The Golden Key

Chi Eta Chapter


Phi Theta Kappa

The Golden Key
Advisors and Officers Achievements Events 2009-10 Inductees Madisonville Community College Links

Phi Theta Kappa

Phi Theta Kappa Greek Logo

Founded: November 19, 1918 at Stephens College, Missouri

Symbol: Golden Key

Colors: Blue and White

Flower: White Rose

Chapters: 1,200+

Members: 2,000,000+

Headquarters: Jackson, Ms.

Chi Eta Chapter

Welcome to The Chi Eta Chapter Honor Society Website

Chi Eta is the local chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, whose purpose is to assist and recognize its members in the areas of Service, Leadership, Scholarship, and Fellowship. The Chi Eta Chapter is located on the campus of Madisonville Community College in Madisonville, Kentucky. Chi Eta received its charter from Phi Theta Kappa on December 17, 1970, and its bylaws were accepted on September 28, 2001. Chi Eta has participated in several Phi Theta Kappa achievement programs over the years since receiving its charter including, Phi Theta Kappa's four Hallmarks of Service, Leadership, Scholarship, and Fellowship.

Chi Eta (22nd and 7th letter of the Greek alphabet respectively) is one of twenty chapters in the Kentucky Region along with the Kentucky Region Alumni Association. The Regional Coordinator for the Kentucky Region is Margo Hamm, in 2006, she was the recipient of a Distinguished Regional Coordinator Award. Also in 2006, the Kentucky Region was awarded the Regional Milestone Award.

Phi Theta Kappa, informally known by the acronym PTK, is an international honor society of two-colleges, mainly involving community and junior colleges. However, it does include Associate's degree programs offered by four-year colleges. Phi Theta Kappa has more than twelve hundred chapters in twenty-nine regions worldwide and inducts more than eighty-two thousand students annually. In 2006, Phi Theta Kappa inducted its two-millionth member.

"The purpose of Phi Theta Kappa shall be to recognize and encourage schlorship among two-year college students. To achieve this purpose, Phi Theta Kappa shall provide opportunity for the development of leadership and service, for an intellectual climate for exchange of ideas and ideals, for lively fellowship for scholars, and for stimulation of interest in continuing academic excellence."
~Phi Theta Kappa


The Society began with six charter member at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, in 1910 under the name Kappa Phi Omicron. The Society grew quickly and by 1918 was one of many honorary groups in the state. In 1918, at a meeting of presidents of the Missouri junior colleges for women, it was determined that a new honor society should be organized to have common character, stand, and similarity of organization. Founders modeled this new Society after Phi Beta Kappa, a senior college honorary society, and the name Phi Theta Kappa was chosen. The Society became a national organization as it was incorporated in Missouri that same year.

Until 1924, Phi Theta Kappa restricted its activity to women's junior colleges. That year, an amendment to the society's constitution was passed to include all two-year colleges, regardless of single-sex or coeducational status. By 1926, Phi Theta Kappa had expanded its chapters into other states, many being coeducational colleges.

In 1929, Phi Theta Kappa was officially recognized by the American Association of Junior Colleges and became the official honor society of two-year institutions.

The Golden Key


In 1930, the distinctive gold key membership pin was adopted and is officially described by Phi Theta Kappa as follows:

The Key is a golden slab, keyed at the top and bottom. Across the center of the slab is a black enamel band upon which three Greek letters appear, which are the initials of the three mystic Greek words meaning phronimon (Phi), thumos (Theta), katharotes (Kappa) and meaning "wisdom," "aspiration," and "purity." Behind the band is a wreath, on one side composed of oak leaves, and on the other, of laurel. The wreath of oak leaves denotes stability and strength of character, and the curling leaves of laurel signify achievement and success. Above the band is a representation of the head of Athena, Goddess of Learning; in the base appear the mystic Greek letters meaning light, the light of learning and knowledge.

Back to Top