For the second year in a row, Gamma of Tennessee received the highest possible score for its annual evaluation from Phi Beta Kappa, America’s oldest collegiate honor society. The Rhodes chapter was one of fewer than 20 nationwide to earn this exceptional rating for 2012–13. Having twice been ranked among the top chapters in the nation will keep Gamma of Tennessee in the running for the Exemplary Chapter Award, to be presented at the 2015 Triennial Council in Denver, CO.
“We’re pleased that our chapter’s longstanding efforts to celebrate the liberal arts continue to be recognized by the Society,” said President-elect Dr. Teresa Beckham Gramm. Secretary-Treasurer Dr. Susan Satterfield concurred, and further conveyed the chapter’s gratitude for “over three dozen faculty, staff, alumni, and friends whose donations recently endowed the Peyton Nalle Rhodes Prize,” the college’s highest academic honor.
Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa’s chapters invite for induction the most outstanding liberal arts students at America’s leading colleges and universities. Fewer than one percent of U.S. college graduates are eligible. The organization champions the liberal arts – the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences – in higher education and in society at large. The Phi Beta Kappa Society currently is led by Dr. John Churchill, who graduated from Rhodes (then Southwestern) in 1971.
Rhodes’ Phi Beta Kappa chapter was installed on Dec. 5, 1949, and is one of only 283 chapters in the United States. In addition to recognizing outstanding students and awarding the Rhodes Prize, the chapter sponsors lectures by distinguished visiting scholars. This year’s Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar will be Harvard Shakespearean Marjorie Garber, who will give a free public lecture on Thursday, March 27, (7 p.m., Hardie).