• History

    The Zeta Chapter of Hamline University was granted its charter in 1973. Phi Beta Kappa has always been a very selective organization and has held high standards in selecting its member chapters. In 1919 Hamline made its first inquiry. Then, there were only 86 chapters in the country. To be awarded a chapter, five endorsements from other schools were required. Though Carlton, Northwestern, and Beloit endorsed Hamline's bid, the University of Minnesota refused, in part because there were not enough Latin books in the library. Two years later, Hamline tried again. This time, the University of Wisconsin was opposed, on the general principle that the society was already big enough.

    Finally, in the late '40s the process for selection of chapters changed. The organization moved from a "who do we want in the club" approach to one with more clearly stated priorities and specifications. Examples of such specifications included, for instance, the proportion of faculty who must have Ph.Ds; the proportion of students taking foreign languages; and the size and quality of library holdings.

    Still Hamline lost its next bid. The review panel stated that hamline students took too many vocational or practical courses; the institution had too few Ph.Ds among its faculty and too few faculty who had been elected to Phi Beta Kappa as undergraduates.

    In the '60s President Giddens and the faculty worked to meet the requirements, hiring many new faculty with excellent credentials. So it was that in 1970, Hamline received the good news that it was selected for study for the new triennium. In August 1973 we received the greetings and congratulations from the United Chapters, with permission that we could establish the Zeta Chapter. The first class was initiated in April, 1974.

    Charter Members:

    Daniel Bowman, Anthropology

    R. G. Buehler, English

    Carole Brown, English

    Cynthia Cone, Anthropology

    Holt Graham, Religion

    Kathleen Hosfield, Education

    Joseph Hutton, Physical Education

    Scott Johnston, Political Science

    Leigh Kagan, History

    Francine Masiello, Spanish

    Dorothy McGhee, French

    Stewart Shaw, Philosophy

    Joseph Uemura, Philosophy

    George Vane, English

    Dale Varberg, Mathematics