Lawrence seniors inducted into Phi Beta Kappa

Brianna Stapleton

This spring, members of Lawrence’s senior class will be inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. In order to be selected for this honor, seniors must be in the top 20 percent of their class and have a diverse liberal arts class spread.
Founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary, Phi Beta Kappa is America’s oldest honor society. Only 10 percent of colleges and universities in the United States have Phi Beta Kappa chapters, and of these schools only 10 percent of the student body is admitted.
Senior Melody Waring was inducted to Phi Beta Kappa in fall of 2006. She reported that the top ten students of the senior class were inducted in the fall, with the remaining students in the top 10 percent being inducted in the spring.
This will bring the total membership of this year’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter to about 30 students.
“Phi Beta Kappa is an active society for faculty,” Waring explained. “If you are inducted as an undergrad and then become a faculty or staff member at a university, you then become an active member of that campus’s society.”
These faculty members assist in planning the induction ceremony, and occasionally help select guest speakers who come to Lawrence and speak at the invitation of Phi Beta Kappa.
John Dunbar is another senior who was inducted in the fall. He described Phi Beta Kappa as an honor that will help members far past graduation.
“Induction into Phi Beta Kappa is considered to be one of the highest honors that an undergraduate can receive,” said Dunbar. “To graduate schools or employers, Phi Beta Kappa is an instant indication of your academic prowess and intellect.”
Students joining the ranks of Phi Beta Kappa this spring will be in good company. Some well-known members of the society include Peyton Manning, Gloria Steinem, Stephen Sondheim, John Updike, Rivers Cuomo and Hillary Clinton.