The Zeta chapter of Phi Beta Kappa met Wednesday, March 4, 2009 in room 205 of Morrison Hall with Campbell, Carrothers, Foley, Good, Harris, Hendon, Johnson, Jones, Kisacky, Matthews, Mazé, Ortuńo, Osborn, and Wilkins in attendance.
Chapter president Elinor Mazé called the meeting to order and welcomed those present. Jennifer Good reported for the Committee on Members-in-Course. After acknowledging the members of the committee, a recommendation was made to accept a slate of 4 juniors, 80 graduating seniors, and three Ph.D. candidates. The minimum GPA for this group of seniors is 3.85 (.02 less than last year's minimum GPA) and represents less than 8% of the expected total graduating class. Three of 32 Ph.D. candidates in the liberal arts and sciences were recommended for membership by the committee. The enclosed list was unanimously approved by those present.
Mike Foley reported on behalf of the Albaugh Lecture Committee. In addition to the Albaugh lecture given last fall by Mark Helprin, the chapter has agreed to collaborate with the Honors College and invite Dr. Allen Guelzo, Associate Director of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania to deliver the Albaugh Lecture for 2009. The lecture is scheduled for the evening of April 22. More details will be forthcoming.
Julie Kisacky reported on behalf of the Initiation Committee and indicated that the committee had met and preparations for the spring initiation ceremony are well underway. The banquet and initiation will be held April 25, 2009 in the Barfield Drawing Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center.
The Robinson Scholarship Committee, headed by Susan Colon, is still in the process of considering a number of juniors with sufficient hours completed with a 4.0 GPA. It is anticipated that approximately $8,000 - $10,000 will be available to fund these awards.
David Hendon reported on behalf of the Nominating Committee that no nominations for new officers were needed this year. Mike Foley reported for the Audit Committee. There were no formal reports from the Alumni and Honorary Members Committee or the Publicity Committee.
It was noted that the Intellectual Activities Committee continues its good work with the submissions to the undergraduate journal Pulse in determining an annual winner of the Wallace Daniel Prize for Undergraduate Writing.
Phillip Johnson announced that information for the Visiting Scholar Program for 2009-2010 is now available. Chapter members can find biographical information about the participants on the web at www.pbk.org. Chapter members may request a visiting scholar for their department by coordinating with their chairperson and then contacting the Zeta chapter secretary with their choice, who will then make a formal request to the national office. There is no fee to the department beyond the typical expenses of meals and incidentals. All other expenses, including honorarium, are covered. The deadline for requesting a visiting scholar is April 8.
Dr. Johnson also reported the receipt of a letter from the national office designating Zeta chapter as a finalist for the Exemplary Chapter Award which will be presented at the Triennial Council meeting in Austin, Texas this October. The chapter was one of only 15 nationwide to receive a rating of 1 or 1.5 during the preceding year.
In matters of new business, Elinor Mazé indicated that an invitation would be extended shortly for a speaker at the initiation banquet. (Subsequent to the meeting, it can be reported that Dr. Rebecca Sharpless, past president of Zeta chapter and current Assistant Professor of History at TCU has accepted that invitation). It was also announced that given the current economic situation, new student members will not be charged an initiation fee to join. Students wishing to purchase an engraved PBK key will pay $50. Since the fee in previous years was $50 and included the key, the net financial impact is zero. This change simply allows the student the choice of purchasing the key or not. This should also make the decision to join much easier for the student and reduce the need to convince reluctant students of the value of membership.
The officers expressed appreciation to those in attendance and especially to those serving on the committees. The meeting concluded at 5:20 pm.
Secretary-Treasurer, Zeta Chapter