The Baylor University chapter of Phi Beta Kappa met Thursday, October 4, 2007 at 4 p.m. in room 205 of Morrison Hall. Present were Arterbury, Daniel, Fish, Foley, Johnson, Matthews, Mazé, Ortuño, Osborn, Palmer Boyes, Vanderpool, W. Weaver, Wilkins, and student member Rachel Frankeny.
Chapter president Marian Ortuño 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.
Dr. Ortuño presented the calendar of events for this academic year. Important dates include:
October 25, 2007--Chapter meeting to elect new members
November 9, 2007-Invitation to Excellence and National Merit Scholars Reception (North Village Community Center, 4:00-5:00 pm)
November 29, 2007-Fall initiation ceremony (Treasure Room, Browning Library, 4:00 pm)
February 21, 2008-Spring chapter meeting to elect members in course
April 16, 2008-Honors Convocation (Barfield Drawing Room, 2:00 pm)
April 19, 2008-Spring Initiation Banquet (Barfield Drawing Room, 6:30 pm)
Additional information regarding locations and times for the above will be sent as it becomes available.
Dr. Ortuño next reviewed the status of committee assignments and their importance to the smooth functioning of the chapter. 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. Elinor Mazé 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. Lorin Matthews reported that preparations for the National Merit Scholar Reception were moving along and that another volunteer or two would be appreciated. Dr. Ortuño expressed the hope that chapter members would support this activity as it gives PBK an early exposure to exceptional students and their parents in a relaxed atmosphere. Michael Foley reported for the Albaugh Lecture Committee and announced preliminary efforts to contact Mark Helprin with an invitation to come to campus next spring. Jeff Fish spoke on behalf of the Robinson Scholarship and indicated a need for another member or two to serve on that committee.
Dr. Ortuño expressed interest in putting forth some names for consideration by the Committee on Honorary and Alumni Members. 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 that the chapter had not been assigned a Visiting Scholar from the national office this academic year.
Dr. Johnson reported that efforts to revise and coordinate the information and design of the chapter website were substantially complete. Thanks to the efforts of colleagues from Information Technology and the Language Acquisition Center, the new site is much more user friendly, conforms to the basic design of other Baylor websites, and is much easier to maintain and update. Special appreciation and recognition were expressed to Tim Logan and Amanda Sturgill who have been instrumental in designing and maintaining the original website, which began in 1993. Everyone is invited to view the new website at www.baylor.edu/phibetakappa. The current membership roster is available there.
Dr. Ortuño then proceeded with a status report on the bronze sculpture of the PBK key which is to be placed on the stone marker outside the entrance to Morrison Hall. After more than a year the key is still in preparation, although final molds have been prepared for the casting and final detailing of the sculpture. Despite our best efforts to bring this project to a close, delays and other difficulties have resulted in continued frustration. At this point, we are hoping for a conclusion sometime in early November.
As a result of last year's discussion on the election to membership of graduate students and subsequent approval by the members present at last spring's meeting, Dr. Ortuño requested that the committee formulate guidelines to be followed in the consideration of graduate students (Ph.D. candidates) for election in spring of 2008.
Dr. Johnson indicated that the date of the spring 2008 initiation banquet had been moved up approximately two weeks to the 19th of April in order to coincide with Honors Week and to avoid some of the inevitable conflicts with other end-of-year activities. This also allows the chapter to use Barfield Drawing Room for the banquet. Dr. Johnson also expressed appreciation to all those who contributed to the gift made to the Baylor Alumni Association by the chapter in memory of Dr. Herbert Reynolds. In addition to the chapter contribution, several of our members made individual contributions as well.
Dr. Ortuño then thanked those in attendance for their support and adjourned the meeting at 4:50 p.m.