History

Phi Theta Kappa traces its beginnings to a Society that originated with six charter members under the name of Kappa Phi Omicron at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, in 1910. The Society continued to grow and in the spring of 1918 was one of many honorary groups in Missouri. At a meeting of the presidents of the Missouri junior colleges for women in 1918, it was decided to organize a new honorary society, chapters of which would have a common character, stand and similarity of organization. The name Phi Theta Kappa was chosen, and the Society was incorporated in Missouri as a national organization. Founders modeled many aspects of the new Society after the prestigious senior college honorary society, Phi Beta Kappa.

The eight charter colleges of Phi Theta Kappa were Hardin, Stephens, Christian, Lindenwood, Cottey, Howard Payne, William Woods and Central. The Alpha Chapter was established at Hardin College but was later moved to Stephens College when Hardin College became a baccalaureate granting institution. Today, Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri, is the only charter college with an active Phi Theta Kappa chapter.

For the 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 1926, Phi Theta Kappa expanded beyond the borders of Missouri and into coeducational institutions. The American Association of Junior Colleges (now know as the American Association of Community Colleges or AACC) recognized Phi Theta Kappa as the official honor society for two-year colleges in 1929.

In 1930, Margaret James (Mosal) became the first elected national president of Phi Theta Kappa while attending Whitworth College in Brookhaven, Mississippi. She became national secretary in 1935 and moved the records of the organization to her hometown of Canton. Mosal served as Phi Theta Kappa's chief executive for 50 years, retiring as Executive Director in 1985.

In the early years, Phi Theta Kappa membership was conferred to students at time of graduation and few programs and services were offered. The explosive growth of community colleges in the 1960s led Phi Theta Kappa to expand its mission to reflect the nurturing philosophy of the institutions it served. Students were inducted as freshmen and study programs were offered.

Follow Phi Theta Kappa's growth over the years in the timeline that follows highlighting the Society's milestones.

1918

  • Phi Theta Kappa is founded by presidents of eight Missouri junior colleges for women, who seek to establish an academic honor society with a common purpose and organization. Of the eight original chapters, Epsilon Chapter at Cottey College remains active today.

 

1919

  • The first Phi Theta Kappa Convention is held at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri.

 

The first Phi Theta Kappa pin1921

  • The first Phi Theta Kappa membership pin is designed. A replica of the original pin is now presented to each International Officer upon completion of his/her term in office.

 

1923

  • The Phi Theta Kappa song, submitted by Epsilon Chapter, adopted. Epsilon Chapter at Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri, proposed the adoption of an official song, beginning with "Give Us Wisdom…" The song was adopted and remains the official song.

 

1924

  • The Phi Theta Kappa Constitution is amended to provide for chartering of chapters at coeducational and all-male schools.
  • The Phi Theta Kappa seal is adopted.

 

1926

  • Kappa Chapter is chartered at St. Joseph Junior College, St. Joseph, Missouri, and is the first chapter at a coeducational school.
  • Mu Chapter is chartered at Northeast Junior College in Miami, Oklahoma, and is the first chapter located outside the state of Missouri.

 

1927

  • A uniform "ritual," for use in inductions, is adapted based on examinations of various methods used by chapters.
     

1928

  • The Grand Council of Phi Theta Kappa prepares a petition to the American Association of Junior Colleges (now known as the American Association of Community Colleges or AACC), asking to be recognized as the official honor society for junior colleges.
  • The chapters holding office were asked to send two bulletins each year to member chapters, to foster a closer relationship between the chapters.

 

1929

  • At the annual meeting held November 18-19 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the American Association of Junior Colleges (now known as the American Association of Community Colleges or AACC) officially recognizes Phi Theta Kappa as the national honor society for junior colleges.  November 19 is now recognized annually as Phi Theta Kappa Founders Day.
  • Ruth Barnard, Eta Chapter, William Woods College in Missouri, is appointed as the first National President of Phi Theta Kappa.

