Meetings & Events

11/14/13 - Annual Book Award Ceremony @ 4:15pm in the Glendening Annex

2/5/14 - Annual Meeting for Resident PBK Members @ 4:45pm in the Glendening Annex

4/1/14 - Initiation Ceremony @ 5:30pm at the Historic State House; dinner following

Phi Beta Kappa FAQ

1. What does The Phi Beta Kappa Society do?

For more than 225 years, the Phi Beta Kappa Society has pursued its mission of fostering and recognizing excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. The Society's distinctive emblem, a golden key, is widely recognized as a symbol of academic achievement. Through the time-honored process of granting charters to the institutions that shelter Phi Beta Kappa chapters, the Society reaffirms that mission.

The chapters and their community counterparts, the associations, work with the national office to sustain a variety of programs that honor and champion liberal arts scholarship. These activities, whether local or national, provide support in the form of scholarships, lectureships, book and essay awards, summer institutes for teachers, and funds for visiting scholars. The Key Reporter is the Society's quarterly newsletter.

The Society's respected journal, The American Scholar, has been published quarterly, for general circulation, since 1932. Widely recognized as an important forum in American intellectual life, the journal offers articles and essays on a range of literary, artistic, and scientific subjects. Credited by many for the current revival of the essay, The American Scholar has garnered an exceptional number of awards in that genre.

2. Who are some famous members of Phi Beta Kappa?

Famous Phi Beta Kappa members include but are not limited to:

Seven of the nine current Supreme Court justices
17 U.S. Presidents including Bill Clinton, George Bush Sr. & Theodore Roosevelt
Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com
Glenn Close, actor
Francis Ford Coppola, film director
Michael Crichton, author
Elizabeth Dole, US Senator
Rita Dove, former U.S. poet laureate
Peyton Manning, NFL Quarterback
Gloria Steinem, co-founder of Ms. Magazine
John Updike, novelist and critic

3. How do I apply for Phi Beta Kappa?
Candidates are nominated for election to by their chapters and cannot apply for membership. Students interested in Phi Beta Kappa are encouraged to contact a chapter officer early in their academic careers for guidance on requirements and curriculum. Generally, election to membership occurs at the completion of undergraduate study.

4. Do I need recommendations for election?
No, election is basely solely on academic achievement and progress toward the undergraduate degree.

5. How many members are there?
Nationally, there are more than 600,000. At St. Mary's College of Maryland, 31 faculty and staff are members, and each year, approximately 20-25 (primarily senior) students are elected. 280 St. Mary's alumni are Phi Beta Kappa members.

6. How do I know if I'm elected?
You will receive a letter from the president of the chapter within a week of your election in February.

7. I have not found the answer to my question. Whom should I contact?
If you still have questions after perusing our chapter website, please contact Angie Draheim at ardraheim@smcm.edu or (240) 895-4290 for questions about the Zeta Chapter or consult the Phi Beta Kappa Society website (at www.pbk.org).