International Honor Society provides new opportunities for WU business students

Lauren Eckert

Business students at Washburn University now have the option of graduating with the highest honor for students of business and management; by graduating as members of the International Honor Society Beta Gamma Sigma.

Beta Gamma Sigma recognizes the outstanding academic achievement of students pursuing degrees in business and management in programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.  Membership in this society is the highest recognition a business student can receive in a baccalaureate, post-baccalaureate or doctoral program in business.

In 2008, the Washburn University chapter of BGS inducted its first membership class consisting of approximately 40 students, including those pursuing their Master’s in Business Administration. The induction was just as successful in May of 2009, where 35 new members were added to the chapter.

The induction ceremony is held in the Bradbury Thompson Center and features a dinner, where inductees and their families gather to celebrate their achievements. During the May 2008 induction ceremony, the chapter honored Washburn School of Business Alumni Denise Walsh, Corporate Tax Manager of Hills Pet and Nutrition, for excellence in professional achievement.

Last May, the Washburn chapter made Exemplary Chapter, meaning the chapter had an acceptance rate between 70 and 84 percent of all students who were eligible. This achievement will allow BGS to award a $1,000 scholarship to a deserving student at the May 2010 induction.

Junior, senior and graduate school business students who rank in the top 10 percent of their class are eligible to apply for the honor society. Members are selected based on their application and by faculty opinion.

Tom Clevenger is the faculty advisor for BGS at Washburn.

“We are proud to be able to have a chapter here and be able to offer this and to help the students who are due recognition get recognition,” Clevenger said. “We hope our academic community understands the importance of what these business students have achieved in their scholastic efforts.”

David Sollars, dean of the Washburn School of Business, is an avid supporter of the organization.

“Beta Gamma Sigma recognizes outstanding academic excellence. Students shouldn’t discount that. This is an honor you can put on a resume and it will stick with you for a long time,” Sollars said. “You can never have too many honors.”

The mission of BGS is to “encourage and honor academic achievement in the study of business, to foster personal and professional excellence, to advance the values of the Society, and to serve its lifelong members.”

“We’re just glad students are interested,” Sollars said.