Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest honorary society, founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. It one of the most prestigious honorary societies for the liberal arts in the United States.
Phi Beta Kappa was the earliest society to adopt Greek letters for a name. These are taken from the first letters of the Greek phrase Philosophia Biou Kubernetes, translated as The Love of Wisdom, the Helmsman of Life.
The goal of Phi Beta Kappa is to encourage humane learning, a goal which includes not merely superior achievement but also a broad range of interests in the liberal arts, depth of understanding, and a high regard for intellectual honesty and tolerance.
The Washington University Chapter (Beta of Missouri) was established in 1914. Each spring the chapter elects new undergraduate members from among students pursuing degrees in the College of Arts & Sciences.
Accruals are interfiled with the collection.
Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.
Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.
If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or firstname.lastname@example.org. (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)
This material was initially donated by Phi Beta Kappa Chapter to the University Archives in 1966 with additional material donated in 2011.
Preferred Citation: [Item description]. From the [collection title, series, box, folder]. University Archives, Washington University in St. Louis.
Finding Aid Revisions: This finding aid was entered into Archon by Hannah Barg in June 2012.
Scope and Contents: This collection consists of correspondence, reports, bulletins, publications and membership manuals that chronicle the history of the Phi Beta Kappa Chapter at Washington University in St. Louis.