 

The Phi Theta Kappa Golden Key1930

  • Margaret James (Mosal), Upsilon Chapter, Whitworth College, Mississippi, becomes the first elected National President of Phi Theta Kappa.
  • The Phi Theta Kappa Golden Key membership pin is adopted and remains in use today. The Key is a golden slab, keyed at the top and bottom. Across the center of the slab is a black enamel band upon which three Greek letters appear, which are the initials of three mystic Greek words meaning phronimon (Phi), thumos (Theta), katharotes (Kappa) and meaning wisdom, aspiration and purity. Behind the band is a wreath, on one side composed of oak leaves, and on the other, of laurel. The wreath of oak leaves denotes stability and strength of character, and the curling leaves of laurel signify achievement and success. Above the band is a representation of the head of Athena, symbol of learning; in the base appear the Greek letters forming the word meaning light, the light of learning and knowledge (φῶς, phi, omega and sigma).
  • A membership certificate is approved.
  • A Coat of Arms, now known as the Crest, is approved.

 

1931

  • References to secrecy are removed from the installation and initiation rituals and symbols.

 

1932

  • John Hill, Mu Chapter, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, is the first male to be elected National President.

 

1934

  • National Officers are asked to formulate a system of awards for chapters.
     

 

1935

  • Dr. Margaret James Mosal, the first elected National President, is elected National Secretary (a position she would hold until being named Executive Director in 1967). She moves the National Office from Missouri to her home in Canton, Mississippi. The Society Headquarters remains in Mississippi today.

 

1937

  • Publication of a regular journal is approved.

 

1939

  • The Golden Key of Phi Theta Kappa becomes the first national publication. Harry Howland, an alumnus from Little Rock Junior College in Arkansas, becomes the editor and will serve as editor until his death in 1965. The first issue contained information on the National Study Program. The 80 chapters were challenged to each compile a book of information concerning the political, social and cultural history of their respective states. Books were displayed at the National Convention.

 

1943 - 1945

  • No National Conventions are convened for three years due to restrictions placed on travel by the U.S. Office of Defense Transportation during World War II. Instead, the National Officers (then known as the Grand Council) meet to carry out Society business.
  • National Study Program

 

1954

  • Awards are presented to chapters for the first time at the 1954 National Convention in Little Rock, Arkansas.

 

1956

  • Dr. Margaret Mosal's title is changed to Executive Secretary-Treasurer, which becomes the Society's first full-time position.
  • Phi Theta Kappa honors college presidents with a breakfast held during the annual Convention of the American Association of Junior Colleges, now the American Association of Community Colleges.

 

1964

  • Phi Theta Kappa establishes first National Office building in Canton, Mississippi.

 

1967

  • First Board of Directors named.
  • Former National President Eugene Cooke (now a retired judge and a Distinguished Alumnus) is the first Chair of the Board.
  • Dr. Mosal's title becomes Executive Director

 

1968

  • To celebrate Phi Theta Kappa's 50th anniversary, the first Honors Institute is held at Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts. The Honors Theme, first known as the National Study Program, and the forerunner of the Honors Study Topic, is "Our Cultural Heritage, 1800 – 1860."

 

1969

  • The Society establishes Regional organizations and names first Regional Advisors, now known as Regional Coordinators.

     

1970

  • The first Distinguished Alumnus Awards are presented to Apollo XIII astronaut Fred Haise and to The Honorable Howard Pollock, Alaska's first United States Congressman.

 

1974

  • Rod A. Risley, Mu Omicron Chapter, San Jacinto College in Texas, is elected 1974-1975 National President.
     

 

1975

  • The first transfer scholarship specifically for Phi Theta Kappa members is established by Dr. Jack Guistwhite, an administrator at Florida Atlantic University. Currently approximately 735 colleges and universities across the United States, in Canada and Great Britain offer $37 million in transfer scholarships for Phi Theta Kappa members.

 

1976

  • The first university-based alumni chapter, Alpha of Texas, is established at the University of Texas.

 

1977

  • Former National President Rod A. Risley joins the Phi Theta Kappa Headquarters staff as Director of Alumni Affairs.
  • Phi Theta Kappa establishes the Society's second Headquarters building in Canton, Mississippi.
  • The first community-based alumni association, Alpha of Illinois, is chartered at Wilbur Wright Community College in Chicago.

 

1984

  • The Support Project for the Restoration of the Statue of Liberty becomes Phi Theta Kappa's first Service Program.
  • The Mosal Award is established to recognize and encourage scholarship among Phi Theta Kappa advisors. The award is named in honor of longtime Phi Theta Kappa Executive Director, Dr. Margaret Mosal.
     

