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Cumberlands Professor Receives Meritorious Service Award


Williamsburg, Ky. – Over the semester break several members of the University of the Cumberlands (UC) Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society attended the National Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society Conference in Orlando, Florida. This conference occurs every 2 years and chapters from all around the country participate.

Dr. Eric Wake, Chair of the UC History & Political Science department, has been the sponsor of the UC chapter of Phi Alpha Theta since 1985. During the Conference, Wake was awarded the Meritorious Service Award. This is the second award that Wake has received for his years of service to the organization.

“Eric Wake has been one of the most outstanding advisors our organization has had the privilege of working with,” said Phi Alpha Theta National Executive Director Dr. Jack Tunstall. “His chapter has won our coveted Best Chapter Award every year for more than three decades, and his dedication to the organization and his students is an example I wish all of our advisors would follow. It is for all this and more that we proudly presented him with a well-deserved service award at our 2012 Biennial Convention.”

Each year since Dr. Wake became sponsor of the Upsilon Upsilon Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the Chapter has been named the Best Chapter. Wake has had a lot of influence on the national level with the Honor Society having served on a number of Advisory Committees and being a counselor to other Chapters over the years.

“Dr. Wake was there day in and day out, inspiring me and others to achieve more than we thought possible,” stated Jeff Burdette (’86) in a recent interview. “His way and manner are unique in that subtle gestures and quiet words of encouragement offered a young farm boy with very low expectations inspiration to become successful beyond his dreams.”

Wake’s high expectations also contributed to the success of the Chapter. “His high expectations and commitment to excellence made all of us come together to function as one,” stated Amon Couch (’91) in a recent interview. “Relationships were a critical part of the organization. The other officers, along with the organization’s members, worked closely together to form true lifelong friendships – ones that exist today.”

Founded in 1974, the Upsilon-Upsilon chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the international honor society in history, holds the distinction of being both the oldest and the most frequently honored society at University of the Cumberlands, having received the Best Chapter Honor 34 out of the last 35 years. As one of the most active organizations on campus, Upsilon-Upsilon sponsors a popular lecture series, fundraisers, social events, and publishes the scholarly journal, The Upsilonian.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees; more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; seven graduate degrees, including a doctorate and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.

Article provided by Lauren Dill, University of the Cumberlands Multimedia and Athletic Services Department Student Assistant