The Fresno State chapter of the Honor society of Phi Kappa Phi initiated 136 new student members April 17 and awarded three student scholarships, one of them in tribute to retiring university President John Welty.

Alex Tran, a senior majoring in Biology, received the John D. Welty Phi Kappa Phi Scholarship. Dr. Honora Chapman, chapter president, said the scholarship “celebrates academic excellence and community service, hallmarks of Dr. Welty’s impact on this university.”

The chapter also presented a local chapter scholarship to Esther Verrinder, a junior majoring in Music Performance, and recognized its national Graduate Fellowship Nominee, Audra Iness, a senior in Biology who is graduating this May.

Special recognition initiates were faculty members Andrew Lawson (Plant Science) and Andrew Fiala (Philosophy); staff member Peter Robertson (Alumni Association); administrators Sharon Brown-Welty (Graduate Studies and Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership) and Lisa Kao (Environmental Health and Safety, Risk Management and Sustainability); and alumna Deborah Adishian-Astone (Auxiliary Operations and Enterprise Development).

Over 800 students, faculty and staff are current members of the Fresno State chapter.

Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Baton Rouge, La., Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest, largest and most selective all-discipline honor society with chapters on more than 300 select colleges and universities in North America and the Philippines. Membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of juniors. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify.

In 1953 Phi Kappa Phi Chapter 62 was installed at Fresno State. Phi Kappa Phi has since initiated over 7,500 individuals and served as the university’s honor society, recognizing superior academic achievement by students in all academic fields.

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