The Baylor University chapter of Phi Beta Kappa met Thursday, September 28, 2006 at 4 p.m. in the Fentress Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center. Present were Arterbury, Fish, Johnson, Kisacky, Mazé, Ortuņo, Sheets, and student member Joy McCullough.
Chapter president Marian Ortuņo called the meeting to order and introduced the other chapter officers:
Jeff Fish, Vice President, Phillip Johnson, Secretary-Treasurer, and Andrew Arterbury, Historian.
Dr. Johnson collected chapter dues of $3.00 from those present and also distributed a roster of members, including faculty, staff, graduate students, and current students.
President Ortuņo presented the calendar of events for this academic year. Important dates include:
November 2, 2006--Chapter meeting to elect new members and formal unveiling of the Phi Beta Kappa monument and bronze key.
November 3, 2006-Invitation to Excellence and National Merit Scholars Reception
November 30, 2006-Fall initiation ceremony
January 25, 2007-Roy B. Albaugh PBK Lecture (Leon Kass)
February 28, 2007-Spring chapter meeting to elect members in course
March 22-23, 2007-Visiting Scholar (Eric Heller)
April 11, 2007-Honors Convocation
April 28, 2007-Spring Initiation Banquet
A more complete calendar is included as a separate attachment to these minutes. Information regarding locations and times for the above will be sent as it becomes available.
Dr. Ortuņo next reviewed the status of committee assignments and their importance to the smooth functioning of the chapter. Included as an attachment to these minutes is a list of the members of each committee. Members are encouraged and needed to continue their service. The officers would also appreciate additional members to step forward and volunteer to serve on a committee. These assignments typically require a modest amount of time and energy, but provide great benefit to the chapter in general.
Jeff Fish reported that the Committee on Members-in-Course is close to fully-staffed and will begin soon the consideration of candidates for the fall initiation. These will consist of August and December graduates. Julie Kisacky indicated that the Initiation Committee will continue with essentially the same group as last year and will proceed with the preparations associated with the initiation banquet. Jeff Fish reported for the Albaugh Lecture Committee and announced preliminary details of the visit of Leon Kass of the University of Chicago in January. He also spoke on behalf of the Robinson Scholarship and indicated a need for another member or two on that committee.
Dr. Ortuņo expressed interest in proposing some names for consideration by the Committee on Honorary and Alumni Members and would like to begin this process shortly. She also noted that the work of the National Merit Scholar Reception Committee would need to begin soon, as this is one of the chapter's next activities. There were no reports from the Nominating Committee, Audit Committee, Publicity Committee or Intellectual Activities Committee, although each will have some degree of activity during the coming academic year. Dr. Johnson then reported on the preparations for the visiting scholar. Dr. Eric Heller, Professor of Physics and Chemistry at Harvard will be on campus March 22-23. Details of his presentation and class visits will be determined later.
Dr. Ortuņo then presented for discussion the matter of election to membership of graduate students. The executive committee had previously met and determined that an ad hoc committee should be appointed to study this issue and present a recommendation to the chapter, hopefully at the next chapter meeting in November. Next was a brief discussion of the possibility of moving up the date of the spring initiation banquet to mid-April in order to coincide with the end of Honors Week and to ease the pressure of holding the banquet at the same time as the final week of classes for spring semester. This will require some logistical changes, but has a number of positive aspects as well.
Dr. Ortuņo and Dr. Johnson reported that the replica bronze key is very close to completion and that an engraved stone monument where the bronze key is to be affixed will be placed outside of Morrison Hall on Friday, September 30th. Plans are being made for a brief ceremony to officially unveil the monument and commemorate the 30th anniversary of the chartering of the Zeta of Texas chapter. We are hoping that all chapter members will make plans to attend the meeting on November 3 and then be part of this brief ceremony. Dr. Ortuņo then thanked those in attendance for their support and adjourned the meeting at 5:05 p.m.