History & Political Science Department
Phi Alpha Theta
Phi Alpha Theta is an international historical honor society which began in 1921 at the University of Arkansas. The Eta Phi chapter at Harding University began in 1960 under the leadership of Clifton L. Ganus, Jr., and has a rich history and vibrant presence.
The Eta Phi chapter has won the National Best Chapter Award eight times since 2009-10, and has purchased $2000 of books for the Brackett Library with the Award money. We now compete for the Nels Cleven Award, named for the founder of Phi Alpha Theta, for chapters which have won Best Chapter five times. Since 2003, the activities of the chapter coordinate with a theme, one usually linked to ongoing courses in our curriculum. Our chapter tries to balance scholarship, service, and socializing. The chapter sponsors lectures on a variety of topics, as well as social gatherings like a Halloween party, and History vs. Hollywood Nights. We have had sunrise devotionals and trips to various historical sites and exhibits in the area.
As an historical honor society, Phi Alpha Theta focuses on scholarship. Members must have 12 hours of history with a 3.1 GPA. Anyone can attend our events, but one must be a member to participate in the regional and national historical conferences hosted by Phi Alpha Theta. Eta Phi members have presented papers at the Biennial Conferences in Orlando, New Orleans, and San Antonio. Students present on a national stage, which builds confidence in their skills and training as they go forward into careers and graduate school. Since 2012, the society has published Tenor of Our Times, a journal of student scholarship, which has won the Nash Journal Award six times. Tenor has 4-5 junior or senior editors, and a review panel made up of sophomores, juniors, and seniors. The journal is now on-line and has close to 66,000 downloads from around the world.
We hope you will join us in learning and growing in service, scholarship, and fellowship. Contact Professor of History Julie Harris for more information.
2021-2022 Phi Alpha Theta Officers
- Eric Johnson, President
- Grace Ann Green, Vice President
- Isabella Davis, Treasurer/Secretary
- Paxton Davis, Historian
Eta Phi participates in three annual, major service projects. In the fall, we host a history event to raise money for Relay for Life, and in the Spring we assist in hosting regional History Day here on campus. In 2016, we began hosting a History Faire for local children from 3 years old through 4th grade. We have approximately 20 booths from all over campus and from local historical parks and businesses, and the Clifton L. Ganus, Jr., Chair of History and Political Science supports us with funding and advertising.
The History Faire is co-sponsored by the Clifton L. Ganus, Jr., Chair of History & Political Science and Phi Alpha Theta.