Phi Beta Kappa Society

Phi Beta Kappa Society

Infobox Organization
name = The Phi Beta Kappa Society

size = 160px
caption = The Phi Beta Kappa Key
motto = _el. Φιλοσοφία Βίου Κυβερνήτης
Love of learning is the guide of life
formation = December 5, 1776
type = Honor society
headquarters = Washington, D.C.
location = United States
membership = Over 500,000
language = English
leader_title = Secretary
leader_name = John Churchill
num_staff =
budget =
website = [ Phi Beta Kappa Homepage]
The Phi Beta Kappa Society is an academic honor society with the mission of "fostering and recognizing excellence" in the undergraduate liberal arts and sciences.cite web
url =
title = The Phi Beta Kappa Society
accessdate = 2007-08-09
publisher = Phi Beta Kappa
] Founded at the College of William and Mary on December 5, 1776, it is the oldest [Although older honorary college societies existed in 1776 at William and Mary and Yale University, none of them survive today.] and most prestigious honor society in the United States. Phi Beta Kappa is also the first collegiate organization to adopt a Greek-letter name.cite web
url =
title = A Brief History of Phi Beta Kappa
accessdate = 2007-08-09
work = About ΦΒΚ
publisher = Phi Beta Kappa
] Today there are 276 chapters and over half a million living members.cite web
url =
title = Phi Beta Kappa Awards Chapter to Washington College
accessdate = 2007-08-14
publisher = Washington College

Phi Beta Kappa ( _el. ΦΒΚ) stands for _el. Φιλοσοφία Βίου Κυβερνήτης or " _el. philosophia biou kubernetes" — "Love of learning is the guide of life."cite web
url =
title = Students Initiated into New Phi Beta Kappa Chapter at Xavier University
accessdate = 2007-08-14
publisher = Xavier University News


Although each individual chapter determines its specific application of the Phi Beta Kappa Council's 1952 Stipulations Concerning Eligibility for Membership and sets its own academic standards, even the most generous chapter will typically elect fewer than 10% among the candidates for degrees at that College of Arts and Sciences.

Phi Beta Kappa is generally considered the most prestigious American college honor society,cite news
first = Susan C.
last = Thomson
title = Phi Beta Kappa Is Not A Social Fraternity
url =
format = Abstract
work =
publisher = The Washington Post
page = A 18
date = June 20, 2004
accessdate = 2007-08-09
quote = Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious college honor society, isn't ringing the same old bell with college students.
] and membership is one of the highest honors that can be conferred on undergraduate liberal arts and science students.

In the last two decades, however, rates of acceptance of Phi Beta Kappa membership invitations by students or "members in course" have significantly dropped. During the last triennial convention held in October 2006, the national secretary (chief executive officer) of Phi Beta Kappa admitted in his annual State of the Society address that:

:The data show a generally heartening, but not entirely untroubled picture. At about a third of our chapters, essentially no one turns down the invitation. At almost another third, the acceptance rate is above 80 percent. But at the remaining chapters, almost 100, the rates are lower. At a small number of chapters, the percentage of invited students who are subsequently initiated is as low as 40 percent and 30 percent. Some who have seen these figures question the viability of those campuses as sheltering institutions.John W. Churchill, "State of the Society Address", 41st Triennial Convention of Phi Beta Kappa, Atlanta, Georgia, October 2006.]

The national secretary then admitted, "It is distressing that anyone should decline this honor. Our aim is to have strong acceptance rates at all our chapters." But clearly, fewer outstanding students consider initiation into Phi Beta Kappa a worthwhile endeavor than in years past.

Refusal of the invitation occurs almost entirely at large state universities. This is especially common in the Western United States, where there are comparatively few old private universities. Reasons given include a lack of knowledge of the society (especially by first-generation and foreign college students), the initiation fee, lack of perceived benefit to the honoree, low prestige for academic achievement at the institution, and earlier invitations by other (often local) academic honor societies which may be better known. At the University of Connecticut, for example, a top student ordinarily receives invitations to three other general academic honor societies which are listed in the student handbook, and often one or more departmental honor societies; each of them requires a fee and makes the invitation earlier in the school year. Many such students in the University of California system initially refuse, but later ask to be reconsidered after they learn of the society's high prestige. [New York Times, "Phi Beta Kappa Key Being Turned Down By Many Honorees", May 26, 1996.] [Letter from the Western District Chair Bette Harris, Western Key Newsletter, Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Association (July, 2006).]


