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September 12, 2012

Dean represents ULM at collegiate honor society convention

Donald R. Smith, dean of the library at the University of Louisiana Monroe, recently represented ULM’s chapter of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi at its 2012 biennial convention in St. Louis, Mo.

Phi Kappa Phi bills itself as the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines.

Smith serves as president of the ULM chapter, and attended the convention as the chapter’s voting delegate.   

“The Phi Kappa Phi Biennial Convention was a wonderful opportunity to meet other officers of chapters and exchange ideas regarding involvement of more students and faculty in Phi Kappa Phi,” said Smith.

“In addition, the business of an organization and what it takes to run properly involves an exceptional amount of work on the part of the national office in Baton Rouge and the various committees and local chapters.”

According to Phi Kappa Phi, the convention was attended by more than 300 guests including 177 chapter delegates.

The two-day event featured a keynote address from retired NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, as well as presentations by award winners from Phi Kappa Phi’s grant programs, professional development workshops, and regional meetings.

Ideas for strengthening chapters, and elections for the new board of directors also took place during the convention.

Smith received a B.A. in 1968, an M.A. in 1972, and an M.S.E. in 1978, all from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Smith went on to earn an M.A.L.S. from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1976.

Smith has been the dean of the ULM Library since 1993.

More About Phi Kappa Phi
Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Baton Rouge, La., Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines.

Phi Kappa Phi inducts annually approximately 32,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni.

The Society has 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.

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, novelist David Baldacci and YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley. The Society has awarded approximately $14 million since the inception of its awards program in 1932.

Today, nearly $1 million is awarded each biennium to qualifying students and members through graduate fellowships, undergraduate study abroad scholarships, member and chapter awards and grants for local and national literacy initiatives.

The Society’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 Phi Kappa Phi, please call 800-804-9880 or visit

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