"Let the Love of Learning Rule Humankind"
The primary purpose of The National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is the recognition and encouragement of superior scholarship and integrity in all academic disciplines. In keeping with this objective, the Society insists that in order to acquire a chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, an institution must provide the means and atmosphere conducive to academic excellence. This dedication to the pursuit of excellence has been a hallmark of the Society from its inception through the present.
In 1897, ten students at the University of Maine at Orono felt the need for an honor society larger in scope than any then in existence. These students were assisted by interested professors in organizing the Lambda Sigma Eta Society. The name was later changed to the Morrill Society, and in 1900 it was transformed into a national society by action of a committee composed of the presidents of the University of Maine at Orono, the University of Tennessee, and Pennsylvania State College (now Pennsylvania State University). Chapters in these institutions were the original chapters, and the society was renamed Phi Kappa Phi. The name Phi Kappa Phi comes from the initial letters of the Greek words which form the Society's adopted motto: "Let the love of learning rule humankind." The Society's heritage of excellence is now shared by more than two hundred chapters at institutions from Maine to the Philippines and from the state of Washington to Puerto Rico.