Photo: Key

Phi Beta Kappa is America’s oldest collegiate honor society. Founded in 1776, its campus chapters invite for induction the most outstanding liberal arts students at leading colleges and universities. The Society champions the liberal arts — the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences — in higher education and in society at large.

The Gamma Chapter of Tennessee was established at Rhodes College on December 5, 1949. Our chapter was the 143rd in the nation to be chartered; there are currently 283 chapters in the United States. In addition to recognizing outstanding students and awarding the college′s highest academic honor, our chapter sponsors lectures by distinguished visiting scholars. For two years in a row (2011–13), Gamma of Tennessee has been recognized as one of the top chapters in the nation.

To give to Phi Beta Kappa, please indicate "Phi Beta Kappa" on the Rhodes Online Giving page, or contact Nicki Soulé at the Development Office: (901) 843-3740; email <>



• August 19: President Teresa Beckham Gramm, Opening Convocation Address to new students.

• September 26: John Churchill, ΦΒΚ Secretary, in a panel discussion with Rhodes ΦΒΚ member Stephen Wirls as part of the ACTC Conference on The Intersection of Religious and Secular Cores in Undergraduate Liberal Arts Education (11am, Blount).

• October 11: annual reception during Homecoming/Reunion (5pm, Palmer Cloister).

October 23: Wesleyan University President Michael Roth, Why Liberal Education Matters (6pm, BCLC).

January 15: Scott Samuelson (Kirkwood Community College), "Suffering and Soul-Making," based on his recent book The Deepest Human Life: An Introduction to Philosophy for Everyone (6pm, Evergreen Church). View a recording of the lecture online. Reviewed in Chapter 16; The Memphis Flyer; The Christian Century; Rain Taxi; interviewed on Counterpoint; New Books in Education; Fordham Conversations; Raj Persaud.  Samuelson′s essays have appeared in the The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Huffington Post, The Philosopher’s Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Rhodes Magazine.

January 20: Gavin Wright (Stanford University), the economic impact of the civil rights movement (7pm, Hardie).

March 5: Brian Greene (Columbia University), "From the Big Bang to the End of Time" (6pm, McCallum).

April 23: John Guillory (NYU), "Monuments and Documents: On the Object of Study in the Humanities" (6pm, Blount).

• May 1: Junior Phi Beta Kappa Inductees announced at Awards Convocation (9am, Hardie).

• May 15: Phi Beta Kappa Induction Ceremony, followed by a luncheon in Rollow Hall (12:30pm). Dr. Martha Saavedra (Peyton Nalle Rhodes Prize recipient, 1983) will be our luncheon speaker.


The national office of Phi Beta Kappa is led by Secretary John Churchill, who graduated from Rhodes College in 1971.

Join Us on Facebook

Social Lynx

Join us on Facebook »