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April 24, 1998


Baltimore - Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's most prestigious scholarly honorary society, has voted to establish a chapter at UMBC. At a formal installation ceremony at 4 p.m. on Monday, March 16 in the University Center Ballroom, the Phi Beta Kappa charter will officially be presented to the UMBC Phi Beta Kappa faculty and staff. A public reception in the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery will follow. UMBC was one of only seven schools to gain membership this year, selected from an initial group of 47 colleges and universities from across the country that applied.

At the installation ceremony, Joseph Gordon, Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Yale University and Vice President of Phi Beta Kappa will present the charter, honor Foundation and charter members and swear in officers.

The decision to establish a Phi Beta Kappa chapter at UMBC caps a rigorous, three-year application and review process. Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest academic honor society. Its mission is to foster and to recognize excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. Its distinctive emblem, the golden key, is widely recognized as a symbol of academic achievement.

"This award is a significant milestone for UMBC. Very few schools so young are considered for Phi Beta Kappa status. Our membership reflects the high quality of our faculty and students and the strength of the undergraduate experience at UMBC," says President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III.

The first UMBC student members are to be selected from this year's upcoming May graduates and will be inducted this spring (date to be announced). There are almost 60 Phi Beta Kappa members among UMBC's faculty and staff. There are now chapters at 255 campuses and approximately 430,000 current members nationwide.

Posted by dwinds1 at April 24, 1998 12:00 AM