Alpha Chi is a coeducational honor society whose purpose is to promote academic excellence and exemplary character among college and university students and to honor those who achieve such distinction. Its name derives from the initial letters of the Greek words AΛΗθEIA, meaning TRUTH, and XAPAKTHP, meaning CHARACTER.
As a general honor society, Alpha Chi admits to membership students from all academic disciplines. Member institutions must be regionally accredited, baccalaureate degree-granting colleges or universities. Only the top 10 percent of junior, senior, and graduate classes may be invited to membership based on cumulative GPA. Full-time or part-time degree-seeking students are eligible, and transfer students must have earned 24 credits at IAIA prior to invitation. All invitees must be in good standing, both academically and behaviorally.
Membership in Alpha Chi recognizes previous accomplishments and provides opportunity for continued growth and service. As a phrase from the society’s constitution suggests, Alpha Chi seeks to find ways to assist students in “making scholarship effective for good.”
“The IAIA chapter of Alpha Chi has been rewarding in the sense that I have had the opportunity
to meet a beautiful and eclectic community of scholars, humanitarians, and activists. My association with Alpha Chi has increased my motivation for creating good relations for the benefit of our planet.”
“The incentives to be a part of Alpha Chi are so much more than just monetary rewards. Alpha Chi has given me an opportunity to connect with other students from around the country who share my enthusiasm for learning. Being a part of this organization has given me another reason to be proud of my academic achievements.”
Some of the benefits of membership include leadership development, mentoring of new students, and building and participating in a community of peers focused on academic and creative scholarship. Additional benefits include national and regional scholarship opportunities, as well as an opportunity to compete at the annual national convention for academic and creative awards of excellence. Despite the chapter’s small size, its strengths in the national competitions are clear—in 2016, IAIA senior William Thoms (Confederated Tribes of Chehalis Reservation) won the Alpha Chi national presentation prize for Visual Arts, and in 2017, Amber Morningstar Byars (Oklahoma Choctaw) won the Ann C. and Avery G. Church Prize in Poetry.
IAIA’s New Mexico Gamma Chapter was established in the fall of 2012 and had its first induction ceremony the following spring. As of the spring of 2018, IAIA’s chapter has inducted 74 members.