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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 Grinnel College.


Visiting Scholars 2014-2015


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


Jeffrey C. Alexander
Lillian Chavenson Saden Professor of Sociology, Yale University

William Y. Arms
Professor of Computing and Information Science, Emeritus, Cornell University

Wendy Brown
Class of 1936 First Professor of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

Caroline Bruzelius
A.M. Cogan Professor of Art and Art History, Duke University; 2014-2015 ΦBK-Frank M. Updike Memorial Scholar

Gerald Graff
Professor of English and Education, University of Illinois at Chicago

Harold W. Kroto
Francis Eppes Professor of Chemistry, Florida State University

Kathleen McGarry
Professor of Economics, University of California, Los Angeles

Gregory A. Petsko
Mahon Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience, Weill Cornell Medical College

Judith Resnik
Arthur Liman Professor of Law, Yale Law School

Timothy Rowe
J. Nalle Gregory Regents Professor of Geology, University of Texas at Austin

Bambi B. Schieffelin
Collegiate Professor and Professor of Anthropology, New York University

David Schmidtz
Kendrick Professor of Philosophy, University of Arizona

Augusta Read Thomas
University Professor of Composition, University of Chicago

Jeffrey Wasserstrom
Chancellor's Professor of History, University of California, Irvine

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.)


Penelope J. Boston
Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Timothy G. Bromage
Professor of Biomaterials and Biomimetics, New York University College of Dentistry

Tyler Burge
Professor of Philosophy, University of California, Los Angeles

John Comaroff
Hugh K. Foster Professor of African and African American Studies and of Anthropology, Harvard University

Philip J. Deloria
Carroll Smith-Rosenberg Collegiate Professor, University of Michigan; 2013-2014 Phi Beta Kappa-Frank M. Updike Memorial Scholar

Lee Epstein
Provost Professor of Law and Political Science, University of Southern California

Alexander J. Field
Michel and Mary Orradre Professor of Economics, Santa Clara University

David P. Forsythe
University Professor and Charles J. Mach Professor of Political Science, Emeritus, University of Nebraska

Marjorie Garber
William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of English and of Visual and Environmental Studies, Harvard University

Ellen T. Harris
Class of 1949 Professor, Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Christine M. Thomas
Professor of Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

K. Birgitta Whaley
Professor of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley

Jeannette M. Wing
Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Research





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