Professional News

Provost, Former Governor Inducted Into Honor Society

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 2, 2009) University of Kentucky Provost Kumble Subbaswamy and former Kentucky Governor Martha Layne Collins are among the honorees who will be inducted into the UK Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi during ceremonies on campus today (Monday, Nov. 2) at 4 p.m. in Memorial Hall.

Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest, largest, and most selective all-discipline honor society. Each year, approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff, and alumni are initiated into the organization. Its chapters are on more than 300 campuses in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines.

Also being inducted today are longtime UK faculty members Philipp Kraemer and Doris Wilkinson; UK alumnus and veteran professional staff member Emmett "Buzz" Burnam; and, two of UK's college deans, D. Sudharshan of the Gatton College of Business and Economics, and Robert Shay of the College of Fine Arts.

In all, more than 100 honorees will be welcomed into the UK chapter, representing undergraduates, graduate students, professional students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

UK President Lee T. Todd, Jr., who this past spring became the first member of the university's chapter, will address the Phi Kappa Phi gathering.

Dr. F. Douglas Scutchfield, the Peter P. Bosomworth Professor of Health Services Research and Policy, Colleges of Public Health and Medicine, and founding president of the UK chapter, noted the significance of the occasion.

"This marks the first full induction ceremony since we chartered the UK chapter in April, so for those of us who have nurtured the development of this organization on our campus it represents an historic occasion," said Scutchfield.

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.

Since its founding, more than 1 million members have been initiated. Some of the organization’s more notable members include former President Jimmy Carter, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, Baylor University head women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson, writer John Grisham and Netscape founder James Barksdale.

The society has bestowed nearly $12 million since the inception of its awards program in 1932.  Today, more than $700,000 is awarded annually to qualifying members and non-members through graduate fellowships, undergraduate study abroad scholarships, member and chapter awards and grants for local and national literacy initiatives. The Phi Kappa Phi's mission is “to recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others.”

For more information on the UK Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, contact C. Lynn Hiler at or (859) 257-1958) at the Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence. To contact the national office of Phi Kappa Phi, call (800) 804-9880 or visit