NSCS: Providing service with “honor”

Kerry Lester

“NSCS? Oh, I’m in that, too.” This is usually where the conversation regarding Villanovans’ knowledge and involvement in their chapter of the National Society of College Scholars stops.

But what exactly is it? The NSCS is an honors organization recognizing outstanding academic achievement primarily among first and second year college students and encouraging members to develop leadership skills through community service.

Founded in 1994 at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., Villanova is one of over 170 active chapters at college and university campuses across the United States.

With such a degree of mystery enveloping students’ knowledge of the organization, it is anything but a small club. In fact, nearly one-fourth of Villanova’s campus is involved, with roughly 1,600 students enlisted as members. A grade point average of 3.4 by a student’s sophomore and junior year is required for admission.

On Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. in the Pavilion, 458 new members were inducted into NSCS. Chapter president Noel Panebianco, a junior, was in charge of the ceremonies. Each member present was asked to bring canned goods to donate to a local charity.

It may look good on a resume, but Panebianco urges members to realize the added benefits of continuous involvement in NSCS.

“You get in because of academics,” she explains. “But our goal is to make your next two or three years of Villanova life continuously dedicated toward service.”

No one is forced to do volunteer work as a member of NSCS. However, when inducted into the organization, it is assumed you will contribute some of your time, which shouldn’t be too hard, Panebianco adds with a smile. “But Villanova as a whole is pretty good about that,” she said.

This weekend, the society has committed six representatives to the Philadelphia Dragon Boat Festival held every year in Chinatown.

“This is entertainment and a fundraiser meant to benefit the Fox Chase Cancer Center” Panebianco says. “It’s one opportunity to get us involved in the community.”