Ceremonies To Mark Start of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society at JMU

Up to 150 students will be inducted as inaugural members of the James Madison University chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 17, at Wilson Hall. The Phi Beta Kappa chapter will be formally installed at 3 p.m. Wednesday, also in Wilson Hall.

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JMU Awarded Phi Beta Kappa chapter

Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest and most widely known academic honor society. Only about 10 percent of the country's colleges and universities have Phi Beta Kappa chapters. JMU was one of four colleges and universities nationwide granted new Phi Beta Kappa chapters in October 2009.

"Having a chapter at James Madison University is a wonderful opportunity for our students, the best of whom are truly qualified for induction into this prestigious organization," said Dr. Linda Cabe Halpern, dean of University Studies and secretary-treasurer of the Shenandoah Valley Association of Phi Beta Kappa.

In addition to the prestige of being a Phi Beta Kappan, membership provides networking and fellowship opportunities, said Dr. Chris Blake, head of the JMU political science department and president of the Shenandoah Valley Association of Phi Beta Kappa.

To be eligible for Phi Beta Kappa, students must be in a major considered liberal arts and sciences, such as English, foreign languages or history. Students who are double majors also may be eligible if one of their majors is in the liberal arts and sciences and they meet other requirements. Another stipulation is that three-quarters of the undergraduate program consist of classes in the liberal arts and sciences. Invitees also have to have taken a foreign language through the intermediate level and completed college-level mathematics.

Published March 15, 2010