The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, was one of the fourteen colonial colleges established in the 1600s and 1700s. Founded in 1693, the College is second in age only to Harvard among American colleges and universities. The Phi Beta Kappa Society was founded on December 5, 1776 at the College of William and Mary and established the precedent for naming American college societies after the Greek-letter initials of a secret Greek motto.

The group consisted of students who frequented the Raleigh Tavern as a common meeting area off the college campus. There is a persistent rumor that a Masonic lodge also met in the same place, but there was a different building used by the Freemasons at Williamsburg. [cite web|accessdate=
url= |title=Freemasonry in Williamsburge: An Overview History of Williamsburg Lodge #6, A.F.& A.M. of Virginia |author=Brinkley, M. Kent Brinkley |location=Williamsburg, Virginia |date=March 1, 1999
publisher=Acacia Lodge No. 16 A.F.&A.M.
] It is true that ten of the original members were Freemasons. cite book |author = Hastings, William T. |year = 1965 |title = "Phi Beta Kappa as a Secret Society with its Relations to Freemasonry and Antimasonry Some Supplementary Documents" |location = Richmond, Virginia |publisher = United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa |page = 5 ] Whether the students organized to meet more freely and discuss non-academic topics, or to discuss politics in a Revolutionary society, is unknown; the earliest records indicate only that the students met to debate and engage in oratory, and on topics that would have been not far removed from the curriculum. cite book |author = Hastings, William T. |year = 1965 |title = "Phi Beta Kappa as a Secret Society with its Relations to Freemasonry and Antimasonry Some Supplementary Documents" |location = Richmond, Virginia |publisher = United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa |pages = 83-85] [cite web|accessdate=
url= |date=5/6/96 |publisher=Sam Houston State University
work=Brief History of Fraternities |title=Phi Beta Kappa|author=Fleming, Bill
] In the Phi Beta Kappa Initiation of 1779, the new member was informed, "here then you may for a while disengage yourself from scholastic cares and communicate without reserve whatever reflections you have made upon various objects; remembering that every thing transacted within this room is transacted "sub rosa",, too, you are to indulge in matters of speculation that freedom of enquiry which ever dispels the clouds of falsehood by the radiant sunshine of truth...". cite book |author = Hastings, William T. |year = 1965 |title = "Phi Beta Kappa as a Secret Society with its Relations to Freemasonry and Antimasonry Some Supplementary Documents" |location = Richmond, Virginia |publisher = United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa |page = 5]

There had been earlier societies at the College, including the well-known F.H.C. or Flat Hat Club, founded in 1750. William & Mary alumnus and third U.S. President,Thomas Jefferson, is perhaps the most famous member of F.H.C.cite web|accessdate=
title=Shhh! The Secret Side to the College’s Lesser Known Societies |date=November 2, 2004
author=Millfield, Becca |work=The DoG Street Journal
publisher=The College of William & Mary's daily online
] Other notable members of the original Society included Col. James Innes, St. George Tucker, and George Wythe. ["F.H.C. Society," [ University Archives Subject File Collection] , Special Collections Research Center, Earl Gregg Swem Library, College of William and Mary.] Jefferson noted that "When I was a student of Wm. & Mary college of this state, there existed a society called the F.H.C. society, confined to the number of six students only, of which I was a member, but it had no useful object, nor do I know whether it now exists."cite book |author = Hastings, William T. |year = 1965 |title = Phi Beta Kappa as a Secret Society with its Relations to Freemasonry and Antimasonry Some Supplementary Documents |location = Richmond, Virginia |publisher = United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa |pages = 38-39] The best opinion is that the society did not survive the invasion by British forces during the Revolution.

A second society at William & Mary was the P.D.A. Society, (nicknamed "Please Don't Ask"Fact|date=March 2008). John Heath, one of the lead organizers of Phi Beta Kappa (according to tradition) sought but was refused admission to the P.D.A. However, it seems more likely that Heath genuinely disdained P.D.A. His colleague William Short later wrote that they "had lost all reputation for letters, and [were] noted only for the dissipation & conviviality of [their] members."cite book |author = Hastings, William T. |year = 1965 |title = "Phi Beta Kappa as a Secret Society with its Relations to Freemasonry and Antimasonry Some Supplementary Documents" |location = Richmond, Virginia |publisher = United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa |pages = 84]

The new society was intended to be "purely of domestic manufacture, without any connexion whatever with anything European, either English or German." The founders of Phi Beta Kappa declared that the society was formed for congeniality and to promote good fellowship, with "friendship as its basis and benevolence and literature as its pillars."

