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Phi Kappa Phi records

 Record Group
Identifier: UA-12.2.12

Scope and Content

Included in the collection are correspondence, and membership information, such as membership, initiate, and officer lists. The bulk of this material is from the 1960s and 1970s. Records from national (1968-1980), and regional (1969-1979) conventions, symposia sponsored by Phi Kappa Phi (1970s), and national and regional publications are included in the collection. Programs, ceremony guides, and seating information for the annual Phi Kappa Phi Banquet and Initiation (1927-1995), as well as election and financial information are also contained in the collection. The administrative duties of Phi Kappa Phi are represented, including meeting minutes (1955-1980), meeting agendas (1950s-1970s, undated), committee assignments and descriptions (1950s-1980s, undated), constitution and bylaws (1961-1981, undated), and conference notes (1968-1981, undated). The remainder of the collection consists of research for, and copies of the book The History of the Honor Society Phi Kappa Phi Chapter 041: Michigan State University 1927-1982. As its name implies, the book is a history of the Michigan State chapter of the society with lists of its members from 1927 to 1982.

The Electronic Resources include correspondence in the form of e-mail memos, and attachments.


  • Creation: 1927 - 2016
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1930 - 1979


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Historical Note

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1897 at the University of Maine at Orono, originally called the Lambda Sigma Eta Society. About a year later, the name was changed to the Morrill Society, in honor of Justin Morrill, the man who sponsored the Congressional Act which provided for land grant colleges. In 1900, it became a national society with charter chapters at the University of Maine, at Orono, the University of Tennessee, and Pennsylvania State College (now Pennsylvania State University). The society again changed its name, this time to Phi Kappa Phi, the first letters of the words of the motto: Philosphia Kratei Photon (Let the love of learning rule mankind.) Chapter 041 was installed at Michigan State in 1924. Although the administrators were not enthusiastic about fraternities and other institutions which emphasized social elitism, the climate was fast becoming right for the establishment of a scholastic honorary on campus. Many of the educators who came to Michigan State were already members of Phi Kappa Phi, and felt that there should be a chapter on campus. As a result of this interest, a chapter was finally formed here in 1927. The Michigan State University Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi has been very active in the promotion of academic excellence, both at the university and in the academic community at large. To help promote this ideal, the society has participated in service projects in each of these spheres. The projects include the installation of a display case in the lobby of the main library which lists the honorary societies at Michigan State University, and the sponsorship of a symposium, "Energy and Life," to which the general public was invited. Phi Kappa Phi is composed of juniors and seniors with exceptionally high grade point averages. Faculty members can also be elected by their peers. Each year, the society holds a banquet, at which the new members are initiated and several freshman and sophomores are honored for academic excellence. Phi Kappa Phi also distinguishes members of the community at large with honorary memberships or special citations. The society also sponsors fellowship awards for graduate students. Publications include a newsletter, on both a national and local scale, and a journal published by the national office.


3 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



Organized into 14 series: 1. Membership; 2. Correspondence; 3. Convention Records; 4. Banquet/Initiation Information; 5. Awards; 6. Symposia; 7. Elections; 8. Financial Information; 9. Publications; 10. Publicity; 11. Meeting Information; 12. History of Phi Kappa Phi; 13. Oversized - Drawer; 14. Electronic Resources.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University.

Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Phi Kappa Phi Records
4 Published And Cataloged
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US