Quinn to be Named International Honorary Member of Phi Theta Kappa

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Jackson, MS – Dr. Matthew Quinn, Founding Executive Director Emeritus of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and Chair of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation Board of Trustees, will be named an International Honorary Member of Phi Theta Kappa during the Society’s 2013 Annual Convention in San Jose, April 4-6.

Dr. Matthew Quinn

This recognition is considered the highest honor provided a non-member by Phi Theta Kappa. Nomination is provided by the Executive Director for consideration by the Executive Committee. This award is not given every year, only when an individual has been identified who has over time provided extraordinary support to Phi Theta Kappa. Over the 95 years of Phi Theta Kappa’s existence, only 36 recipients have been named.

Some past recipients of the award include J. Mark Davis, President of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation; Dr. George Boggs, former president of the American Association of Community Colleges; and Dr. Douglas W. Foard, former secretary of Phi Beta Kappa. Davis, Boggs and Foard are also now members of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation Board of Trustees.

Under Dr. Quinn’s direction as the founding Executive Director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the foundation has funded scholarships and grants to provide financial assistance to high school, undergraduate and graduate students. The foundation’s Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship Program now selects up to 50 community college transfer students each year — many of them Phi Theta Kappans  -- and supports them as they complete bachelor’s degrees at the nation’s top four-year colleges and universities. With an average award of $30,000, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation awards over a million dollars in scholarships to Phi Theta Kappa members each year.

“Matthew Quinn was a champion for community college students before community colleges were cool,” said Phi Theta Kappa Executive Director and CEO Dr. Rod Risley. “He’s a true advocate for college completion.”

Prior to joining the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation in 2000, Dr. Quinn served as President of Carroll College in Helena, Montana, for 11 years. He has also held leadership positions at Iona College in New York and Boston College in Massachusetts, in addition to serving as the Director of the State Colleges Office in the New Jersey Department of Higher Education. Dr. Quinn serves on many boards, including the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges and as chair of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation Board of Trustees.

“Many people contributed to developing the program the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation offers for high-achieving graduates of two-year colleges to enable their completion of the baccalaureate degree and even a graduate degree,” Dr. Quinn said. “I accept the honor on behalf of the Foundation, since it acknowledges Mr. Cooke's generosity and his Board's wisdom.”

 Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in American higher education with 1,285 chapters on two-year and community college campuses in all 50 of the United States, Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. More than 2.5 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 135,000 students inducted annually.