As with these older, Latin-letter fraternities, the Phi Beta Kappa was a secret society. To protect their members and to instill a sense of solidarity, each had the essential attributes of most modern fraternities: an oath of secrecy, a badge or token of membership, mottoes (in the case of the Phi Beta Kappa, in Greek rather than in Latin), a ritual of initiation; to these, the Phi Beta Kappa would soon add another attribute, branches or "chapters" at other colleges. The society was given the motto, _el. Φιλοσοφία Βίου Κυβερνήτης or "Philosophy is the helmsman of life," now officially translated as "Philosophy is the guide of life". [Citation | last = Everett | first = Edward | title = Importance of Practical Education and Useful Knowledge | place = Boston | publisher = Marsh, Capen, Lyon, and Webb | year = 1840 | page = 382 | url =] Greek was chosen as the language for the motto because Heath, "was the best Greek scholar in college."

One official historian of the society, William T. Hastings, and others, believe that the "S" and "P" on the badge, which meant "Societas Philosophiae", Philosophical Society, was the original name of the Society and that the name Phi Beta Kappa only came to be taken as the society name over time. The heading on the original list of members states: "A List of the members, who have been initiated into the S.P. alias Phi Beta Kappa Society."cite book |author = Hastings, William T. |year = 1965 |title = "Phi Beta Kappa as a Secret Society with its Relations to Freemasonry and Antimasonry Some Supplementary Documents" |location = Richmond, Virginia |publisher = United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa |pages = 3]

Later, in May, 1777, two new signs of recognition were designed: "a salutation of the clasp of the hands, together with an immediate stroke across the mouth with the back of the same hand, and a return with the hand used by the saluted"; these new gestures were for the purposes of distinguishing Phi Beta Kappa members "in any foreign country or place."cite book |author = Hastings, William T. |year = 1965 |title = Phi Beta Kappa as a Secret Society with its Relations to Freemasonry and Antimasonry Some Supplementary Documents|location = Richmond, Virginia |publisher = United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa |pages = 10]

Before the British invasion of Virginia forced the temporary closure of the College of William and Mary and disbandment of the Phi Beta Kappa there early in 1781, Elisha Parmelee, an alumni of Yale College and Harvard College, passed through Williamsburg and took charters from the Phi Beta Kappa to establish branches of the society at these schools. A second chapter was founded at Yale College in late 1780; a third, at Harvard College in 1781; and a fourth, at Dartmouth College in 1787. From these new chapters, the Phi Beta Kappa evolved from a fraternity with principally academic and some social purposes to an entirely honorary organization recognizing scholastic achievement. While the Phi Beta Kappa developed the distinctive characteristics of Greek-letter fraternities, it was left to other students to fill the natural human need for fellowship with kindred students by extension of fraternity to a purely social context.

Further chapters appeared at Union College in 1817, Bowdoin College in 1825, and Brown University in 1830. The original chapter at William and Mary was re-established. In 1831, the Harvard chapter publicly disclosed the fraternity's secrets during a period of strong anti-Masonic sentiment. The first chapter established after becoming an "open" society was at Trinity College (Connecticut) in 1845.

As the first collegiate organization of its type to adopt a Greek-letter name, it is generally considered a forerunner of modern college fraternities as well as the model for later honor societies. Ironically, it was partly the rise of true "social" fraternities modeled after Phi Beta Kappa later in the nineteenth century which obviated the social aspects of membership in the organization, transforming it into the honor society it is today.

By 1883, when the United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa was established, there were 25 chapters. The first women were elected to the society at the University of Vermont in 1875, and the first African-American member was elected at the same institution two years later.

Each chapter is designated by its state and a Greek letter indicating the order in which that state's chapters were founded. For example, Alpha of Pennsylvania refers to the chapter at Dickinson College (1887); Beta of Pennsylvania at Lehigh University (1887); Gamma of Pennsylvania at Lafayette College (1890); and Delta of Pennsylvania at the University of Pennsylvania (1892).

By 1920, there were 89 chapters at a variety of schools. New chapters are continually added; as of 2007 there are 276 chapters.cite web|accessdate=
title=About Chapters |publisher=The Phi Beta Kappa Society
] In 1988, the United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa officially changed its name to "The Phi Beta Kappa Society", recalling the name under which the organization had been established in 1776.

