Kaitlyn Belmont, of Carmel, NY, was one of 16 students recently inducted in the Elmira College chapter of Phi Eta Sigma, the International Honor Society rewarding first-collegiate-year scholarship.
In addition to the 16 students, Dr. Betsy Smith, former associate professor of chemistry, was inducted posthumously as an honorary member. Smith, who passed away in August, was selected because the students sought to honor her memory. To them, Smith exemplified the qualities of Phi Eta Sigma through her commitment to continually pursue intellectual and personal growth and encouraging her students to do the same.
Phi Eta Sigma, the oldest and largest first-year honor society, was founded in 1923 at the University of Illinois. The goal of the honor society is to encourage and reward academic excellence among full-time, first-year students in institutions of higher learning.
The Society has established chapters in over 350 institutions of higher learning in the United States. Elmira College is the 289th chapter, established in 1990.
The three Greek letters, Phi, Eta, and Sigma, represent the basis of the organization's membership because, when translated, they mean "lovers of wisdom."
Founded in 1855, Elmira College is a private, residential, liberal arts college offering 25-plus majors, an honors program, 17 academic societies, and 18 Division III varsity teams. Located in the Southern Finger Lakes Region of New York, Elmira's undergraduate and graduate student population hails from more than 20 states and nine countries. Elmira is a Phi Beta Kappa College and has been ranked a top college, nationally, for student internships. The College is also home to the Center for Mark Twain Studies, one of four historically significant Twain heritage sites in the U.S., which attracts Twain scholars and educators from around the world for research on the famous literary icon. Proud of its history and tradition, the College is committed to the ideals of community service, and intellectual and individual growth.