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Visiting Scholar Program

Since 1956, the Society's Visiting Scholar Program has been offering undergraduates the opportunity to spend time with some of America's most distinguished scholars. The purpose of the program is to contribute to the intellectual life of the campus by making possible an exchange of ideas between the Visiting Scholars and the resident faculty and students. The Committee on the Visiting Scholar Program is pleased to announce the 2014-2015 panel (see below). The men and women participating during 2014-2015 will visit over 100 colleges and universities, spending two days at each one and taking full part in the academic life of the institution. They will meet informally with students and faculty members, participate in classroom discussions and seminars, and give a public lecture open to the entire academic community. The visits are designed primarily for undergraduate participation.

A total of 5,004 visits have been made by 611 Visiting Scholars during the past 57 years. You may view a list of all Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholars since the program’s inception here (PDF). You also may view a history of the Visiting Scholar Program.

Here is what the chapters are saying about the experience. You may view the testimonials

Application Process

Participation is limited to the 283 campuses that shelter chapters of Phi Beta Kappa. Priority is given to those institutions not located in major metropolitan centers or that do not have extensive resources on which to draw for similar programs.

Please review the procedural information before requesting a Visiting Scholar. If you are interested in bringing one of the scholars to your campus, you will need to get in touch with the secretary or president of the local Phi Beta Kappa chapter so that your preference can be considered by the chapter when applying for a visitor. Invitations should not be sent directly to the Visiting Scholars. Applications for the 2014-2015 program must be received at the national office by April 15, 2014.

Questions about the program and the application process should be addressed to the Director of Lecture Programs, or you may call (202) 745-3231.

To see videos of past Visiting Scholar lectures, please click here.


Visiting Scholar Ka Yee C. Lee with students at Grinnell College.


Visiting Scholars 2008-2009

(Click on the Scholar's name for a biographical sketch and available dates.)

Eric G. Adelberger
Professor of Physics, University of Washington

Lisa Anderson
Shotwell Professor of International Relations, Columbia University
2008-2009 Phi Beta Kappa/Frank M. Updike Memorial Scholar

Elaine K. Gazda
Professor of Classical Art and Archaeology, University of Michigan

Philip D. Gingerich
Case Collegiate Professor of Paleontology, University of Michigan

Faye Ginsburg
Kriser Professor of Anthropology, New York University

Linda Gordon
Professor of History, New York University

Robert Haselkorn
Pritzker Distinguished Service Professor of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology,
University of Chicago

Loch K. Johnson
Regents Professor of Public and International Affairs, University of Georgia

Anne K. Mellor
Distinguished Professor of English, University of California, Los Angeles

Betty Smocovitis
Professor of History and Zoology, University of Florida

Anna Tsing
Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz

William A. Wulf
University Professor and AT&T Professor of Engineering, University of Virginia


Visiting Scholars 2007-2008

You May View a Chronological Listing of Visits Here (PDF).
(Click on the Scholar's name for a biographical sketch and itinerary.) 

Michael J. B. Allen
Distinguished Professor of English, University of California, Los Angeles

Roger S. Bagnall 
Director, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University

Lori F. Damrosch
Henry L.   Moses Professor of Law and International Organization, Columbia University

Morris P. Fiorina
Wendt Family Professor of Political Science, Stanford University

Alejandro García-Rivera
Professor of Systematic Theology, Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley

Sandra Harding
Professor of Education and Women’s Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

Daniel Huttenlocher
Neafsey Professor of Computing, Information Science and Business, Cornell University

Lawrence M. Krauss
Ambrose Swasey Professor of Physics, Case Western Reserve University

Eric Mazur
Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics, Harvard >University

Saskia Sassen
Ralph Lewis Professor of Sociology, University of Chicago

James J. Sheehan
 Dickason Professor in the Humanities, Stanford University
2007-2008 Phi Beta Kappa/Frank M. Updike Memorial Scholar

Pamela S. Soltis
Curator, Laboratory of Molecular Systematics and Evolutionary Genetics,
Florida Museum of Natural History

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
300th Anniversary University Professor, Harvard University



You May View a Chronological Listing of Visits Here (PDF).
(Click on the Scholar's name for a biographical sketch and available dates.)

Visiting Scholars 2013-2014

You may view a chronological listing of visits on the Online Calendar here.

(Click on the scholar's name for biographical information and schedule of campus visits.)


Visiting Scholars 2014-2015


 (Click on the Scholar's name for a biographical sketch and schedule of campus visits.) 


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