Golden Key Spotlights: Edward Donato, Jessica Cathcart and Kiran Dhillon


Golden Key International Honour Society, founded on 29 November 1977, is an academic honor society which recognizes and encourages scholastic achievement and excellence among college and university students from all academic disciplines.

We’re proud to have more than two million amazing members of Golden Key around the world, and we love hearing and sharing the stories of why each person joined and what they’ve gained from their time with us. Here we share the stories of three inspiring members…

Edward Donato McMaster University 

“The reason I initially joined Golden Key was due to the encouragements of one of my professors who is one of the chapters honorary members. She mentioned that joining the chapter would not only present opportunities but would encourage me to continue my academic excellence knowing that I’ve been recognized for my hard work.

“After joining, I took part in some great events and travelled across Canada to conferences in Montreal and Edmonton. I was able to make great friends and had the opportunity to speak to professors that I wouldn’t have met unless I joined the society. Being a member also pushed me to improve myself both academically and personally, which ultimately led me to be the president of the chapter in my final year of my undergrad. 

“Although being president of one of the largest clubs on campus seemed daunting at first, it made me realize that all of us work incredibly hard to do well in both school, and Golden Key presented a medium, not only for myself but for all its members to be proud their accomplishments and open doors of opportunity for us to excel even farther. With that, I would encourage joining, as it has opened so many opportunities for me to grow as a person and make friends who have pushed me to do better in school and in life.” 

Jessica Cathcart University of Victoria 

“I initially joined because I felt that membership would be a great addition to my CV. However, my years of involvement with Golden Key were much more than this. Truly, they were life-changing. 

“I was fortunate enough to attend 3 CANCON conferences during my time with GK, one in Montreal, one in Toronto, and one in Vancouver. I had GK’s financial assistance attending the Montreal and Toronto conferences, and never would have been able to visit those cities otherwise. I also met students from universities across Canada at these conferences who are now lifelong friends. The events and seminars I attended at these conferences inspired me to work toward my dream of becoming a doctor. 

“I also applied for, and was awarded, a $5000 USD scholarship by Golden Key. This money helped me to stay out of debt while attending university full-time, maintaining my GPA, working, and playing competitive softball. 

“I truly believe that I would not be where I am today without GK. Not only was this the avenue for many volunteer/extracurricular activities that helped me get into medical school, but it was the support network that I needed to get through university AND have a lot of fun along the way. I have always felt very supported by my the GK community, and several of my fellow executive team members are my closest friends to this day. GK is an invaluable experience for those who commit to getting involved.” 

Kiran Dhillon University of British Columbia 

“Being the recipient of the Golden Key Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship was much-appreciated financial assistance that helped me pursue my career in medicine. It was also an affirmation to continue doing the extra-curricular and volunteer work that I loved so much.”

About Golden Key

Golden Key is the world's largest collegiate honor society. Membership into the Society is by invitation only and applies to the top 15% of college and university sophomores, juniors and seniors, as well as top-performing graduate students in all fields of study, based solely on their academic achievements. As an international honor society with more than 400 chapters at colleges and universities around the world, Golden Key is committed to a high standard of scholastic achievement, and an ethos of integrity, innovation, respect, collaboration and diversity.