BATON ROUGE, LA -- Alexandra Burns and Jane Lestarchick of Scotch Plains were recently initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines, at The College of New Jersey. They are among approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni to be initiated into Phi Kappa Phi each year.

Membership is by invitation only and requires nomination and approval by a chapter. Only the top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors are eligible for membership. Graduate students in the top 10 percent of the number of candidates for graduate degrees may also qualify, as do faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction.

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 U.S. and the Philippines. Its 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."

Sign Up for E-News

Since its founding, 1.5 million members have been initiated into Phi Kappa Phi. Some of the honor society's notable members include former President Jimmy Carter, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, novelist John Grisham and YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley. Each biennium, Phi Kappa Phi awards $1.4 million to qualifying students and members through graduate fellowships, undergraduate study abroad grants, member and chapter awards, and grants for local, national and international literacy initiatives.

For more information about Phi Kappa Phi, visit www.phikappaphi.org.