National Recognition for Phi Beta Kappa

Image of Dickinson's Phi Beta Kappa

The Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) Committee on Chapters recently named Dickinson's PBK chapter one of the 20 top rated in the nation. Chartered in 1887, Dickinson's chapter­—the Alpha chapter of Pennsylvania—earned the honor for its initiation rate, participation, activities and administrative support.

"We were very pleased to receive the note of recognition from the national Phi Beta Kappa organization," says Brett Pearson, assistant professor of physics and astronomy and president of the Alpha chapter. "I think it speaks highly of not only the active participation by our faculty, student and administrator members in campus life but also of the supportive relationship we have had with the college and other campus organizations over the years."

The oldest undergraduate honorary society in the United States, PBK was founded in 1776, and being selected for membership is considered by many to be the highest undergraduate academic honor, with membership granted to only approximately 1 percent of college graduates.

The top-20 recognition puts the college's chapter in consideration for an Exemplary Chapter Award, given every 3 years, but for Pearson it's not about recognition as much as it's about the traits that underlie the honor: "As we go forward, our desire is to continue promoting a truly active engagement with the liberal arts and sciences at Dickinson."

Published April 19, 2013