graduating seniors who are going on to do research, and who have met the academic standards.

Theta Alpha Kappa
The Alpha Theta Omega chapter of Theta Alpha Kappa was established in November 2007. The society cultivates scholarship in religious studies through various media, including its journal and awards. Seniors of quality and high attainment in religious studies and of general academic excellence are eligible.