The Key

The symbol of the Phi Beta Kappa Society is a golden key engraved on the obverse with the image of a pointing finger, three stars, and the Greek letters from which the society takes its name. The stars are said today to represent the ambition of young scholars and the three distinguishing principles of the Society: friendship, morality, and learning. On the reverse are found the initials "SP" in script, which stand for the Latin words "Societas Philosophiae", or "Philosophical Society".

The "key" of Phi Beta Kappa did not actually begin as a (watch) key in 1776. The first were in fact medallions, or better, watchfobs, essentially squares of metal with a loop forged integrally to the body of the fob in order to allow for suspension from a watch chain. The post or stem, designed for the winding of pocketwatches, did not appear on fobs until the beginning of the 19th century. The fobs weren't even gold at first; the earliest extant 18th century models were made of silver or pewter, and again it was not until the first quarter of the 19th century that gold largely supplanted the use of silver or pewter; some notable exceptions did occur, such as at Harvard, which continued the use of silver or pewter for some of its keys up until the first decade of the 20th century.

While several stylistic features have survived since the earliest days - the use of the stars, pointing hand, and Greek letters on the obverse, for example - a number of differences are noted with older keys when compared to more modern examples. For one, the name of the recipient was not engraved on the earliest fobs or keys, and it was not until the first decade of the 19th century that examples are known on which is engraved the name of the recipient of the honor. The name of the school from which the fob or key came was also not routinely included on the earliest models, and sometimes the only way to trace a key to a particular school's chapter is by researching the name of the recipient against surviving class records (which is possible only regarding keys with the owner's name engraved). The number of stars on the obverse has also changed over the years, with never fewer than three, but on some known examples with as many as a dozen (the explanation as to the meaning of the stars in these early cases varies from chapter to chapter). Also, the date of the awarding of the honor is only seen on relatively later models (from the second quarter of the 19th century onward). Some people mistake the date that appears on the fob or key - December 5th, 1776 - as the date that a particular fob or key was awarded, when in fact that is merely the date of the founding of the society.

Finally, in 1912, the key was standardized such that its size, golden appearance (some are plated), and engraving with the school's name, recipient's name, and date of the award all became standard, and the key lost much of its earlier archaic charm.

Activities and publications

The Phi Beta Kappa Society publishes "The Key Reporter", a newsletter distributed quarterly to all contributing members and biannually to all other members, and "The American Scholar", a quarterly subscription-based journal that accepts essays on literature, history, science, public affairs, and culture.

Phi Beta Kappa also funds a number of fellowships, visiting scholar programs, and academic awards.

