Public Relations  >  News Center  >  News Releases  >  August, 2012  >  August 9, 2012  >  Creighton University Approved as Phi Beta Kappa Chapter
Creighton University Approved as Phi Beta Kappa Chapter

The Phi Beta Kappa Society voted Aug. 3, 2012, to approve Creighton University’s application to establish a chapter on campus. Applications are considered only once every three years. Phi Beta Kappa is considered the most prestigious of the national academic honor societies, comparable in status to Alpha Sigma Nu within the Jesuit network.

Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest academic honor society for the arts and sciences and has more than 500,000 members. It was founded at the College of William and Mary in 1776 and has 283 chapters nationwide. According to the society, 17 U.S. Presidents, seven of the current U.S. Supreme Court Justices, and more than 130 Nobel laureates are members of Phi Beta Kappa.

Academic Vice President Patrick Borchers, J.D., said, “I am thrilled that Creighton students will now be able to be considered for membership in this distinguished honor society. The faculty and staff have worked very hard to ensure that this application was successful because we all believe that Creighton students are among the best in the nation and deserve consideration for this honorary society.”

A dedicated team of faculty and staff has worked over the past several years to prepare the application, which included information about all aspects of the University from admissions standards, to faculty and student scholarship, to budgets and the condition of buildings on campus. In addition, 10 percent of the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences must be Phi Beta Kappa members for the application to be considered. Creighton’s application was over 300-pages long and comparable in scope to the University’s accreditation report. After the application was submitted, members of Phi Beta Kappa’s Committee on Qualifications conducted a site visit in January 2011. The three-person team met with students, faculty, and University leadership, including the University’s past president John Schlegel, S.J., and current president, Timothy R. Lannon, S.J.

"This is truly a triumphant moment for Creighton University,” said Lannon. “To be recognized as one of the top universities in the nation and our commitment to the liberal arts are a testament to the outstanding faculty and students that Creighton attracts."

The new chapter will be installed and the first class of honorees inducted this academic year. Students are usually inducted as seniors, though exceptional juniors are also considered. The top 10 percent of the graduating class is eligible. The inductees will be chosen by a committee of Phi Beta Kappa faculty. Prospective inductees must have a high GPA, at least intermediate competency in a second language and have completed a minimum of one mathematics course at the college level. Phi Beta Kappa offers members opportunities for scholarships and prizes and sponsors an exciting speaker series.

Bridget Keegan, Ph.D., professor of English, will assist with the initial work of installing the chapter. All members of Phi Beta Kappa in all the schools and colleges as well as any staff or administrators who may also be Phi Beta Kappa will be included in the celebrations this year and chapter activities thereafter.

Keegan will be updating the records of all faculty and staff across the University who are keyholders. Please contact her so that she can ensure the appropriate names are accurately listed on the chapter’s charter.

She can be reached at

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