Hamline News

Phi Beta Kappa and Other Honor Societies Enrich the Hamline Experience

The Phi Beta Kappa initiation was a teaser for the pomp and circumstance of commencement. The ritual in Sundin Music Hall hosted by Professor Art Guetter included a speech from President Miller, a nod to the society’s history from Professor George Chu and a memorial talk for Professor Emeritus George Vane from archivist Candy Hart. Professor Vane, in addition to being beloved teacher and in his retirement a generous volunteer and donor to Hamline, helped to bring Phi Beta Kappa to the campus. The event concluded with a personal story and remarks on the importance of the liberal arts from Professor Yali You.

The Phi Beta Kappa honor society was founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary with a mission to foster and recognize excellence in the liberal arts. Hamline’s chapter, Phi Beta Kappa, Zeta of Minnesota, which was chartered in 1973, is one of only 286 in the United States. It holds as a motto a quote from Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, “A fellowship of scholars . . . [whose aim is] intelligence served by learning."

“Phi Beta Kappa is a strong advocate for the liberal arts in the United States, and it is a great Honor to host a Chapter here at Hamline.” said Professor Guetter.

Only students who demonstrate excellence in the arts and sciences are selected for Phi Beta Kappa. After they are invited and decide to join students are initiated in a ceremony and receive a key and a cream-colored cord to wear over their robes at graduation.

The Hamline initiation ceremony included very specific, traditional language and a formal call and response between Guetter and Professor Andrea Bell that concluded with asking students, “Do you solemnly promise that you will be true and faithful to this Society, that you will obey the laws thereof, and that in the election of members you will have paramount regard for moral character and scholarly attainment?”

The following students stepped forward and said, “I Do.”

Anna Becker
Paige Daniels
Sherina Dyrma
Gwendolyn Fairlie
Emily Haus
Shunya Higa
Lydia Ingram

Anna Boguszewski
Leanne Byman
Tachianna Charpenter
Abigail Chesness
Matthew Choquette
Hannah Coleman
Joseph Davidson
Karl Dettmann
Katrina Diaz
Kierann Elliott
Sydney Elwood
Elsa Flom
Abigail Guthrie
David Hanson
Muhammad Imady
Aldina Imamovic
Noah Jacobson
Taylor Janssen
Kevin Langevin
Taylor Martinek
Jeffrey Mund
Aubrey Nelson
Yared Plascencia
Kelsey Ranneklev
Emily Remmey
Jensen Sevening
Conner Suddick
Abigail Thompson
Silvia Toledo
Sandra Vang
Peter Villerius
Abberamee Visvanathan
Meghan Webb

After the swearing in, Professor Guetter quoted from a 1779 Phi Beta Kappa initiation ceremony, “Let it be our joint care to extend the friendship which has even been exercised by this Society to these new members that they may hereafter become veterans in her service.”

In a demonstration of that emerging friendship, at the end of the ceremony, the new initiates learned the Phi Beta Kappa secret handshake from the older members of the chapter.

Phi Beta Kappa may be the most well-known but it is only one of many honor societies at Hamline.

Omicron Delta Kappa is the National Leadership Honor Society in the United States. The society recognizes Junior and Senior students who have excelled in academics while being leaders of organizations, teams and programs on college campuses.

Alpha Kappa Delta is a sociology honor society that seeks to acknowledge and promote excellence in scholarship in the study of sociology and the research of social problems.

Beta Beta Beta is for biology majors and has a three-fold purpose: stimulation of sound scholarship, dissemination of scientific knowledge, and promotion of biological research.

Iota Iota Iota recognizes the outstanding academic achievements of students in women’s studies.

Psi Chi is a national psychology honor society promoting the advancement of the science of psychology, and to encourage, stimulate, and maintain the scholarship of the individual members in all academic fields, especially psychology.

Sigma Beta Delta recognizes outstanding scholarship by students enrolled in business and economics baccalaureate degree programs.

Sigma Delta Pi is a Spanish honor society which elects outstanding students who demonstrate skills and interest in the language and culture of the Spanish speaking world.


Written by staff.