Phi Theta Kappa
was established by the presidents of the Missouri junior colleges for women
in 1918. The purpose of Phi Theta Kappa is to recognize and encourage
scholarship among associate degree students. To achieve this purpose, Phi
Theta Kappa provides opportunity for the development of leadership and
service, for an intellectual climate to exchange ideas and ideals, for
lively fellowship for scholars, and for stimulation of interest in
continuing academic excellence.
society began with six charter members under the name of Kappa Phi Omicron
at Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri, in 1910. Beta Chapter of Kappa Phi
Omicron was established at Lindenwood College, St. Charles, Missouri, in
1911. The societies continued until the spring of 1918. By that time,
honorary groups had sprung up in many colleges.
At a meeting
of the presidents of the
junior colleges for women in 1918, it was decided to organize a new honorary
society, chapters of which would have a common character, standard, and
similarity of organization.
the name, the committee was influenced by the fact that the name of the
honorary society for senior colleges is Phi Beta Kappa. Accordingly, the
name Phi Theta Kappa was chosen, and the Society was incorporated in
Missouri as a national organization.
years following 1918 saw an official seal chosen, a charter drafted, song
composed, and official pin representative of the Society adopted.
first six years, Phi Theta Kappa confined its activity to women’s junior
colleges, but in 1924 through constitutional amendment the field of activity
was enlarged to cover all junior colleges. In 1925, Iota chapter at
Synodical College, Fulton, Missouri, was added, and 1926 marked a further
expansion with the addition of Kappa, Lambda, and Mu Chapters. These were
the first coeducational colleges granted a charter, and Mu Chapter, at
was the first organized outside the state of Missouri.
By 1928, Phi
Theta Kappa had grown to fourteen chapters in six states. In that year a
petition was drawn up by the Phi Theta Kappa Grand Council to be submitted
to the American Association of Junior Colleges, asking that Phi Theta Kappa
be recognized as the national honor society for junior colleges. The AAJC
appointed a permanent standing committee on honor scholarship societies.
This committee recommended that because of Phi Theta Kappa's relatively
large membership, all honor scholarship societies then forming in
institutions which were members of the AAJC should apply for a charter of
Phi Theta Kappa.
recognition was given to Phi Theta Kappa in 1929 by the American Association
of Junior Colleges at the annual meeting of the Association November 18 and