The Fresno State chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi surprised President Joseph I. Castro on April 2 by inducting him into membership as he “starts his legacy” at the university.
Chapter President Dr. Janell Morillo presided over the special initiation in Fresno State’s Henry Madden Library. Castro had joined Phi Kappa Phi leaders for the presentation of historical chapter programs and other materials to the library’s Special Collections Research Center. Following that, Morillo called Castro forward and bestowed the membership based on his “superior scholarship” and achievements.

Provost Andrew Hoff placed a Phi Kappa Phi medallion around Castro’s neck and Morillo gave him a framed membership certificate.

“I am honored to join Phi Kappa Phi, which has 60 years of rich history on our campus,” Castro said.

The Fresno State chapter was installed in 1953. Since then, it has initiated more than 7,500 individuals. More than 800 students, faculty and staff are current members.

The historical materials were being stored by Biology instructional technician Neil Kuykendall, who was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi in 1989 and has been involved with the honor society ever since. He was chapter president from 1994 to 1998 and has served on several national committees.

Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, the society has chapters on more than 300 campuses in North America and the Philippines.

Membership is by invitation, to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and top 7.5 percent of juniors. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify.

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