Tuesday, July 2, 2013

UNO Chapter of Golden Key International Honor Society Gains Momentum

University of New Orleans President Peter J. Fos became an honorary member of the Golden Key International Honor Society this week as the UNO chapter reinvigorated with a jolt of new leadership. Golden Key recently held its first new member recognition event at UNO in more than a decade.

The 147th Golden Key Chapter UNO was originally chartered on April 17, 1990, but until recently the group has been inactive, officials said. Restarting the chapter is part of a new era at UNO and to get restarted with momentum, the UNO group inducted more than 100 new members over the last three months, Rowe said. Though revitalizing the group was a challenge, leaders saw an opportunity to build a stronger foundation for student success.

In less than three months, the group grew from 13 members to more than 135 under her leadership. The chapter also distributed five honorary memberships, recognizing Fos, Robert J. Eichhorn, keynote speaker at the event and a past director of Lions Club International; Natalie M. Costa, instructor in the UNO Psychology Department; Eliza M. Ghil, professor and chair of UNO's Foreign Languages Department, and Sean P. Hickey, instructor and manager of UNO's Chemistry Department. James A. McAllister, instructor in French and Spanish, was recognized as the group's Chapter Advisor.

Founded in 1977, Golden Key accepts undergraduate members in the top 15 percent of their class and top performing graduate students from all academic disciplines. The international honor society has grown in less than 35 years to include more than 400 chapters in eight countries, said chapter President Giana D. Rowe during the new member ceremony.

As an honorary recipient, President Fos and a handful of UNO faculty join luminaries and leaders like Nobel Peace Prize Winner Desmond Tutu, a South African social rights activist and religious leader who rose to fame as an opponent of apartheid during the 1980; Nobel Peace Prize Winner, author and political activist Elie Weisel, who chronicled his experiences of the Holocaust in a slim spiritual book called Night, and former U.S. President William Jefferson Clinton.

The two-million-member organization carries a legacy and brand of high achievement and offers more than $1 million annually in scholarships and awards.

"Wherever you go, Golden Key supports you, providing opportunities for you to develop your leadership skills within a tight-knit community build on a foundation of mutual respect, encouragement and teamwork," Rowe said at the UNO ceremony. "Wherever you go, Golden Key supports you."

Rowe gave special thanks to the board of officers that helped her to reinvigorate the UNO chapter: Susan M. Rahey, UNO chapter vice president; Mitzi M. Preston, vice president of member communication and Hillary L.A. Gary, social director.


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