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​​​​​​​Acting Vice President for Administration and Finance Stephen Nedder gave Rhode Island College freshman Brandon Phivilay a handshake and a certificate acknowledging Phivilay’s induction into the 3.5 Society.  

“Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another,” penned English writer G.K. Chesterton.

In that spirit, 221 Rhode Island College freshmen pledged to uphold the high academic standards achieved during their first college semester as they were inducted into the 3.5 Society.

The 3.5 Society is the college’s honor society that recognizes the academic excellence of full-time freshmen who earn a minimum grade point average of 3.5 in their first semester.

In keeping with the 3.5 theme, Rhode Island College holds the society’s annual induction ceremony on (or close to) March 5 at 3:50 p.m. Members receive special honor cords at graduation. 

“We are here to celebrate your outstanding academic achievement,” said Professor of Mathematics Rebecca Sparks, who serves as advisor of the 3.5 Society. “As members of the 3.5 Society and the Rhode Island College community, we share in the college’s mission, which values academic excellence, informed by cultural inquiry, civic engagement and co-curricular activities, and respect for diversity and differences.”​
​​​ Rhode Island freshman Katarina Dulude and her mother, Grace, at the 3.5 Society ceremony. ​

Since its inception in 2013, this is the seventh class of 3.5 Society members to be inducted, bringing the total number of society members at Rhode Island College to 1,228. 

“It feels really good to be recognized for my accomplishments but I wasn’t expecting this,” said inductee Katarina Dulude, a freshman majoring in English with a 4.0 grade point average. 

Grace Dulude ’97, Katarina’s mother, said her daughter is a “smart cookie.” 

“She’s very determined and has always been driven; that’s her personality,” she said. “I have to tell her sometimes to take a break and have some fun because she works so hard.”

Freshman 3.5 Society inductee Brandon Phivilay works hard, too. Aside from being a full-time student, he works two jobs: at a noodle house restaurant in Cranston and in the Donovan Dining Center. He is an intended nursing major who also has a 4.0 grade point average.

Phanida Phivilay said her son is modest about his success. “He’s taking very complex science-based courses, and I’m amazed,” she said. “I’m happy that he’s following in my footsteps because nursing is such an open field and I believe he will have many options.”​ 

“Since I was little I looked up to my mom, who worked in a hospital as a nurse practitioner,” Phivilay​ said. “So nursing has long been the career I’m aiming for.”