Spring 2008

February 21, 2008

The Zeta Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa met Thursday, February 21, 2008 in room 110 of Morrison Hall with Dowd, Fish, Foley, Good, Johnson, Kisacky, Mazé, Ortuño, Osborn, Tippit, and Weaver in attendance.

Chapter president Marian Ortuño called the meeting to order and welcomed those present. Reports were heard from representatives of the standing committees. Phyllis Tippit reported on behalf of the Nominating Committee and put forth the names of Amanda Sturgill and Sharyn Dowd to assume the offices of vice-president and historian respectively. Andrew Arterbury, who had served two years as Chapter Historian, was unable to continue as an officer and asked that he be replaced. The vote of the chapter members present was unanimous in favor of the two candidates. Mike Foley reported on behalf of the Audit Committee and indicated that no formal report was necessary. The chapter secretary reminded everyone that the financial transactions of the chapter are all processed through the normal financial channels of the University. Julie Kisacky indicated that the Initiation Banquet committee had met and preparations for the spring initiation were under way. The ceremony will be held April 19, 2008 in the Barfield Drawing Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center. Mike Foley also reported on future plans for the Albaugh Lecture. The committee is expecting to finalize plans to bring novelist and commentator Mark Helprin to campus in October of this year. Dr. Foley thanked members of the committee for their good efforts and indicated that the committee would be open to suggestions for future Albaugh lectures. Jeff Fish reported on behalf of the Robinson Scholarship committee. Transcripts of qualified students of junior standing are now available to the committee and deliberations regarding candidates for the Robinson Scholarship will begin soon. There were no reports from the Alumni and Honorary Members Committee, the Publicity Committee or the Intellectual Activities Committee.

Jeff Fish then reported on behalf of the Members-in-Course committee. A slate of 77 graduating seniors and 6 juniors was presented for the approval of the chapter. It was noted that the minimum GPA for this group has reached its highest point since the inception of the chapter-in excess of 3.87. The attached list of candidates was unanimously approved by those present.

The matter of election of graduate students was again discussed and Ken Wilkins agreed to compile a list of possible candidates for consideration. The criteria proposed at the spring 2007 meeting will be followed and any recommendations put forth by the Members-in-Course committee will be forwarded to the chapter membership by email for approval.

Phillip Johnson announced that information for the Visiting Scholar Program for 2008-9 will be available shortly. 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 chapter secretary, who will make the formal request to the national office. There is no fee to the department beyond the typical expenses of meals and incidentals. All other expenses are covered. The deadline for requesting a visiting scholar is April 10.

Marian Ortuño then adjourned the meeting and invited those in attendance to gather outside the entrance to Morrison Hall for a brief ceremony to mark the completion of the bronze PBK key and stone monument. After many months, the finished key and stone are now visible to all who enter Morrison Hall and will be a source of pride to chapter members and new initiates alike. (See enclosed photo). The chapter again expresses appreciation to Dr. Herbert Reynolds for his generous support of this project.

Dr. Ortuño expressed appreciation to those in attendance and especially to those serving on the committees. The meeting concluded at 5 p.m.

Phillip Johnson