The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is a national scholastic honorary society whose objective is to recognize and encourage superior scholarship in all academic disciplines. Members come from the top 10% of the seniors class or the top 5% of the junior class. The APSU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi was installed on May 27,1976. It was chosen to supplement the Laurel Wreath Society, a local interdisciplinary honor society whose membership had been based exclusively on academic achievement. The Laurel Wreath Society lacked national affiliation; hence its officers decided to seek affiliation with a national honor society organization. (The Laurel Wreath Society continues to exist and to be active on the APSU campus today.)
The contact with the national office of Phi Kappa Phi was made in the spring of 1974. From that point on, much of the work involved in getting approval of the chapter was done by Dr. Albert Bekus, Associate Professor of English, Kathy Harris, a Laurel Wreath member, and Dr. Charles Boehms, Vice President for Student Affairs.
The first officers were Albert J. Bekus (President), David Till (Vice-President), C. Bruce Myers (Secretary-Treasurer), Edward E. Irwin (Marshall), Charles Boehms (Public Relations). The remaining founding members were William H. Ellis, Delmar R. Frazier, James R. Groseclose, Gaines C. Hunt, Lynda Hunt, Clarence F. Ikerd, Phillip R. Kemmerly, Johnny B. Martin, Joe Morgan, Robert O. Riggs, Tom Savage, David H. Snyder, Herbert F. Stallworth, Yvette Stallworth, and Wayne E. Stamper. The following founding members have continued to serve the university for the ensuing quarter century, a testimony to their dedication: Bekus,Ellis, Groseclose, G. Hunt, Irwin, Kemmerly, Myers, Snyder and Till.
Eight faculty and administrators and twenty-nine graduate and undergraduate students were initiated at the May 27, 1976 ceremony, under the supervision of Dr. John J. McDow, PKP Vice President for the East Central Region. Upon receipt of the official action, Robert Riggs, APSU President at that time, said, "This is to academics what winning the OVC would be to athletics."