1985

  • Rod A. Risley is elected by the Board of Directors as Phi Theta Kappa's second Executive Director. Dr. Mosal is named Executive Director Emeritus upon her retirement. Dr. Mosal becomes the first woman to receive the National Leadership Award presented by the American Association of Community Colleges.

 

1986

  • Phi Theta Kappa National Headquarters gets its first computers and an expanded staff.
  • The Five Star Chapter Development Plan is unveiled.

 

1987

  • The Phi Theta Kappa bankcard is introduced, with the proceeds to fund scholarship programs.
  • Executive Director Rod A. Risley and members and advisors of Eta Nu, the year's Most Distinguished Chapter, St. Petersburg Junior College, Florida, are received in the Oval Office by President Ronald Reagan.
  • The Orlowski Award for International Officer candidates is established in memory of 1986-87 North Central Vice President Steve Orlowski, Theta Omega Chapter, Wilbur Wright College, Chicago, Illinois,.
  • Alpha Nu Alpha Chapter is chartered at University of Maryland's Mannheim, Germany, campus, becoming the first chapter chartered outside of the United States.
  • Dr. Margaret Mosal dies July 14 following a lengthy illness.

 

1988

  • Phi Theta Kappa announces plans for a new national headquarters and commissions an architectural firm to submit designs for the facility, to be built in Mississippi's capital, Jackson.
  • Phi Theta Kappa reaches all 50 states with the chartering of Alpha Xi Beta Chapter at Clark County Community College, now known as the College of Southern Nevada.
  • Dr. Shirley Gordon, President of Highline Community College in Washington, becomes the Chair of the Phi Theta Kappa Board of Directors.

 

1989

  • The Distinguished Student Scholar Program, now known as the All-USA Community College Academic Team, is established.
  • Dr. Dale Parnell, President of the American Association of Community Colleges, is elected to the Phi Theta Kappa Board of Directors.
  • The National Awards Program is reorganized to reflect the Society's Hallmarks of Scholarship, Leadership, Service and Fellowship.

 

1990

  • Phi Theta Kappa Headquarters moves to temporary office space in Jackson, Mississippi.
  • Phi Theta Kappa launches the Leadership Development Studies Program, supported by a $1.8 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
  • 3.5 PLUS, forerunner to Visionary magazine, is first published.

 

1991

  • Alpha Tau Delta, the first international chapter, is chartered at Medicine Hat College in Alberta, Canada.
  • The Guistwhite Scholarships for completion of baccalaureate studies, named for longtime supporters Dr. and Mrs. Jack Guistwhite, are established.

 

1992

  • Executive Director Rod A. Risley addresses the Triennial Convention of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the first community college representative ever invited to speak at this event.
  • The first Guistwhite Scholars are selected to receive baccalaureate scholarships of $5,000 each.
  • Dr. David Pierce, who became President of the American Association of Community Colleges following the retirement of Dr. Dale Parnell, is elected to the Phi Theta Kappa Board of Directors.
  • The 25th anniversary Honors Institute is held at the College of the Holy Cross in Pennsylvania.
     

1993

  • Phi Theta Kappa celebrates its 75th anniversary.
  • Phi Theta Kappa inducts its 1 millionth member.

 

1994

  • The Society publishes the first edition of Nota Bene, the first internationally distributed literary honors anthology of two-year college students.
  • The first All-State Academic Team recognition programs are established in Mississippi and Missouri. All-State Team programs are now sponsored in 37 states.

 

1995

  • The National Endowment for the Arts announces a $1.8 million challenge grant to permanently fund the Society's Faculty Scholar Conferences and aid in the construction of Phi Theta Kappa's new headquarters building.
  • The first Board of Directors Alumni Achievement Award is presented to Dr. Olon Ray, Executive Director of the Mississippi State Board for Community and Junior Colleges.

 

1996

  • Executive Director Rod A. Risley is named a Distinguished Alumnus by the American Association of Community Colleges.
  • Friends of the Society endow Honors Institute and Faculty Scholar Conference lectures.
  • A Recognition Program is created to honor milestone years of service for chapter advisors.
  • Groundbreaking ceremonies are held, and construction begins, for the Center for Excellence, Phi Theta Kappa's new Headquarters.
  • Phi Theta Kappa establishes a website.
  • Phi Theta Kappa receives a National Science Foundation grant designed to enhance two-year colleges' science, math, engineering and technology curricula.

