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University of Maryland University College's chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest, largest, and most selective all-discipline honor society, has expanded its ranks with the induction of 261 new members. The inductees comprise UMUC students, faculty, professional staff, and alumni who are now part of a community of scholars and professionals that is more than one million strong.

Those elected to membership include the upper 7.5 percent of last-term juniors; the upper 10 percent of seniors and graduate students; and outstanding faculty, professional staff, and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction. And UMUC's new Phi Kappa Phi class is for the most part evenly split, with 132 female and 129 male inductees.

Aric Krause, dean of The Graduate School, who was among UMUC's group of inductees, highlighted the recognition's significance. "I'm deeply honored to join our outstanding students as a member of Phi Kappa Phi," Dean Krause said. "Each of these students—as working professionals with tremendous personal and professional commitments—has honored themselves and UMUC with their hard work and devotion to their degree."

Only a handful of honor societies existed when Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1897 at the University of Maine for the specific purpose of promoting academic excellence in all fields of higher education. Today the society, with its guiding motto "Let the love of learning rule humanity," has more than 300 chapters in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines and remains committed to engaging its community of scholars in service to others.

In addition to UMUC's chapter, many of the University System of Maryland member institutions also have chapters, including University of Maryland, College Park; University of Maryland Baltimore County; and University of Maryland, Eastern Shore.

Each year, Phi Kappa Phi initiates approximately 30,000 new members across all chapters. Notable alumni include former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, best-selling novelist David Baldacci, Grammy Award–winning soprano Renée Fleming, YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley, and NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence.