For Immediate Release — August 14, 2003


GENESEO, N.Y. — Two students at the State University of New York at Geneseo have earned prestigious Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society scholarships.

Sonja Russell of Phoenix, N.Y., has earned a $2,000 undergraduate scholarship, and Allison Roether of Churchville, N.Y., has earned a $1,000 undergraduate award. The awards are to be used for full-time study during the 2003-04 academic year.

According to John W. Sagabiel, grand secretary-treasurer for the organization, the Phi Eta Sigma Scholarship Committee reviewed the largest number of applications in the history of the Society’s scholarship program. "A few short years ago, in 1970, nine $300 awards were granted annually, and this year, the Society will grant $160,000 in awards to 114 outstanding members of Phi Eta Sigma for undergraduate or graduate study," he said.

According to its website, Phi Eta Sigma is a national honor society inspired by the past and dedicated to the future whose goal is to encourage and reward academic excellence among freshmen in institutions of higher learning. The oldest and largest freshman honor society, Phi Eta Sigma was founded at the University of Illinois on March 22, 1923 by Dr. Thomas Arkle Clark. Now Phi Eta Sigma has more than three hundred chapters throughout the United States and more than 600,000 members. Texas A&M was chartered as the sixty-seventh national chapter in January of 1949, and this year is the chapter’s fiftieth year on the Texas A&M campus.

Membership in Phi Eta Sigma identifies its members to employers, professional and graduate schools as persons of superior academic ability and performance. On campuses with a chapter of Phi Eta Sigma, all freshman men and women are eligible to join who have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale at the close of any curricular period during their first year.

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