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Who We Are

Cardinal Key National Honor Sorority was organized on May 6,1932, as a result of requests for a nation­wide honor sorority for college or university women of at least junior standing. The founder and sponsor for a number of years was the late B.C. Riley who founded the men’s honorary fraternity, Blue Key.

In 1939, a National Director was elected under a new constitution and bylaws adopted by all chapters. The first National Director was Mrs. Ruth L. Riley, the wife of founder Dr. B.C. Riley; she served until her retirement in 1962 due to ill health.

Dr. Byrd Burton of Northern Arizona University was then elected as the second National Director and served until her retirement in 1972. Dr. Roy Morgan of Eastern New Mexico University was appointed in 1972 to fill Dr. Burton’s unexpired term. He was then elected as the Sorority’s third National Director at the 1973 Board of Directors’ Meeting and served until his retirement in 1981. Jacqueline Williams, a member of the National Advisory Board, was elected by the Board at the 1981 Convention to serve as the Sorority’s fourth National Director. Ms. Williams served until 1985 when Edith Borg, Assistant National Director, was elected to serve as National Director. Mrs. Borg served until her retirement in 1989 at which time Mary Tiffin was elected. Ms. Tiffin served Cardinal Key for a four-year term, ending in 1993. National Advisor Rayna Diers was then elected and is currently serving as our seventh National Director.

Cardinal Key was incorporated by Arizona State laws in Phoenix on November 8, 1967, as a nonprofit organization.

On July 1,1976, the Sorority complied with the Title 9 legislation and opened its membership to both men andoowomen. For historical purposes, the name ‘Sorority’ was retained until October 25, 1991, when it was changed to Cardinal Key National Honor Society, Inc.

Cardinal Key is an organization open to all students with a cumulative 3.0 GPA and having accumulated between 61 and 90 credit hours who have demonstrated scholastic achievement and leadership in the college community and who are deemed to be leaders. Cardinal Key aims to honor these ideals, inspire leadership in others, and utilize leadership capabilities in an active program of service to school, community, and country.

The purposes of Cardinal Key are to recognize achievement in scholarship and extracurricular activities; to advance personal growth, patriotism, and service by affording training for leadership in the college community; and to develop worthy character by application of the cardinal virtues of living--Faith, Trust, Fortitude, and Wisdom.

MOTTO: The motto of Cardinal Key is “Faith, Trust, Fortitude, and Wisdom; I shall observe them faithfully, that my service may be genuine, my life complete.”