Elon University’s Phi Beta Kappa Chapter: Eta of

North Carolina

Phi Beta Kappa ceremony.The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic society, installed its newest chapter at Elon University on April 13, 2010, during the annual Convocation for Honors.

Forty-seven students were inducted into the society later in the eve ning during a dinner and ceremony in McKinnon Hall. The installation became the 279th chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa.

About 10 percent of U.S. colleges and universities shelter Phi Beta Kappa chapters, and Elon became only the seventh institution in North Carolina to meet the high standards of excellence in the arts and sciences advocated by the Society.

Phi Beta Kappa Society President Fred H. Cate, Phi Beta Kappa Society Secretary John Churchill, and Don Wyatt, a Phi Beta Kappa Senate member who led the team visiting Elon during the application process, were present for the installation and the inaugural induction ceremony.

At each event, they urged inductees and current members to advance the society’s mission by advocating for liberal arts and sciences education, by applying skills and knowledge to daily life, to commit themselves to excellence and intellectual inquiry, and to speaking the truth.

“The society welcomes Elon and is enriched by its inclusion within our ranks,” Wyatt said.

Elon University President Leo M. Lambert and Provost Steven House were  inducted as foundation members of the society.

The first officers of the Eta chapter were:

  • President: Russell Gill, Maude Sharpe Powell, Professor of English and Distinguished University Professor 
  • Vice President: Jean Schwind, Associate Professor of English
  • Secretary/Treasurer/Historian: Helen Walton, Instructor in Mathematics

Read more about the chapter installation.