Love of Learning is the Guide of Life

Since our founding in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa has celebrated excellence in the liberal arts and sciences and championed freedom of thought. As America’s most prestigious academic honor society, we are uniquely equipped to advocate for the value and benefits of liberal arts and sciences education.

News & Features

  • Key Conversations with Phi Beta Kappa

    Hosted by Secretary/CEO Fred Lawrence, our new podcast series features an extensive exchange with a ΦBK Visiting Scholar. In our latest episode Lawrence speaks to Paula Stephan, whose research focuses on the economics of science and the careers of scientists and engineers. Years of documenting and analyzing the role of gender in academic performance and the impact of monetary and status incentives on scholars and universities have led her to startling conclusions.

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  • The Arts, Humanities and Sciences Need Your Voice Now

    Now more than ever, we must make the case about the value of the liberal arts and sciences. Phi Beta Kappa has the tools you need to make the case for the arts and sciences with local, state, and national policymakers. Find out how you can help spread the word and take action today at Sign up for our monthly newsletter below.

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  • Next Line, Please

    Each Tuesday, The American Scholar's readers contribute a new line of verse—or a completed poem—in collaboration with a renowned poet.


Behind The Key

Ayanna Thompson (ΦBK Columbia University) is director of the Arizona Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies at Arizona State University. Dr. Thompson specializes in Renaissance drama and issues of race in performance, and is one of the country’s premiere Shakespeare scholars. Currently the president of the Shakespeare Association of America, Thompson served as a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar for the 2017-2018 term, and has been featured on our Key Conversations podcast.