 

1997

  • Dedication ceremonies are held for the Center for Excellence, Phi Theta Kappa's International Headquarters in Jackson, Mississippi. Alumna Dr. Jeane Kirkpatrick, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is keynote speaker. Dedication ceremonies are broadcast to chapters via satellite.

 

1998

  • The Golden Key weekly electronic newsletter is launched.
  • International Officers announce the Journey Challenge initiative, calling on chapters to raise awareness of the Society and communicate the benefits of membership to prospective inductees. The program is now known as the Pinnacle Awards.

 

1999

  • The Alpha Project, Phi Theta Kappa's long-range planning initiative, is introduced at the 1999 International Convention in Anaheim.
     

2000

  • The Alpha Project Report is presented at the Convention of the Millennium in Orlando.
  • The Leaders of Promise Scholarships, Phi Theta Kappa's first scholarships to fund associate degree studies, are established, fulfilling an Alpha Project Goal.
  • The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and Coca-Cola Refreshments establish Centennial Scholar awards for the top All-USA Community College Academic Team nominees in each state to commemorate the 100th anniversary of community colleges in 2001. The awards are now known as New Century Scholars.

 

2001

  • In New York, Executive Director Rod A. Risley presents funds raised for 9/11 relief efforts to Dr. Antonio Perez, President of the Borough of Manhattan Community College.
  • The Society's Millennium Membership Directory is published in partnership with Harris Connect.
  • Phi Theta Kappa begins producing and broadcasting the Honors Seminar Series, featuring renowned speakers addressing the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Study Topic.
  • The Alliance for Educational Excellence is formed by Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Theta Kappa and the National Honor Society.

 

2002

  • Executive Director Rod A. Risley is invited to chair one of nine national selection panels interviewing 250 high school students selected as semi-finalists for the Coca Cola Scholars Program.
     

2003

  • Executive Director Rod A. Risley is recognized for providing 25 years of leadership to Phi Theta Kappa, on the anniversary of his joining the staff in 1977.
  • Mosal Award stipends are increased to $5,000.
  • Columbia University in New York establishes transfer scholarships for members, making it the first Ivy League university to offer a Phi Theta Kappa transfer scholarship.
  • Phi Theta Kappa announces increases in the numbers and dollar amounts for the Guistwhite Scholarships and the Leaders of Promise Scholarships.
  • Phi Theta Kappa is recognized as the top collegiate contributor to the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life.
  • USA TODAY receives the first Alliance for Educational Excellence Distinguished Partner Award.
  • Executive Director Rod A. Risley and Board Chairman Dr. Shirley Gordon are the only two-year college representatives invited to participate with national education leaders in discussions based on the 20th anniversary of the landmark report, "A Nation at Risk." Dr. Gordon served on the commission that produced the report.
  • Executive Director Rod A. Risley delivers the keynote address, "Building Leadership," to the Annual Conference of the National Council on Student Development in St. Louis, Missouri.

 

2004

  • The Coca Cola Foundation and Coca Cola Scholars Foundation receive the Alliance for Educational Excellence Distinguished Partner Award.
     

2005

  • Board of Directors Chair Dr. Shirley B. Gordon receives the 2005 American Association of Community College's National Leadership Award in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Phi Theta Kappa Executive Director Rod A. Risley is appointed to the Community College Transfer Initiative Advisory Board, which works with the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation to improve low-income students' access to higher education's selective senior colleges.
  • Phi Theta Kappa launches "Students Helping Students," an initiative to assist with college tuition for community college students affected by Hurricane Katrina.  More than $30,000 was raised and distributed to students in Mississippi and Louisiana to assist in completing associate degrees.
  • Ceremonies at Florida Atlantic University commemorate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the first transfer scholarship by Dr. Jack Guistwhite for Phi Theta Kappa members.
  • The American Association of Community Colleges receives the Alliance for Educational Excellence Distinguished Partner Award.

