UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State World Campus chapter of Phi Delta Phi has been recognized as the legal honor society’s No. 1 chapter in the world for 2019.
The World Campus chapter, formed in 2015, is one of the 260 member organizations of the honor society at universities around the world. The Phi Delta Phi International Hall of the Year award is based on academic excellence, group activities, individual member achievement, single project and improvement. The Penn State World Campus chapter is open to students in the undergraduate law and society program offered online at Penn State.
Student Donna L. Butler, who as the magistrate is the leader of the chapter, was excited for the group to receive the award as an acknowledgment of the members’ hard work to give online learners the same opportunities as students at universities across the country.
“Our organization’s members have excelled academically, and we have brought unprecedented educational and philanthropic projects and activities to online learners this year,” Butler said. “In 1869, Phi Delta Phi’s founders endeavored to create an association that would foster scholarship, civility and ethical conduct. By making positive changes in our lives, our school and our society through these projects, we have lived up to that standard.”
Over the past year, the chapter provided many activities for its members and law and society students to learn about the field as well as represent the Penn State community. The chapter held a webinar on the three branches of government in Pennsylvania, during which attendees spoke with a judge, a lawmaker and two deputy general counsels. In another webinar, attendees heard from an attorney who practices in energy law and public utility regulation.
The chapter organized a fundraiser on behalf of the Bob Woodruff Foundation, a veterans charity, and it promoted opportunities for members to learn about applying to law school and preparing for the LSAT entrance exam.
Diana Gruendler, senior lecturer and the group’s adviser, said the Penn State community can take pride in the honor.
"This recognition acknowledges the academic excellence of the College of the Liberal Arts, Filippelli Institute, and the law and society major, and embraces the hallmark of our program — our students," Gruendler said.
Ashley Adams, director of student affairs for Penn State World Campus, said the award shows the quality of the students.
“This award is a recognition of all of the hard work that Donna and the students have done over the last year, and we look forward to what’s coming in the future,” Adams said. “These are exciting times.”
Visit the Penn State World Campus website to learn more about the law and society degree program.