Phi Beta Kappa


Phi Beta Kappa
“Love of wisdom, the guide of life.”

What is Phi Beta Kappa?

Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest and most prestigious undergraduate honors organization, recognizing achievement in the liberal arts. Phi Beta Kappa was founded on December 5, 1776, at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Currently 262 chapters exist throughout the United States. In October 1937, The College of St. Catherine was the first Catholic college or university to be awarded a chapter. Gaining a chapter is accomplished through a rigorous process of application and examination of an institution.

What does The Phi Beta Kappa Society do?

For more than 200 years, the Phi Beta Kappa Society has pursued its mission of fostering and recognizing excellence in the liberal arts and sciences.

St. Catherine University, graduate schools, and employers recognize the importance of PBK and what it means to be inducted as a member. It is an indication of academic excellence and lifelong learning.

The individual chapters work with the national office to sustain a variety of programs that honor and champion liberal arts
scholarship. Each year Phi Beta Kappa, with its affiliates, raises and distributes over $1,000,000 to benefit students and scholars. One program St. Kate's participates in is the Visiting Scholars Program, where nationally recognized Phi Beta Kappa professionals come to campus to participate in classes and present lectures.

The Key Reporter is the Society’s quarterly newsletter. The Society’s respected publication, The American Scholar, has been published quarterly, for general circulation, since 1932. Widely recognized as an important forum in American intellectual life, the journal offers articles and essays on a range of literary, artistic, and scientific subjects.

Famous Members of PBK:

Bill Clinton, George Bush Sr., Elizabeth Dole, John Updike, Francis Ford Coppola, Stephen Sondheim, Jonas Salk, Rita Dove, Tom Brokaw, Glenn Close, Gloria Steinem, Robert Frost, Sister Antonia McHugh, Condoleezza Rice, Paul Wellstone, and many more...