Phi Sigma Alpha Scholarship

Department: College
Undergraduate/Graduate: Undergraduate
Amount: varies
GPA: 3.5 for Juniors; 3.25 for Seniors Student Level: Junior, Senior
Distribution: Annual Award, Non-renewable

Phi Sigma Alpha is a scholastic honorary for students in the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences. It was founded in 1910, by Dr. Charles Knight, Dr. Joseph Rockwell, and Ms. Sarah Plaisance.  Fifteen students were inducted into the new organization; in 1911, three; and in 1912, four.  Since that time, the alumni and honorary membership has grown to over 3,100.

In 1960, on the 50th anniversary of the honorary's founding, members voted to initiate two prizes--a junior and senior prize of $50 each--and a Phi Sigma Alpha annual scholarship of $100.  Phi Sigma Alpha has grown as The University of Akron has grown, and it now distributes annually a number of scholarships. Alumni member donations enable Phi Sigma Alpha to present two to three Phi Sigma Alpha scholarships each year. In addition to these Phi Sigma Alpha scholarships, there is a permanent scholarship, funded through The University of Akron Development office that honors a Phi Sigma Alpha undergraduate inductee who later joined the UA faculty and served as the honorary's advisor for more than twenty years, Assistant Professor of English Emeritus Cathryn Carroll Taliaferro.  Sadly, Mrs. Taliaferro passed away in May, 2005.  There is also the Sheldon Liss Scholarship which is named in honor of Dr. Liss who taught at The University of Akron for 27 years in the Department of History.  He passed away in October, 1994.

In 2010, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the honorary. Approximately six percent of Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences students are inducted annually.  Additionally, Phi Beta Kappa members associated with the University community are automatically considered Phi Sigma Alpha members.