Golden Key International Honour Society

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Golden Key International Honour Society
MottoTo enable members to realize their potential through the advancement of academics, leadership and service.
FormationNovember 29, 1977
TypeHonor society
HeadquartersAtlanta, Georgia
LocationUnited States
MembershipOver 2 million[1]
Jump to: navigation, search
Golden Key International Honour Society
MottoTo enable members to realize their potential through the advancement of academics, leadership and service.
FormationNovember 29, 1977
TypeHonor society
HeadquartersAtlanta, Georgia
LocationUnited States
MembershipOver 2 million[1]

The Golden Key International Honour Society (formerly Golden Key National Honor Society) is an Atlanta, Georgia-based non-profit organization[2] founded in 1977 to recognise academic achievement among college and university students in all disciplines. The "Controversy" section originally on this page has been removed.

Golden Key currently has over 400 chapters at colleges and universities in eight countries: Australia, Canada, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, The Bahamas and the United States. Golden Key is the world's largest collegiate honor society. Membership into Golden Key is by invitation only, to the top 15% of college/university 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students and top performing US graduate students in all fields of study, based solely on the criteria of their academic achievements.[3]



Golden Key was founded by a group of undergraduate students and faculty members at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia, on November 29, 1977.

In 2001, the society modified its name to Golden Key International Honour Society to reflect its diversity and global presence. The spelling of "Honour" was utilized to observe the more globally accepted spelling.


Golden Key offers a number of services for its members. These include résumé and graduate program assistance, career planning and opportunities, leadership opportunities, networking, and member discounts. Golden Key offers more than $1,000,000 annually in scholarships and awards to its members along with a variety of other opportunities, both academic and career.[4] Golden Key's core values include community service and its chapters are involved in a wide variety of volunteer projects in their local communities such as Habitat for Humanity, Terry Fox Run, Make a Difference Day, and various literacy service opportunities.[5] The Golden Key International Honour Society was among 10 organizations to receive the In2Books Community Service Award in 2010.[6]

Golden Key is an active member of several organizations, including the Association of College Honor Societies, an American agency certifying college and university honor societies. Other organizations Golden Key is involved with include:[7]

Golden Key is governed by an international Board of Directors.[8] Its volunteer advisory structure includes the International Leadership Council, the Council of Advisors[9] and the Council of Student Members.[10]

Fund Distribution

In non-profit corporations' fund usage, it is the recommended practice for a 65%/35% ratio to exist comparing "programs" to G&A and fundraising. Golden Key's ratio for 2008 was 84/16, in 2009 88/12 and in 2010 85/12; thus the Society is currently utilizing its funds in a way that is well above and beyond the "recommended practice." Golden Key publishes its annual reports every year in August and makes them available online. In addition, Golden Key is a certified member of the Association of College Honor Societies. ACHS is the nation's only certifying agency for college/university honor societies. Golden Key is one of 63 organizations that have met the high standards of ACHS.

Questions were asked over a decade ago about the amount of money spent on giving out scholarships. Articles in the University of British Columbia student newspaper the Ubyssey claimed to have examined the society's finances and scholarship practices. The Ubyssey noted that in 1997 salaries, management and general expenses totaled almost 47 percent of the total expenditures. The old information printed in the Ubyssey is outdated and not the practice of the Society today. The society is continually increasing their scholarship offerings and currently awards over $1,000,000 annually in scholarships and awards. All recent financials since 2008 have been made publicly available on their website and are audited by third party auditors. Golden Key has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Each local chapter receives funding from Golden Key headquarters and may use this money as they see fit to run various events and community service projects. A variable amount (minimum $100) of additional funds are allocated for in-house chapter cash scholarships. The amount given for these local scholarships is based on the number of members inducted, which is then distributed by the local chapter in accordance with their determined criteria. Some criteria may include active participation in chapter service projects and meeting attendance. Most chapters divide their available chapter scholarships into three awards: one each for Sophomore, Junior and Senior students.

Honorary members

Honorary members are elected by Golden Key. They do not necessarily endorse the validity of the Golden Key organization or participate in its activities.[11]

Well-known honorary members include:[11]

  1. Roberta Bondar, Canada's First Female Astronaut
  2. Adrienne Clarkson, former Governor General of Canada
  3. Cooper Randall, Australian Biochemist
  4. William J. Clinton, Former US President
  5. Ujjal Dev Singh Dosanjh, Canadian lawyer and politician
  6. Bill Cosby, Entertainer
  7. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu (Nobel Peace Prize Laureate)
  8. Ronald W. Reagan, Former US President
  9. Ian Thorpe, Olympic Gold Medalist
  10. Braden, Brown, U.S Army Soldier, Combat Veteran 2003-2012
  11. Riaan Manser - Solo adventurer and motivational speaker
  12. Clem Sunter - Professional speaker, scenario planner and author
  13. Tupac Amaru Shakur - Entertainer
  14. Nicol David - No.1 women's squash player in the world
  15. Quentin Bryce - Governor General of Australia
  16. Mohammad Ranjbar
  17. Professor Patrick McGorry - Australian of the Year 2010
  18. Richard M. Daley - Mayor of Chicago
  19. Eddie Sutton - Former Men's Basketball Coach at Oklahoma State
  20. Dolly Parton - Entertainer
  21. Ted Stevens - Former U.S. Senator
  22. Donny Osmond - Entertainer
  23. Julian Bond - Civil Rights Activist
  24. Joseph P. Kennedy II - Former member of the U.S. House of Representatives
  25. Thomas Menino - Mayor of Boston
  26. Tim Tebow - Former Heisman Trophy Winner at the University of Florida
  27. Tom Allen - Former member of the U.S. House of Representatives
  28. Stephen King - Bestselling Author
  29. Mike Krzyzewski - Men's Basketball Coach at Duke University
  30. Bobby Bowden - Former Head Football Coach at Florida State University
  31. Charlie Crist - Former Governor of Florida
  32. Jim Perdue - Chairman of Perdue Farms
  33. Myron Rolle - Rhodes Scholar and current member of the NFL's Tennessee Titans
  34. Margaret Atwood - Canadian Author and Poet


External links