 

2006

  • Phi Theta Kappa inducts its 2 millionth member.
  • Richmond, the American International University in London, establishes transfer scholarships for members, offering the first international transfer scholarships for members.
  • The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, citing support by Phi Theta Kappa, increases the number of $30,000 scholarships to highly selective senior colleges to 50; 32 recipients are Phi Theta Kappa members.
  • Dr. George Boggs, successor to Dr. David Pierce as President of the American Association of Community Colleges, is elected to Phi Theta Kappa's Board of Directors.
  • The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation receives the Alliance for Educational Excellence Distinguished Partner Award.
  • Phi Theta Kappa chapters are chartered at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College in the British Virgin Islands; and at Palau Community College and the College of the Marshall Islands in the Pacific.
  • PAM, the Personal Assistant Manager for advisors, a web-based management tool bringing all advisor-related applications to one central site, is introduced.

 

2007

  • Executive Director Rod A. Risley is named Chair of the Mississippi Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment of the Humanities.
  • CollegeFish.org, a web-based transfer and educational platform produced by Phi Theta Kappa for all community college students, is introduced at the Annual Convention.
  • Phi Theta Kappa chapters are chartered at Fujairah College in the United Arab Emirates and at the College of Micronesia in the Pacific. Phi Theta Kappa now has a presence in eight sovereign nations: the United States, Canada, Germany, British Virgin Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and the United Arab Emirates.
  • The American Cancer Society receives the Alliance for Educational Excellence Distinguished Partner Award.

 

2008

  • Kip Johnson, former National President, becomes Chair of the Phi Theta Kappa Board of Directors.
  • Phi Theta Kappa holds its 90th Anniversary Annual Convention April 3-5 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. For the first time Phi Theta Kappa and the American Association of Community Colleges host a joint Convention session at the Philadelphia Convention Center.
  • Executive Director Rod A. Risley receives the 2008 American Association of Community Colleges Leadership Award during the Joint General Sessions of AACC and Phi Theta Kappa Annual Conventions.
  • The Hites Family Community College Scholarship Foundation awards Phi Theta Kappa a $1 million challenge grant to establish a scholarship endowment for members transferring to senior institutions for completion of baccalaureate degrees.  
  • Phi Theta Kappa introduces "Honors in Action," integrating the Society's Hallmarks and major programs into one conceptual framework.
  • The Phi Theta Kappa Foundation is established and Dr. Matthew Quinn, President of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, is elected Chair.
  • Phi Theta Kappa Headquarters establishes a Facebook page and a Twitter account.
  • Dr. Shirley B. Gordon, the longest-serving Chairman of Phi Theta Kappa's Board of Directors (1988-2008), dies in Washington.
  • Anthony Sadberry, first African-American student elected a Phi Theta Kappa National Officer (1970), former Vice Chair of Phi Theta Kappa's Board of Directors, and Trustee of Phi Theta Kappa's Foundation, dies in Texas.
  • Executive Director Rod A. Risley announces that the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has established the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team program, which now provides some $300,000 in stipends.
  • Ford Motor Company's College Student Purchase Program receives the Alliance for Educational Excellence Distinguished Partner Award.
  • Executive Director Rod A. Risley is honored for 30 years of service with a portrait on permanent display at the Society's headquarters, The Center for Excellence, in Jackson, Mississippi.

 

2009

  • The late Anthony Sadberry is named 2009 Distinguished Alumnus.
  • Phi Theta Kappa meets the first Hites Scholarship Challenge, to raise $350,000 for an almost 3-1 match to establish a $1 million scholarship endowment. The Hites Foundation issues a second challenge to create another $1 million scholarship endowment.
  • The Hites Foundation receives the Alliance for Educational Excellence Distinguished Partner Award.
  • Phi Theta Kappa partners with AACC, Medical Education Technologies, Inc. and L-3 Communications to sponsor the Frank Lanza Memorial Scholarships for students enrolled in registered nursing, respiratory care or emergency medical services associate degree programs.

