Phi Beta Kappa
Phi Beta Kappa (PBK), America’s oldest and most elite honor society, recognizes the freeing power of a liberal education. Members have impeccable academic records. They have delved broadly and deeply into their studies. They are of strong moral character. They have earned the highest mark of intellectual discipline and achievement.
Invitations to join Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) are extended each spring to students of exceptional academic achievement in liberal studies. For specific information about our chapter and membership requirements, please click on our brochure (immediately to the right).
In addition to sponsoring campus events that are consistent with the overall mission of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the Theta of Maryland recognizes students who achieved the highest GPA in their first year at the College, and it presents the Gerda Blumenthal Award to a first- or second-year student for special scholarly work in the humanities.
About the Society
The Phi Beta Kappa Society was founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary as the nation’s first academic honor society. Over two centuries later the Society’s mission continues to be to honor and advocate the ideals of a liberal arts education. The motto of PBK – “love of learning is the guide of life” – derives from the initials of the ancient Greek phrase, Φιλοσοφία Βίου Κυβερνήτης.
Washington College is one of only 283 colleges and universities to shelter a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, and membership is widely considered to be the most highly regarded mark of academic distinction for undergraduate students in the liberal arts and sciences.
Philip Walsh, Visiting Assistant Professor of English
Aileen Tsui, Associate Professor of Art
James Lipchock, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Jesse Schaefer, Alumni Relations & Annual Giving Associate