By Lam Ho
This year, seven students will be inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most well known academic honor society.
Bronte Marie Goodhue (C’15)
Brian Barrett Glatt (C’15)
Charlotte Whitcomb Salley (C’15)
Callie Ashton Oldfield (C’15)
Kiela Aileen Crabtree (C’16)
Kelsa Anne Warner (C’15)
Chase Benson Brantley (C’15)
Phi Beta Kappa only has chapters in 10% of higher learning institutions, and only 10% of each institution is eligible to receive membership. To become a part of the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Sewanee, students must complete five consecutive semesters and demonstrate academic excellence in terms of GPA. Moreover, students are evaluated as positive rolemodels on campus before receiving an official invitation.
“Phi Beta Kappa is very prestigious and very academically based… I think that it’s an achievement that says more than the fact that you’ve gotten good grades; it’s about having a passion for learning,” says Vice President Goodhue.
Phi Beta Kappa was founded in Tennessee in 1926. At Sewanee, the original meeting place was at the Kappa Sigma house, which has since been converted to the Archives building next to the library. The induction ceremony was once held during the students’ junior year, but this year the induction will be held on Parents’ Weekend for seniors at the Kappa Sigma house, paying homage to the location of the very first Phi Beta Kappa meeting on Sewanee soil.
Phi Beta Kappa was originally founded in 1776 by five students at the College of William and Mary. Today there are over half a million members and chapters at 280 colleges across the United States. The organization emphasizes the importance of friendship, morality, and learning, and the students selected to become a part of this organization demonstrate leadership in each of these ways.
Being a part of Phi Beta Kappa benefits those applying for graduate school, as it is one of the most widely recognized ways of indicating that a person demonstrates a unique work ethic and an interest in the liberal arts.
Josh King (C’10), President of the Phi Beta Kappa chapter at Sewanee, says, “Oftentimes these students don’t know each other, and they don’t know the members who aren’t students here but are here on the campus… What I hope it will do in the coming months is do a better job of creating an intergenerational community of scholars on our campus… For our high-achieving students, it’s an opportunity to make excellent connections and to facilitate excellent conversations. As much as it is about being a high achiever, it is about developing friendships through scholarship.”