Mercer adds Phi Beta Kappa Chapter to campus

Mercer adds Phi Beta Kappa Chapter to campus

Slayten Carter, Contributing Writer

For years, Mercer professors have been trying to establish a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa to recognize the academic excellence on our Macon campus.  

Dr. Lori Johnson, Associate Professor of Political Science, says, “I am very  excited to  have a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s first, and one of the most prestigious, national academic societies, here at Mercer.”

Dr. Johnson, herself, is a proud member of Phi Beta Kappa. “The best part is that it will give us the opportunity to honor our most outstanding students in a manner that is immediately recognizable as significant to people in academia and beyond,” she said. 

Only 286 colleges and universities in the United States can say they host a chapter of the prestigious honor society.

Now, Mercer is one of them. The first members of Mercer’s “Zeta chapter of Georgia” will be inducted in the Spring of 2016.

Phi Beta Kappa advocates for excellence in the arts and sciences. Those who are deemed exceptional students in their junior and senior classes will be invited to join the Society by Mercer faculty.

The Society not only recognizes academic excellence, but also searches for those with outstanding character. Phi Theta Kappa prides itself on celebrating those who “embrace the principles of freedom of inquiry and liberty of thought and expression.”

Only about 10 percent of colleges and universities in the United States host a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, and only about 10 percent of the students at those institutions are invited to join. The Society is internationally known for its highly selective process.

Dr. Keith Howard, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts, said that “through the Phi Beta Kappa chapter, the College will have the means to confer a world-recognized badge of distinction to its most talented students.”

Over 17 United States Presidents, 39 Supreme Court Justices, 130 Nobel Laureates, and several notable authors, diplomats, researchers, and business leaders have been inducted as Phi Beta Kappa members.