43rd Triennial Council Will Meet in Florida, August 2-4
Register for the 43rd Triennial
Delegates from Phi Beta Kappa’s 280 chapters and more than 50 associations will meet with Phi Beta Kappa executives and the Senate in Palm Beach, Fla., this year to make decisions about the creation of new chapters and the future of the Society as a whole. The meeting will take place August 2-4 at The Breakers, one of Florida’s premier historic hotels, founded in 1896 by Standard Oil Company magnate Henry Flagler.
All those who will be joining us for the 43rd Triennial Council will have an opportunity to engage with fellow intellectuals from among Phi Beta Kappas academic and alumni membership, meet and speak with some of our country’s most outstanding scholars and researchers, attend lectures on a variety of topics in the liberal arts and sciences, and have the chance to learn about the history and culture of southern Florida by visiting the nearby Flagler museum.
Phi Beta Kappa members are welcome to register to attend the Council’s lectures and events. For more information contact the Director of Alumni Relations and Events or call (202) 745-3235.
All chapter and association delegates must submit their information online by March 15.
Triennial Council Speakers
is Provost’s Professor of Geological Sciences at Indiana University. As director of a NASA Astrobiology Institute
team (Biosustaining Energy and Nutrient Cycles in the Deep Subsurface of Earth and Mars), she has collected samples of water, rock, and natural gas in active gold mines at depths up to 2.5 miles below the surface in South Africa and in the Canadian Arctic. Her collaborative research with Tullis Onstott on radiolysis of water as a source of energy for microbial metabolism has been highlighted worldwide. She is chair of the NASA science advisory group developing a 2018 mission concept for a Mars rover, and she currently serves on the Mars panel for the National Research Council Planetary Science Decadal Survey. Watch video featuring Pratt about research at Indiana University on high arsenic ecosystems and extraterrestrial life on YouTube.
is a scholar of the social and popular culture of late medieval and early modern Spain and a 2011 National Humanities Medalist
. In 1994 he was selected as one of four U.S. Professors of the Year by CASE and the Carnegie Foundation, a program Phi Beta Kappa supports with an annual reception at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. Ruiz’s most recent book, The Terror of History: On the Uncertainties of Life in Western Civilization
(Princeton University Press, 2011) reflects on Western humanity's efforts to cope with and make meaning of the world and its disturbing history — from the existential condition and natural disasters to the endless succession of wars and other man-made catastrophes. Watch video of Ruiz talking about the witch hunt in early modern Europe on YouTube.
PATRICIA MEYER SPACKS
, a former professor of English at the University of Virginia (now retired), is an essayist, critic, and one of the country’s foremost figures in literary studies. Her work is noted for combining groundbreaking feminist theory with historical research. Her most recent book, On Rereading
(Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2011), explores questions about why we read what we read, what pleasures reading brings us, and what psychological needs it answers. Spacks is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Society for 18th Century Studies. She has held numerous positions in the Modern Language Association since 1976, including president in 1994. She will be presented with ΦBK’s Award for Distinguished Service to the Humanities
during the Council’s closing banquet. Watch video featuring Spacks discussing her newest book on YouTube.
All of this year’s speakers have served, or are currently serving, as ΦBK Visiting Scholars. Learn more about our Visiting Scholar Program
About Our Destination
Standard Oil tycoon Henry Flagler acquired and built railroads to serve Florida’s east coast and open the region to development and tourism. In 1894 he built his first resort hotel, The Royal Poinciana, enticing the elite families of America’s Gilded Age to spend the winter season in Palm Beach. In 1896, Flagler built his second hotel, The Palm Beach Inn, later renamed The Breakers.
In 1925, The Breakers was destroyed by fire, and Flagler’s heirs hired the New York City-based Turner Construction Company to rebuild it modeled after the Villa Medici in Rome. Seventy-five artisans were brought from Italy to complete the magnificent paintings on the ceilings of the 200-foot long main lobby and first-floor public rooms. This is The Breakers as it is known today.
Download the hotel’s brochure The Breakers and the Classical Tradition in Architecture to learn more.
Watch a slideshow from The Breakers showcasing its modern amenities on YouTube.
For those attending the Council who have an interest in the history and culture of southern Florida, the nearby Flagler Museum is a must-see destination. The museum is located at Whitehall, the estate Flagler built for himself in Palm Beach. Whitehall (below) is a National Historic Landmark. Flagler’s hotel, The Breakers, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Bulletin of the 42nd Triennial Council Meeting
The official record of the proceedings of our gathering in Austin, Texas October 2-4, 2009 is now available on our Web site. The Council Bulletin is posted under Austin, Texas below the Recent Council Dates and Locations heading.
Members are able to view the minutes below under the Austin, Texas bullet. In order to cut down on cost as well as to conserve paper, we are planning a limited print run and will only send a paper copy to each chapter and association on request. Please email, Director of Alumni Relations and Events, if you would like a hard copy.
The legislative body of the Phi Beta Kappa Society is the Council, which convenes every three years to transact business for the Society as a whole. The Council alone has the authority to charter new chapters. Delegates to the Council are the representatives of the Phi Beta Kappa chapters and associations. They are elected for a term of three years, with each chapter electing up to three delegates and each association (with 25 or more members) electing one delegate. Associations of 200 or more members may elect two delegates.
The first eight triennial Councils (1883-1904) met at Saratoga Springs in New York. Since then, it has been the custom to meet successively in different regions of the country. For many years, the Councils were convened on the campuses of colleges or universities with chapters. More recently, Council meetings have taken place off-campus in cities with one or more chapters or associations.
Recent Council Dates and Locations
- 2009 Austin, Texas (Flash Version of the Council Bulletin)
- 2006 Atlanta, Georgia
- 2003 Seattle, Washington
- 2000 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- 1997 Chicago, Illinois
- 1994 San Francisco, California
- 1991 Washington, D.C.
- 1988 San Antonio, Texas
- 1985 Baltimore, Maryland
- 1982 Boston, Massachusetts
- 1979 New Orleans, Louisiana
- 1976 Williamsburg, Virginia
The 43rd Triennial Council of the Phi Beta Kappa Society will meet August 2-4, 2012, at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida. The Council Nominating Committee invites Society members to propose candidates.
Please follow the instructions of the Nomination Form, mail all mateirals to:
Attn: Director of Alumni Relations and Events
The Phi Beta Kappa Society
1606 New Hampshire Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20009
The deadline for the nomination form and materials is April 1, 2011.
View Triennial Council Photos