Pacific's chapter has been given one of the highest rankings by the national Phi Beta Kappa organization. Above, student Gina Williams receives her Phi Beta Kappa key at the Chi Chapter's first induction ceremony in 2007.
Pacific’s Phi Beta Kappa Chapter Receives National Recognition
Pacific's Phi Beta Kappa chapter, the Chi Chapter of California, recently earned one of the top rankings in the nation for its efforts in 2011-12. Thirteen students are slated to become new members of the highly regarded chapter when they are initiated on May 3. Several students initiated as juniors last year will also graduate with the honor.
The National Phi Beta Kappa office awarded the local chapter 1 or 1.5 on a 1 to 10 scale (with 1 being the highest) for its activities and outreach. Fewer than 20 of the more than 280 colleges and universities that host Phi Beta Kappa chapters received the high ranking, said Caroline T. Schroeder, the President of the Chapter and Associate Professor in the Department of Religious and Classical Studies.
"This ranking acknowledges the strength of Pacific's Liberal Arts and Sciences' programs," Schroeder said. "Our mission at Pacific is 'to provide a superior, student-centered learning experience integrating liberal arts and professional education and preparing individuals for lasting achievement and responsible leadership in their careers and communities.' Our chapter's support of and advocacy for the liberal arts and sciences is in support of this mission. This ranking is a national recognition of Pacific's students' and faculty's accomplishments in the liberal arts and sciences."
Initiating students into Phi Beta Kappa is among the society's most important activities, Schroeder said, "because it honors the incredible achievements of Pacific students."
The Chi Chapter will welcome its newest members during a ceremony from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Friday, May 3, in Raymond Great Hall.
Pacific's Phi Beta Kappa chapter each year initiates 13 to 20 student members and often an alumnus or alumna. The Chi Chapter initiated 16 new students in 2011-12 and all have excelled at Pacific, earning degrees in the liberal arts with very high GPAs, fluency in a second language, and a breadth of study. Last year, alumnus Theodore B. (Ted) Olson '62, former Solicitor General of the United States and 2012 Commencement speaker, was initiated as an honorary alumnus member. This year, the chapter will induct Terry L. Maple '68, a national leader in zoo management and animal welfare.