May 16, 2014

SIU Golden Key chapter earns high honor

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill.  -- A Southern Illinois University Carbondale honorary society earned national recognition recently. 

The SIU Golden Key Chapter learned recently that it achieved “Gold Chapter” standing for the 2012-2013 academic year, the highest possible standard within the Golden Key International Honour Society.  Fewer than 25 percent of the chapters in the world’s largest honor society earn the honor. 

“The student members of our chapter are the best and brightest.  They are both successful academically and committed socially to contributing what they can back to the campus community.  It’s great students doing great things,” said Donald Castle, longtime adviser and retiring associate director of the Student Center.   

In just 32 years, more than 3,000 men and women have participated in SIU’s Golden Key.  Among the group’s many efforts are hosting a spaghetti dinner benefitting Haitian relief efforts, keeping an area of the city clean and litter-free in conjunction with the “Keep Carbondale Beautiful” campaign, and sponsoring projects to assist youths and other community members. 

Members must be in the top 15 percent of their class and be interested in service and leadership development.  There are about 200 active members at any given time, each with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. 

Kathleen Jones, Medical Education Preparatory Program instructor, recently became primary adviser.  Rachel Crofts, a senior accounting/finance major from Carbondale, is the president of the SIU chapter while Linley Mayer, a May history graduate from Sparta, is the vice president. 

The SIU chapter, chartered May 4, 1982, is part of Region 5, encompassing schools in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.  The international group has more than two million members and more than 400 chapters around the world.