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Phi Beta Kappa

Phi Beta Kappa key and motto: Love of Wisdom, the guide of life

The Phi Beta Kappa Society is the oldest preeminent collegiate honor society for the liberal arts in the United States. Established in 1776 at the College of William and Mary, Phi Beta Kappa now comprises 283 chapters throughout the United States. Induction into Phi Beta Kappa represents a strong love of learning through diligence and academic merit.

In 1994, the American University Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, Zeta of Washington, D.C., was founded. It is a force for the three goods indicated by the stars in the upper left corner of the society's key: friendship, morality, and literature. The pointing hand in the lower corner of the key symbolizes aspiration. On the reverse, the letters S and P represent the second name of the society, Societas Philosophiae, which translates as "the society of the love of knowledge." American University is well suited to cultivate the virtues of Phi Beta Kappa. With the intimacy of a smaller college and strong intellectual enterprises, students at American University are able to pursue rewarding studies in the liberal arts.

Selection Procedure

Election is highly selective. It is based on performance as measured by GPA in liberal arts courses. All other courses (for example, pre-professional classes or internships) are excluded from the calculation. Students from most programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as from the School of International Service and School of Public Affairs, are potentially eligible, provided the number of credits and GPA for liberal arts courses are sufficient. Students enrolled in majors in the School of Communication, the Kogod School of Business, and the School of Education are not eligible unless they have a second major in a qualifying liberal arts program. Induction represents lifetime membership. Students must have 75 percent of their work in liberal arts courses and at least 60 credits earned in courses at American University. Students who are eligible either in their junior or more often senior year will be notified during spring semester if elected. There are no applications.

Dinner and Induction Ceremony

Each spring American University's Zeta Chapter welcomes new members through a dinner in their honor. Parents, friends, and faculty members are typically invited to attend both the induction ceremony and the reception that follows.

Congratulations 2014-15 Inductees!

Jessica Agnostinelli Haili Lewis
Rachel Avery Molly Longwell
Juana Aya Amanda Lynen
Kelly Bisschop Julia Martins
Lauren Bosma Laura Materna
Kelsey Brandt Toby McCarroll
Casey Brown Gabriel Menchaca
Patrick Burnett Carson Merenbloom
Evan Callihan Ryan Migeed
Margaret Carr Ariel Mond
Billie Case Denis Muftic
Joshua Chamberlain Cassondra Murphy
Madison Chapman Casey Murphy
Laura Clayton Monica Nehls
Trisha Clifton Megan Nissel
Venice Cowardin Kenneth Notter
Martha Cramer Rebecca O'Neill
Angelo Curto Sarah Palazzolo
Alana Davicino James Palladino
Benjamin Derby Myrto Papakonstantinou
Blake Donovan Melissa Parker
Michelle Eller Justine Payton
Emily Ellis Emily Peikin
Joshua Ellis Foley Pfalzgraf
Candace Evilsizor Kristin Pulkstenis
Emma Faith Sean Reilly Wood
Emily Ferraro Maria Sylvia Riquezes
Benjamin Friedel Eleanore Rodgers
Emily Gallagher Emily Rosa
Alexandra Gardner Paul Rothenberg
Marissa Gargano Rebecca Royer
Cara Goerlich James Schwabacher
Alexander Gotowski Isabel Shaw
Katelyn Guion London Swift
Emily Hanson Rosanna Tamam
Victoria Harrington Sara Tanenbaum
Quinn Hirsch James Tsouvalas
Lori Interlicchio Jonathan Wallen
Molly Kepner Jacob Weinreb
Brandon Klugman Margaret Wilk
Natalie Konerth Aria Wiseblatt
Jessica Lawson Thomas Woermer
Christian Levan

Current Faculty & Staff Members

David Aaronson
Jaime Abrams
Evelyn Abravanel  
Padideh Ala'i
Patricia Aufderheide
Karen Baehler
Naomi Susan Baron  
Robin Barr  
Robert Beisner  
Barbara Bergmann  
Evan Berry
Amanda Berry
Robert Allen Blecker  
Aaron P. Boesenecker
David Bosco
Deborah Brautigam  
Richard Breitman  
Robin Broad  
Norma Broude  
Laura Cutler
Linda Chase  
Christine B. N. Chin
Angie Chuang
Allison Comins-Richmond  
David Crosby  
Angela Davis
Robert Dinerstein 
Jeremiah Dittmar
Lynda Dodd  
Erik Dussere  
Amy Eisman
Mary Fan
Eileen Findlay
G. Borden Flanagan
Lynn Fox  
Mary Garrard  
Mary Gray  
Robert Griffith  
Lewis Grossman  
Jane Hall  
Charley Hardwick  
Kate Haulman
William Hirzy
Daphon D. Ho
Travis Hodges
Heather Hughes
LaVelma Hughes  
Patrick Jackson  
Peter Jaszi  
Kristing Kalanges
Elizabeth Keith
Sarah Cleeland Knight
Alan Kraut  
Peter Kuznick  
Elizabeth Lang  
Jennifer Lawless
Adrea Lawrence 
Benjamin Leff
William LeoGrande  


Robert Lerman
Allan Lichtman  
Adrienne Lockie
Jonathan Loesberg  
Eric Lohr  
David Lublin  
Linda Lubrano  
Jeremy Lupoli
Daniel Marcus  
Margaret Marr  
James May  
Mieke Meurs  
Binny Miller  
Kermit Moyer  
Shoon Murray  
Kay Mussell  
Robert Pastor
Lynne Perri
Andrew Pike  
Leanne Powner
Naima Prevots  
Anthony Quainton
Jack Ramsay
Jamin Raskin  
Jeffrey Reiman  
Anthony Riley  
Ira Robbins  
Bernard Rosen  
Roberta Rubenstein  
Joshua Sarnoff  
Mark Schaeffer
Kathy Schwartz
Phillip H. Scribner  
April Shelford  
Anita Sherman  
Suzanne Smith
Peter Starr
Leonard Steinhorn  
Jane Stoever  
Patricia Sykes  
Kristina Thompson
Mary Siegel Trotter
Robert Tsai
Robert Vaughn
David Vine
Rangeley Wallace
Paul Wapner  
Jessica Waters
Michael Wenthe  
Brenda Werth  
Robin Westbrook  
John White  
Donald Williamson  
John Willoughby  
Andrew Yarrow
Katie Young



Faculty and staff representing many departments and schools are members of American University's chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. The chapter's current officers are:

President - Mary Gray, Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, College of Arts and Sciences

Vice President - Amanda Berry, Assistant Professor, Department of Literature, College of Arts and Sciences

Secretary - Patrick Thadeus Jackson, Associate Dean for Curriculum and Learning, School of International Service

Treasurer - Donald Williamson, Professor, Department of Accounting and Taxation, Kogod School of Business

Historian - Kate Haulman, Associate Professor, Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences

Members-at-Large - Patricia Sykes, Associate Professor, Department of Government, School of Public Affairs

Robin Broad, Professor, School of International Service


For more information please contact:

Mimi Fittig,, 202-885-2436