For nearly 100 years, Alpha Chi National College Honor Society has promoted academic excellence and exemplary character among college and university students in all academic fields, striving to “make scholarship effective for good.” Our foundational values have shaped student journeys and continue to encourage the positive outlook that students, sponsors, and alumni all share towards the organization.
Connection & Collaboration
Alpha Chi prides itself in its emphasis on collaborative research and interdisciplinary thinking. “This is why I believe we are the greatest honor society,” says alumnus Michael Suarez. “We are more than a seal of approval on a long list of accolades; we bring together students from across the nation to create connections and exchange ideas.”
Students from across the country present original research across all disciplines in one of Alpha Chi’s defining events, its annual national convention. Alumnus Connor Bos still remembers his convention experience. “It really just amazes me,” he says, “every time I come to the convention [to see] people’s skills, the abilities they have, and the talent that’s out there in the world.” Bos isn’t alone in his admiration; students, sponsors, and alumni all commend Alpha Chi’s interdisciplinary nature. “Alpha Chi is all about getting people together who can make a difference in the world,” says alumnus Zack Merhavy, “no matter what field they are in.”
Whether writing a new musical score, researching terrorism, or philosophizing on the nature of God, members find themselves enlightened by Alpha Chi’s emphasis on research of any kind. Dr. Nathan Carson, a Fresno Pacific University sponsor, believes this is an organizational strength that should be emphasized. “We all have our blind spots. The power of interdisciplinary thinking is that it pushes against those blind spots by reaching to see things from different perspectives.”
Jeanne Tunks uses her role as a sponsor at the University of North Texas to push her students beyond academics. “Alpha Chi helps [students] grow as people and makes them better citizens and better contributors to the world at large.” Why is Alpha Chi worth it? To empower students to believe in themselves, says Tunks. “They’ll go out and do something good somewhere else and continue with scholarship and research for their lifetimes.”
Sponsors such as Tunks have clearly made an impact. Kaitlyn McSweeney, a student at Franklin Pierce University, appreciates this “real-world application” that the honor society emphasizes. Other students, such as Sidney Russell, count joining Alpha Chi as “one of the most influential things I’ve done.” Recent Chowan alumna Katrina Hodge believes the confidence Alpha Chi instills in its members is “something that can last a person a lifetime.”
Shining the Lamp Forward
Executive Director Lara Noah realizes that the organization’s legacy isn’t just about focusing on the past and present. “Alpha Chi’s history is full of people who not only believed in honoring and encouraging the journey of academic achievement, but they also realized the importance of shining a lamp ahead for the next generation,” says Noah. Upon reflection, many alumni realize this attitude drastically shaped their paths. “Alpha Chi is a name and a network that is supporting you throughout your career, not just in college but for the rest of your life,” says Fresno Pacific alumnus Joshua Blagaila.
Students view Alpha Chi as much more than an organization; for many, the honor society has become like family. “Alpha Chi lets me know I’m not alone in studying and working incredibly hard. It’s been my support network,” says Shorter University graduate Hannah Lambert. Another alumna, Hannah Ellis, believes Alpha Chi extends beyond its academic reputation. “It’s not just the prestige and the line on my resume,” she says, “it’s the sense of family.”
Alumna Sarah Geil admires and commends the Alpha Chi leaders and sponsors responsible for guiding her path. These leaders “care so deeply about college students, and this inspires me, says Geil. “I know my story would read vastly different if not for Alpha Chi.”