Phi Alpha Theta continues to dominate as Best Chapter

Shanae Giles, Staff Writer

Defeating over 422 other schools in the competition, Francis Marion University’s chapter of the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society recently claimed the Best Chapter Award for the second year in a row.

“We’ve done a lot of community awareness,” Dr. Christopher Kennedy, associate professor of history and advisor for Phi Alpha Theta, said.  “So I think that’s how we’ve gotten beyond our competition.”

The 16 members of Phi Alpha Theta, Alpha Theta Zeta chapter have worked on campus and in the community to put together a scrapbook for the competition of events they hosted and participated in over the past year.

Events in the scrapbook were similar to those of last year, including book sales, food sales, Arts Alive, Toys for Tots, and walks for Juvenile Diabetes.

Phi Alpha Theta’s work has not gone unnoticed.  Last year, the president of FMU invited the members to a dinner at his house on campus. He presented them with a plaque and gave them a gift of $1000 to spend for their chapter. Kennedy believes they will most likely have a cookout this year to celebrate their second win.

Also aiding them in their victory as Best Chapter were the “Friends of PAT.”

Friends of PAT consists of about 15 members who assist in events such as the free Welcome to History lunch on the first week of classes, where students can meet Phi Alpha Thetas, as well as Friends of PAT.

According to Brian Wells, the chapter president for the 2011-2012 school year, more participation by the Phi Alpha Theta members and the Friends of PAT led them to their second win. The chapter again took home a plaque, national recognition, and another $250 towards books.  Additionally, the national association will be creating a personalized web page for them this year.

With the money collected ­­from the awards as well as money raised on their own, the Phi Alpha Thetas created a history student lounge in Founders Hall room 204 for students to study, rest between classes, and meet the members of Phi Alpha Theta and Friends of PAT.

Both Kennedy and Wells said that they believe the history honor society could claim a third victory this year.

They have already started on events, including the International Lunch Express.  This can be seen in the breezeway on Wednesdays selling international foods from places such as Venezuela, Morocco and India, which Kennedy says is “better than your typical hot dog and nachos.”

Also, on the Saturday closest to Halloween, they invite anyone to sign up and attend the Renaissance Fair in Charlotte, N.C.

While looking forward to their upcoming Formal Induction Ceremony in the spring, the members Phi Alpha Theta with the help of Friends of PAT are working to keep up their reigning victories as their division’s Best Chapter.