The purpose of The Rho Phi Lambda Professional Honorary shall be five fold:
1. To recognize superior recreation/parks/ leisure major students;
2. To encourage the development of professional standards for the leisure field;
3. To stimulate the personal development of individual members’ professional growth
in the leisure field;
4. To cultivate, foster and promote a sentiment of amity among the students of the leisure profession;
5. To recognize those persons who have made outstanding contributions to the field of recreation/parks/leisure.
Eligibility of Active Members:
The qualifications for students to be eligible for active membership in Rho Phi Lambda involve scholarship, leadership and service. The candidate will be evaluated in all three.
Section 1. Scholarship requirements:
a. The undergraduate student’s overall grade point average must rank in the upper fifteen percent of overall grade point average for all recreation/park/leisure major students in the institution in which he/she is registered or have a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0 based upon a four point system.
b. The undergraduate student must be in the top fifteen percent or have a 3.2 average in recreation/park/leisure major professional courses whichever is higher.
c. The undergraduate student must have completed 45 semester hours or 67-quarter hours of which at least 9 semester hours or 12-quarter hours are required professional courses.
d. The graduate student must have a minimum grade point average of 3.5 and completed 9 semester hours or 12-quarter hours of professional courses.
Section 2. Leadership requirement: Substantial evidence or documentation of outstanding leadership.
Section 3. Service requirements: Substantial evidence or documentation of service to campus and/or community.
During the early 1980’s Dr. Roger Warren (N.C. State University) and Dr. Jean Mundy (Florida State University) were serving together on the SPRE Board of Directors. It was learned that two honorary fraternities, Rho Phi Alpha and Sigma Lambda Sigma, existed. Sigma Lambda Sigma began at Florida State University about the same time as Rho Phi Alpha and had 11 additional chapters scattered throughout the United States. In 1982 Doctors Mundy and Warren talked informally about the possibility of merging the two fraternities and information including constitutions and by-laws were exchanged. The members of the SPRE Board discussed the concept of a national honorary fraternity, and although no formal action was taken, the concept along with the idea of merging the two existing fraternities was encouraged.
After a series of meeting and discourse over three years, the merger vote was held during the spring of 1985 with no dissenting votes. Chapters joining in the merger were: From Rho Phi Alpha; N.C. State University, Slippery Rock University, California University of Pa., East Stroudsburg University, Clemson University, and Texas A&M University. From Sigma Lambda Sigma; Florida State University, Brigham Young University, University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, Purdue University, Cheyney State College, University of Missouri-Columbia, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Southwest Missouri State University, Arizona State University, Kent State University, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, East Carolina University.
The first meeting of Rho Phi Lambda, national honorary recreation, park and leisure services fraternity was held on Sunday, October 27, 1985 in the Houston Room, Sheraton Hotel, Dallas, Texas, The following chapters were represented: N.C. State, Florida State, Wisconsin-Lacrosse, Missouri-Columbia, Fairleigh Dickinson, Southwest Missouri State, Kent State, UNC-Greensboro, Clenson, East Carolina. Dr. Frances Cannon was elected temporary President and Treasurer. Dr. Roger Warren was elected Vice-President and Secretary.
Rho Phi Lambda was incorporated in the State of Florida on December 23, 1985. Since the merger, new chapters have been installed at Western Illinois University (Tau), Un1versity of Florida (upsilon), University of North Carolina at Wilmington (Phi), and Eastern Kentucky University (chi). All four of these chapters were formed in 1987. The tax chapter of Rho Phi Lambda was installed at MU in 1987.
The first permanent National Officers were elected in the spring of 1988 as follows:
President: Robert McClellan, Clemson University
Vice President: Carol Love, N.C. State University
Secretary: Roger Warren, N.C. State University
Treasurer: Frances C. Cannon, Florida State University
Rho Phi Lambda is open to both undergraduate and graduate students in Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences. For more information about Rho Phi Lambda and becoming a member of this honor society please contact the Rho Phi Lambda Advisor, Dr. Jamie Rae Walker, JamieRae.Walker@ag.tamu.edu