Created in 1924 in honor of Edwin Erle Sparks, Alpha-Chi 1884, Iota 1884, president emeritus of Pennsylvania State University, and a truly great Chi Phi. The Sparks Memorial Medal is awarded by the Chi Phi Educational Trust each year.
The Sparks Memorial Medal is Chi Phi’s highest award for individual academic achievement, reserved exclusively for those Brothers who have excelled in their academic rigors. It is awarded to the man in each Chapter and Colony who has attained the highest scholastic standing for that year.
A truly singular honor, the Sparks Memorial Medal itself contains many historic symbols. A bar that bears the faces of the Hobart Order serves as the top anchor. It contains the word “Paideia,” Greek for “learning acquired by education.” A scarlet and blue ribbon, colors identical to those of the Hobart Order, suspends the medal from the bar pin. The medal is an embossed replica of the old Princeton pin containing the symbolic swords of the Southern Order and the stars of the Princeton Order. At the top and the bottom of the Phi is the name “Sparks Medal.”
Since only one medal can be awarded to each Chapter and Colony, the task of selecting the recipients can sometimes be quite Herculean. However, in the rare event of a tie in GPA, multiple Medals may be awarded.