The Baylor University chapter of Phi Beta Kappa met September 30, 2003 with Arterbury, Colón, Cook, Corrie, Daniel, Fish, Hendon, Herring, Johnson, Kisacky, Logan, Mazé, Ortuño, Osborn, Owens, Sharpless, Sheets, Smith, and Wilkins present. Student members in attendance were Megan McCoin, James Rittimann, Kimberly Reeves, Angela Shallenberg, and Beth Zarnow.
Chapter president Alden Smith called the meeting to order at 4 pm. The minutes of the last meeting were approved as previously distributed to the membership by e-mail. Several new faculty and student members of the chapter were in attendance and extended a special welcome.
Chapter secretary Phillip Johnson reminded the members that chapter dues of $2 would be collected at the conclusion of the meeting. Also, a brief report of the proceedings of the 40th Triennial Council of the Society held in Seattle, August 6-10 was made. New chapters of Phi Beta Kappa were granted to Alfred University, Eckerd College, the State University of New York at Geneseo, Roanoke College, Saint Michael's College, the University of San Diego, Texas A & M University, and Valparaiso University. Dr. Johnson also reported that the Baylor University chapter was one of three to receive the Society's inaugural Chapter Excellence Award. In addition to a certificate and recognition at the Council Banquet, the chapter received a cash award of $1000. Cited as important factors in receiving this honor were such chapter programs and activities as the National Merit Scholars' reception, the Albaugh Lecture, the Robinson Scholarship, the initiatives of the Intellectual Activities Committee and the high acceptance rate of students invited to join the chapter over the past decade.
Dr. Smith then distributed a calendar of activities for this academic year, noting that the spring initiation banquet would be held May 1, 2004. Special attention was given to the dates of the chapter election meetings, the National Merit Scholars' Reception, and the fall initiation ceremony. The calendar will be posted on the chapter website for future reference (www.baylor.edu/~phibetakappa)
Ken Wilkins reported that the Members-in-Course committee will meet October 14 to consider candidates who graduated in August or will graduate in December. The next chapter meeting will be November 4.
Jeff Fish reported that he had recently accepted the chair of the Albaugh Lecture committee and would begin working with other members to identify possible speakers to deliver the Albaugh Lecture, probably in the spring.
Brad Owens reported on behalf of the Intellectual Activities committee and indicated that the chapter reception for freshmen students in the Honors Program and the BIC was held September 15 and attracted some 60 participants. Brief presentations by several chapter members were made, emphasizing the importance of liberal studies and scholarly achievement.
Dr. Smith solicited input from those present regarding the best use of the $1000 award given the chapter at the Triennial Council meeting. Several suggested using the funds to augment our current scholarship and lectureship programs, and another suggestion involved a student essay competition. The discussion then focused on the possibility of using these funds to purchase a large bronze replica of the PBK key to be placed on a pedestal or in some other prominent place inside Morrison Hall to serve as permanent reminder of PBK's presence on campus. (This idea was inspired by the bronze medallion placed outside the Hankamer School of Business to designate its honorary society). Chapter officers will inquire as to the feasibility of this proposal.
Dr. Smith then asked Rebecca Sharpless to extend an expression of thanks to the chapter secretary for almost twenty years of service in that position and for his efforts in helping the chapter reach a level worthy of national recognition. The gift certificate to a local restaurant and the two dozen golf balls were received with much appreciation and a good deal of surprise by Dr. Johnson.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:40 pm.