Saint Mary's College Invited To Join The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi

Phi Kappa Phi logoSaint Mary’s College has been invited to join The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society. The Phi Kappa Phi chapter at Saint Mary’s, which will be the society’s 340th chapter, will be installed at a 5 p.m. ceremony on Wednesday, January 25, 2017, in the College’s Soda Center.

"The invitation to join Phi Kappa Phi is an important acknowledgement from one of the nation's most distinguished honor societies," said Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Bethami Dobkin. “The society’s 120-year history of promoting academic excellence in higher education and recognizing students who have distinguished themselves in study, research, or leadership, resonates profoundly with our liberal arts foundation and Catholic, Lasallian mission. This is yet another wonderful recognition of our educational excellence that comes with increased opportunities for our talented students.”

The society was founded in 1897 to recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others. 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.

Society benefits include access to academic and career resources to assist members throughout their collegiate and professional lives. Phi Kappa Phi awards $1.4 million every two years to qualifying students and members through graduate fellowships, undergraduate study abroad grants, member and chapter awards and grants for local and national literacy initiatives.

“Phi Kappa Phi is pleased to welcome Saint Mary’s College of California to its growing community of scholars,” said Society Executive Director Mary Todd. “Saint Mary’s commitment to providing a transformative student experience that is both challenging and inclusive reflects the College’s longstanding culture of excellence.”

Officers elected by the chartering group to serve the newly installed chapter include Saint Mary’s Associate Librarian Brother Richard Lemberg (president), Mathematics Professor James Sauerberg (president-elect), Psychology Professor Emily Hause (secretary), Spanish Professor and Honors Program Director David Bird (treasurer) and Dean of Admissions Michael McKeon (public relations officer). 

The installation of the Saint Mary’s chapter is the result of 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. For more information about Phi Kappa Phi, visit


Michael McAlpin
Asst. Vice Provost / Director of Media Relations
Office of College Communications
925-631-4222 office
925-878-9535 cell

About SMC
The Saint Mary's College of California experience inspires learning that lasts a lifetime. For more than 150 years, the College has provided students with a rigorous education that engages their intellect and spirit, and awakens a desire to transform society. Guided by the Christian Brothers, the Catholic Church's oldest order dedicated exclusively to teaching, the College enrolls more than 4,200 students in undergraduate and graduate liberal arts and business programs. For more information visit Saint Mary's College at and just 23 miles east of San Francisco.