 

2010

  • The book The Other Wes Moore, by Phi Theta Kappa alumnus Wes Moore, a Rhodes Scholar and White House Fellow, is a New York Times best-seller, and Moore appears on the Oprah Winfrey Show and numerous other news and talk shows.
  • Executive Director Dr. Rod A. Risley and leaders of five other prestigious higher education associations sign "Democracy's Colleges – Call to Action," pledging to support community college credential completion.
  • Dr. George Boggs, retiring president of AACC, is named an International Honorary Member of Phi Theta Kappa.
  • Dr. Walter Bumphus, incoming president of AACC, is named to the Phi Theta Kappa Board of Directors.
  • Phi Theta Kappa is invited to select community college students and alumni to participate in the first-ever White House Community College Summit. Seven Phi Theta Kappa members are chosen for various responsibilities.
  • During the White House Summit, Undersecretary for the Department of Education Dr. Martha Kanter cites CollegeFish.org as a program encouraging baccalaureate degree completion.
  • The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation announces they will provide an additional $150,000 to the Leaders of Promise Scholarships, which will allow 180 members to receive the scholarships annually.
  • The Community College Completion Challenge and the Community College Completion Corps (C4) are created. The Community College Completion Challenge showcases efforts of the six partner organizations pledged to support college completion. C4 is the student action component, led by Phi Theta Kappa chapters.
  • CollegeFish.org and C4 are recognized for their roles in student success by the AACC Commission on Academic, Student, and Community Development.
  • Phi Theta Kappa receives an additional $250,000 from the Hites Foundation.

 

2011

  • J. Mark Davis, President of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and Treasurer of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation Board of Trustees, is named an International Honorary Member of Phi Theta Kappa.
  • The first chapter of the International Society of Baccalaureate Scholars (ISBS) is chartered at Broward College in Florida. ISBS, powered by Phi Theta Kappa, was established to recognize the distinguished scholarly achievements of top-ranked college upperclassmen pursuing baccalaureate degrees at community colleges.
  • The Annual Convention utilizes social networking sites Facebook and Twitter to share happenings and information.
  • Follett Higher Education Group partners with Phi Theta Kappa to sponsor the 2011 All-USA Community College Academic Team.
  • Former pro football linebacker Willie Lanier endows a scholarship for Phi Theta Kappa members in Ohio.
  • The Honors Institute attracts a record 477 participants.
  • Executive Director Dr. Rod A. Risley addresses the NISOD International Conference for the first time.
  • Phi Theta Kappa launches new design and enhancements to website.
  • Executive Director Dr. Rod A. Risley is appointed to the 21st-Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges.
  • The Orlowski Scholarship Fund receives a $50,000 bequest from the late Dr. Mary Anne Player.
  • Phi Theta Kappa hosts its first webinar.
  • The Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarship Challenge is announced. Benefactors Lou and Rosemary Oberndorf will match funds raised one-to-one up to $125,000 to fund scholarships for members facing unanticipated financial barriers to completion.
  • Phi Theta Kappa charters a chapter at Broward College - Center for American Education in the Republic of Peru. Phi Theta Kappa now has a presence in nine sovereign nations: the United States, Canada, Germany, British Virgin Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Peru.

 

2012

  • Dr. Jack Guistwhite, who originated designated transfer scholarships for members, dies in Florida.
  • A grant of $2.9 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to enhance CollegeFish.org, is announced.
  • Phi Theta Kappa's first chapter in South America is chartered at the Center for American Education, operated by Broward College in Florida at the Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola in Lima, Peru.
  • Author, youth and veterans activist and television host Wes Moore named Distinguished Alumnus.
  • Phi Theta Kappa's Leadership Development Studies Program marks 20th anniversary.
  • The amount of each Frank Lanza Memorial Scholarship doubles with a total of $50,000 awarded.
  • Phi Theta Kappa meets the Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarship Challenge by raising $125,000 to be matched by Lou and Rosemary Oberndorf. The Oberndorfs establish a second Challenge and also announce a separate gift of $25,000 to award 10 Oberndorf Scholarships in 2013.
  • The Association of Community College Trustees receives the Alliance for Educational Excellence Award.
  • Longtime advisors Steve Meier and Larry Polk receive first Lifetime Achievement Awards.
  • Phi Theta Kappa and the American Cancer Society celebrate 10 years in an association that has raised more than $3.3 million to fight cancer.
  • Phi Theta Kappa launches first study abroad program.
  • Phi Theta Kappa and The International Public Safety Leadership and Ethics Institute (IPSLEI) announce the establishment of the Richard L. Resurreccion Public Safety Scholarships for members studying in a public safety program.
  • Phi Theta Kappa charters its first exclusively online chapter at Ashford University.
  • Phi Theta Kappa receives the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Commission for Student Development Award for "Outstanding Use of Technology" for the organization's combined completion initiatives – including CollegeFish.org, C4 and Competitive Edge.