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University Relations

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June 7, 2005
Contact: Janet Riley, Phi Beta Kappa faculty adviser, (785) 864-3134.

KU Phi Beta Kappa chapter announces more than 120 new members

LAWRENCE -- More than 120 University of Kansas students were initiated into Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest academic honor society in the United States, in ceremonies May 21 in the Kansas Union. The honor society recognizes students' academic achievement and promotes the study of arts and sciences.

Victor Bailey, KU professor of history, director of KU's Hall Center for the Humanities and a newly elected honorary member, spoke on "Blair, Britain and Iraq."

A response was delivered by Ruth Anne French-Hodson, graduating senior from Partridge who was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 2004. French-Hodson will attend Cambridge University in England next fall as a Rhodes scholar.

Election to Phi Beta Kappa is a recognition of a student's high academic achievement while pursuing both a broad and substantive liberal arts curriculum. A minimum grade-point average of 3.65 on a 4.0 scale is required for consideration. Applicants are encouraged to complete a substantial number of liberal arts and sciences courses, the equivalent of 16 hours of language study, honors courses and upper-level mathematics.

Phi Beta Kappa was the first national honor society, established in 1776 at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. The Greek letters stand for Philosophiae Biou Kubernetes, which means "love of wisdom and the guide of life."

New members in the KU chapter are listed by home county or state at


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