The society that honors intellect, has...


November 30, 1994

PHI BETA KAPPA, the society that honors intellect, has just authorized the founding of chapters at seven more colleges. The total becomes 249, of the nation's roughly 1,500 four-year, degree-granting colleges and universities. Always, many would enter this circle of academic light, from out in the vast darkness; and many are turned away.

A few, every three years, are chosen.

Since the admission of Johns Hopkins University, in 1895, as Alpha of Maryland, three other local institutions have been granted chapter charters (and thereby authorized to elect students and other individuals to membership); to wit, Goucher College (Beta), the University of Maryland College Park (Gamma) and Western Maryland College (Delta).

Now there is another. All hail Epsilon of Maryland! --

Loyola College.

The effort to obtain a Phi Beta Kappa charter for Loyola goes back to the presidential years of the late Rev. Joseph A. Sellinger, himself a member; its successful outcome adds momentum now to the new regime of the Rev. Harold E. Ridley.

Love of wisdom [is] the helmsman of life -- to degreek and dealphabetize the society's motto. Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1776, in Virginia, at the College of William and Mary, and soon spread north, to liberal arts, rather than technology, campuses.

Phi Bete (rhymes with date) membership guarantees nothing; it presents, rather, a dilemma: how, without seeming puffed up, to sport that rectangular gold key (Watch chain? nobody wears watch chains any more. Lapel, or suspended from a necklace? perhaps. As an earring? just not done, old bean). John Marshall, subsequently chief justice, was an earliest member; Marvin D. PTC Levy, the oldest head coach in the NFL, is a member (Coe College, earned).

A new chapter often votes in, as honorary members in full standing, some persons who would've made it sooner, had there been a chapter on their campuses, back when. Philosophia, biou kybernetes.

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