Notable members

Elected as undergraduates

* Bushrod Washington — William & Mary, 1778
* John Heath — William & Mary, 1779
* John Marshall — William & Mary, 1780
* James Kent — Yale, 1781
* John Quincy Adams — Harvard, 1787
* Eli Whitney — Yale, 1792
* David Sherman Boardman - Yale, 1792
* Joseph Story — Harvard, 1798
* Daniel Webster — Dartmouth, 1801
* John Calhoun — Yale, 1804
* Samuel Morse — Yale, 1810
* Joseph Tracy — Dartmouth, 1814
* William H. Seward — Union, 1819
* Rufus Choate — Dartmouth, 1819
* Nathaniel Hawthorne — Bowdoin, 1824
* Henry Wadsworth Longfellow — Bowdoin, 1825
* Asa Fowler — Dartmouth, 1833
* Chester Arthur — Union, 1848
* William S. Clark — Amherst, 1848
* Timothy Dwight V — Yale, 1848
* Joshua Chamberlain — Bowdoin, 1852
* Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. — Harvard, 1861
* Robert E. Peary — Bowdoin, 1877
* William Howard Taft — Yale, 1878
* John Dewey — Vermont, 1879
* Theodore Roosevelt — Harvard, 1880
* Charles Evans Hughes — Brown, 1881
* Edward Bouchet — Yale, 1874
* Henry Clay Folger — Amherst, 1879
* George Santayana — Harvard, 1886
* Henry Stimson — Yale, 1888
* Bernard Baruch — CUNY, 1889
* W.E.B. DuBois — Fisk, 1890
* Bainbridge Colby — Williams, 1890
* Edward E. Wilson - Williams, 1892
* Learned Hand — Harvard, 1893
* Alexander Meiklejohn — Brown, 1893
* Harlan Fiske Stone — Amherst, 1894
* Owen Roberts — Pennsylvania, 1895
* John D. Rockefeller, Jr. — Brown, 1897
* Richard B. Carter - Harvard, 1898
* Felix Frankfurter — CUNY, 1902
* Elihu Root — Hamilton, 1903
* Jessie Redmon Fauset — Cornell, 1905
* Ernest Everett Just — Dartmouth, 1907
* John J. Parker — North Carolina, 1907
* John Foster Dulles — Princeton, 1908
* Owen Brewster — Bowdoin, 1909
* Harold Hitz Burton — Bowdoin, 1909
* Walter Lippmann — Harvard, 1909
* Paul Douglas — Bowdoin, 1913
* Pearl Buck — Randoph-Macon Woman's College, 1914
* James Bryant Conant — Harvard, 1914
* Dean Acheson — Yale, 1915
* Archibald MacLeish — Yale, 1915
* Charles Hamilton Houston — Amherst, 1915
* Alfred Kinsey — Bowdoin, 1916
* Irwin Edman — Columbia, 1917
* Jarvis Offutt — Yale, 1917
* Paul Robeson — Rutgers, 1919
* William O. Douglas — Whitman, 1920
* Percy Julian — DePauw, 1920
* Countee Cullen — New York U., 1922
* Herbert Brownell, Jr. — Nebraska, 1924
* Alger Hiss — Johns Hopkins, 1926
* Martin Dobelle - Fordham U., 1926
* Joseph J. Spengler — Ohio State, 1927
* George H. Hitchings — Washington, 1927
* Grace Hopper — Vassar 1928
* John Stennis — Virginia, 1928
* Harry Blackmun — Harvard, 1929
* James Michener — Swarthmore, 1929
* Lewis Franklin Powell, Jr. — Washington & Lee, 1929
* Nelson Rockefeller — Dartmouth, 1930
* Jonas Salk — CCNY, 1930
* Carl Albert — Oklahoma, 1931
* Dean Rusk — Davidson, 1931
* Eugene V. Rostow — Yale, 1932
* John Howard — Western Reserve, 1934
* Daniel Boorstin — Harvard, 1934
* Richard Helms — Williams, 1935
* Milton Babbitt — New York U., 1936
* Ed Muskie — Bates, 1936
* Robert McNamara — Berkeley, 1937
* Potter Stewart — Yale, 1937
* Byron White — Colorado, 1937
* Caspar Weinberger — Harvard, 1938
* Daniel C. Tsui — Augustana, 1939
* Wilma Dykeman — Northwestern, 1940
* Orville Freeman — Minnesota, 1940
* Ella Grasso — Mount Holyoke, 1940
* Ruth Barcan Marcus — New York U., 1941
* Wade McCree — Fisk, 1941
* John Paul Stevens — Chicago, 1941
* Betty Friedan — Smith, 1942
* Phyllis Schlafly — Washington U., 1943
* Cid Corman — Tufts, 1945
* Frank Church — Stanford, 1947
* Robert Bork — Chicago, 1948
* George H.W. Bush — Yale, 1948
* Tom Lehrer — Harvard, 1946
* William Rehnquist — Stanford, 1948
* Brock Adams — Washington, 1949
* Edward O. Wilson — Alabama, 1949
* Henry Kissinger — Harvard, 1950
* Marv Levy — Coe, 1950
* Susan Sontag — Chicago, 1951
* Arlen Specter — Pennsylvania, 1951
* Arthur Levitt — Williams, 1952
* Stephen Sondheim — Williams, 1952
* John Shelby Spong — North Carolina, 1952
