Origin of the Name
The organizers of the Society, when seeking a suitable name, sought the help of a
learned Greek scholar, Professor George P. Bristol of Cornell University. Professor
Bristol suggested a Greek word, which in the Latin form is spelled PHILOZOI and means
“love for animals.” The abbreviation of Phi Zeta was adopted as the name of the Society.
The emblem consists of a pendant formed by the letter Phi superimposed by the letter
Zeta. The design was the work of Louis Agassiz Fuertes, the great naturalist and
- The overall goal of the Society of Phi Zeta is to promote scholarship and research
in matters pertaining to the welfare and diseases of animals.
- To promote scholarship in the veterinary curriculum, the Society recognizes students
who have excelled in all aspects of veterinary medicine.
- To promote research in veterinary medicine, the Society sponsors research competition
at the national level. The Tau chapter sponsors an annual Research Emphasis Day which
features research competition for students, advanced studies students and faculty.
Membership in the Society of Phi Zeta consists of two classifications, Active and
Honorary. Those eligible to election as Active Members are
- Any candidate for the DVM/VMD degree in a veterinary medical college where a chapter
exists and who has completed at least two years of the professional curriculum and
who meet the following requirements:
- The candidate must have an acceptable personality, be of good moral character, and
possess high ideals regarding professional services and conduct.
- When elected in the junior or third year, students must rank scholastically in the
highest 10 percent of their veterinary medical class.
- Any veterinarian who has been in possession of a veterinary medical degree for at
least two years, and who has displayed ability of high order in dealing with one or
more phases of the science of veterinary medicine, and who meets one of the following
- The candidate is enrolled as a graduate student in a college of veterinary medicine
and has completed at least twenty semester (thirty quarter) hours of graduate credit
or has successfully passed preliminary examinations.
- The candidate has been engaged in an intern or residency program for at least two
years or has become board certified in his/her specialty.
- The candidate has completed two years or more on the faculty of an institution or
scientific staff of a scientific institution within commuting distance of the nearest
chapter of Phi Zeta and has been involved in veterinary research or service.
- Those eligible for election as Honorary Members are:
- Distinguished veterinarians in possession of their veterinary medical degrees for
at least five years and who have rendered notable service to their profession
- Persons not in possession of the veterinary medical degree, who have rendered distinguished
service in the advancement of the science relating to the animal industry and particularly
of animal diseases.
- Only in exceptional instances shall more than two honorary members be elected by any
one chapter in any one academic year.