Academics honored by society at NIU

By Wendy Neese

What do Lilly Tomlin, Bill Cosby, Joe Paterno, NIU President John La Tourette, and DeKalb Mayor Greg Sparrow have in common? If you said that they are all honorary members of Golden Key National Honor Society, you are correct.

Spanning from the East Coast to Hawaii, 140 chapters of Golden Key can be sighted on college campuses all across America. Lifetime members and honorary members total 175,000.

Seated behind his desk at the Office of Campus Recreation is NIU’s Golden Key Chapter Advisor, Fabian De Rozario. He can be seen answering up to six telephone calls within 30 minute time span from NIU students inquiring about joining the 4-year old organization.

What makes the honor society different from other groups is it was founded by a Georgia State student to provide a group based soley on academic achievement. De Rozario said, “There’s no three car wash requirement to belong to this group. Once your’e a member, you’re a member for life.”

Membership into the group is by invitation only and includes the top 15% of juniors and seniors with a cummulative gradepoint of 3.30. No extra-curricular participation is required and no specific major is designated.

“We hope to induct 350 members into the society,” De Rozario said. Mayor Sparrow will be the key note speaker for the ceremony to be held November 12. Last year they inducted 278 members.

The deadline to send in applications for membership is November 1. If for some reason a student did not receive a mailing and is interested, they should speak to De Rozario.

Chapter President Joe Lopykinski explained his reasons for joining the group,”Besides helping me to communicate better with people, it helped me in my career pursuits.” Through Peat Marrick Main & Co., one of Golden Keys major sponsors, Lopykinski was able to receive an accounting internship.

De Rozario added that it is an undeniable benefit to be associated with a nationally renowned and well-respected organization. He said recruiters know what it means to be a member of Golden Key and they will recognize it.

Recently NIU, along with Indiana University, was given the Most Improved Chapter Award at a national convention. The chapters had to stress an “all-around awareness” on campus to meet this criteria.

Three members from NIU recently promoted community service by going to Hunter Middle School explaining the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse to children, from a college-age perspective. They have met with the principals from all of the area schools to see about giving further help.

Besides this, Golden Key is known for holding a Thanksgiving food drive and singing Christmas carrols at the DeKalb Nursing Home. De Rozario added that even though activities are all voluntary, he intends the group to be an active chapter on campus and in the community.

Once a member is inducted, he is expected to pay a one-time lifetime membership fee. “There’s no monthly dues or anything like that.” From here on, the student can attend any of the Golden Key national or regional conventions, conferences, receptions, and workshops. NCR Corporations will be hosting one upcoming workshop.

Golden Key offers two scholarships each year to one junior and one senior by the Peak Marwick Main Foundation. They are given on the basis of gradepoint average, community involvement, and campus extra-curricular involvement.