* Guido Calabresi — Yale, 1953
* Clive Davis — New York U., 1953
* Thomas R. Pickering — Bowdoin, 1953
* Ruth Bader Ginsburg — Cornell, 1954
* Dick Lugar — Denison, 1954
* Victor Navasky — Swarthmore, 1954
* John Updike — Harvard, 1954
* Reynolds Price — Duke, 1955
* Ralph Nader — Princeton, 1955
* Gloria Steinem — Smith, 1956
* Akira Iriye — Haverford College, 1957
* Elizabeth Dole — Duke, 1958
* Anthony Kennedy — Stanford, 1958
* Kris Kristofferson — Pomona, 1958
* Stephen Breyer — Stanford, 1959
* Francis Ford Coppola — Hofstra, 1959
* John W. Dower — Amherst, 1959
* Bob Graham — Florida, 1959
* Robert Nozick — Columbia, 1959
* Richard Posner — Yale, 1959
* Robert Rubin — Harvard, 1960
* Lester Thurow — Williams, 1960
* Fay Vincent — Williams, 1960
* Pat Schroeder — Minnesota, 1961
* David Souter — Harvard, 1961
* Elizabeth Parr-Johnston - Wellesley, 1961
* Lamar Alexander — Vanderbilt, 1962
* Tom Brokaw — South Dakota, 1962
* Lynne Cheney — Colorado C., 1962
* Richard Epstein — Columbia, 1963
* David Satcher — Morehouse, 1963
* John Edgar Wideman — Pennsylvania, 1963
* James Woolsey — Stanford, 1963
* David Boies — Redlands, 1964
* Michael Crichton — Harvard, 1964
* Joseph Lieberman — Yale, 1964
* Angela Davis — Brandeis, 1965
* Terrence Malick — Harvard, 1965
* Paul Wellstone — North Carolina, 1965
* William Weld — Harvard, 1966
* Philip Lader — Duke, 1966
* Timothy J. Sullivan — William & Mary, 1966
* Bill Clinton — Georgetown, 1968
* Henry Paulson — Dartmouth, 1968
* Laurie Anderson — Barnard, 1969
* Hillary Clinton — Wellesley, 1969
* T. E. D. Klein — Brown, 1969
* Jon Corzine — Illinois, 1969
* E. Annie Proulx — Vermont, 1969
* Frank J. Fabozzi - New York U, 1969
* Frank Easterbrook — Swarthmore, 1970
* Louis Freeh — Rutgers, 1971
* Nadine Strossen — Radcliffe, 1972
* Samuel Alito — Princeton, 1972
* Benazir Bhutto — Radcliffe, 1973
* Jeb Bush — Texas, 1973
* E.J. Dionne — Harvard, 1973
* Rita Dove — Miami U., 1973
* Glenn Close — William & Mary, 1974
* Christie Hefner — Brandeis, 1974
* Condoleezza Rice — Denver, 1974
* Ben Bernanke — Harvard, 1975
* Susan Collins — St. Lawrence, 1975
* Harold Hongju Koh — Harvard, 1975
* Gale Norton — Denver, 1975
* Robert Zoellick — Swarthmore, 1975
* Tim Downs — Indiana, 1976
* Lawrence Lindsey — Bowdoin, 1976
* John Roberts — Harvard, 1976
* Karen Hughes — Southern Methodist, 1978
* David Addington — Georgetown, 1978
* Jennifer Granholm — Berkeley, 1980
* Lynn Barry — William & Mary, 1981
* Nicholas Kristof — Harvard, 1981
* Eliot Spitzer — Princeton, 1981
* George Stephanopoulos — Columbia, 1982
* Kateryna Yushchenko — Georgetown, 1982
* Patrick Fitzgerald — Amherst, 1982
* Miguel Estrada — Columbia, 1983
* Dinesh D'Souza — Dartmouth, 1983
* Daniel Pearl — Stanford, 1985
* Carol Queen - University of Oregon 1985
* Jeff Bezos — Princeton, 1986
* Paul Clement — Georgetown, 1988
* Ashley Judd — Kentucky, 1990
* Niki Burnham — Colorado State University, 1990
* Joshua Redman — Harvard, 1991
* Paul Adelstein — Bowdoin, 1991
* Carson Kressley - Gettysburg, 1991
* Stephanie Herseth Sandlin — Georgetown, 1993
* Bobby Jindal — Brown, 1993
* Bradley M. Kuhn — Loyola College, 1995
* Emily Bergl — Grinnell, 1997
* Peyton Manning — Tennessee, 1997
* Michael Schur - Harvard, 1997
* Brad Delson - UCLA, 1999
* Rivers Cuomo — Harvard, 2006

Honorary members

* Angela Davis
* Alexander Graham Bell
* Mark Twain
* Woodrow Wilson
* Calvin Coolidge
* Franklin D. Roosevelt
* Harry S. Truman
* Jimmy Carter
* Isaac Asimov
* Leonard Bernstein
* Ralph Waldo Emerson
* Robert Frost
* Helen Keller
* Carl Sandburg
* William T. Sherman
* Booker T. Washington
* Henry Adams
* Henry James
* Louis Brandeis
* John D. Rockefeller
* Eudora Welty


External links

* [ The Phi Beta Kappa Society]
* [ "The First Fraternity"]
* [ The History of College Fraternities]

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