Scholars welcome inductees

Abbey Stirgwolt

Scholarship. Leadership. Service.

The three pillars of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars are the ties that bind its members together, the goals which it strives to accomplish and the motto by which its members consistently live.

These are the three principles Gary Padak, dean of Undergraduate Studies, emphasized during last night’s NSCS induction ceremony. Padak, himself a collegiate scholar, was the keynote speaker at the ceremony in which NSCS welcomed 40 new members to its Kent State chapter.

In keeping with the themes of service, scholarship and leadership, Padak’s message to new inductees consisted of a series of challenges. His first was brief but poignant: “What did you learn today?”

Padak continued to discuss the importance of learning and community, the value of differences, the merits of reflecting on the past and the benefit of living with a purpose in mind.

“My purpose is to use my skills and my abilities to have a positive influence on other people for the rest of my life,” Padak said.

NSCS, founded in 1994 at George Washington University in Washington, now boasts more than 350,000 members from universities across the nation. Its claim of distinction is that it is “the only national honors organization exclusively for college freshmen and sophomores,” according to its Web site.

Though the Kent State chapter of NSCS has only existed since 2004, it already boasts more than 500 members, chapter President Carolyn Ebersole said.

To join, students must achieve a minimum 3.4 GPA and place in the top 20 percent of their class. Students who fit this description receive invitations to join. Should they decide to accept, they must fill out and mail in an acceptance form and pay a fee of about $60, said chapter Vice President Matt White.

Benefits of the program include scholarships and opportunities to study abroad, as well as numerous community service opportunities, ranging from community maintenance to food collection and donations. White said the society hopes to adopt a highway with the Akron chapter of NSCS.

“What we seek to do is community outreach,” he said.

After Padak’s message, new inductees cited the official NSCS pledge and donned gold pins bearing an open book to symbolize “the endless pursuit of knowledge,” a laurel wreath for “a long tradition of distinguished scholars” and three stars to mark “the ability to serve as a guiding light to others,” chapter Secretary/Treasurer Angela Lay said.

Students interested in learning more about NSCS can contact Lay at [email protected].

Contact religion reporter Abbey Stirgwolt at [email protected].