smallest hero image

Phi Beta Kappa

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 review our informational brochure.

In addition to sponsoring campus events that are consistent with the overall mission of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the Theta of Maryland administers two annual awards: the Phi Beta Kappa First-Year Awards for Excellence in Liberal Learning and the Gerda Blumenthal Award 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 290 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.

Chapter Officers 2021-2022

President Kerrin Ehrensbeck, Director of the Quantitative Skills Center

Vice-President Bridget Bunten, Associate Professor of Education

Secretary-Historian Meghan Grosse, Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies

Treasurer Jamie Frees Miller, Coordinator of the Center for Environment & Society