Visiting Scholar Program

Since 1956, the Phi Beta Kappa 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. History of the Visiting Scholar Program


The Visiting Scholars travel to more than 100 colleges and universities each year, spending two days on each campus and taking full part in the academic life of the institution. They meet informally with students and faculty members, participate in classroom discussions and seminars, and give a public lecture open to the academic community and the general public.


Over the last 60 years, 648 Visiting Scholars have made 5,288 visits to Phi Beta Kappa sheltering institutions.

Read testimonials  from the Visiting Scholars and the chapters about their experiences with the program. 


The Visiting Scholar panels for 2016-2017 and 2015-2016 are listed below.


Application Process

Participation is limited to the 286 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 and best practices for campus scheduling  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 2016-2017 program must be received at the national office by April 15, 2016.

Questions about the program and the application process should be addressed to the Director of the Visiting Scholar Program, or you may call (202) 745-3232.

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

Visiting Scholar Nora Naranjo Morse in her studio, Espanola, NM


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

Rolena Adorno

Sterling Professor of Spanish, Yale University 2016-2017 ɸßК-Frank M. Updike Memorial Scholar

William Bialek

John Archibald Wheeler/Battelle Professor in Physics, Princeton University

Bart D. Ehrman

James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Barbara J. Grosz

Higgins Professor of Natural Sciences, Harvard University

Jennifer L. Hochschild

Henry LaBarre Jayne Professor of Government and Professor of African and African American Studies, Harvard University

Philip Kitcher

John Dewey Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University

Marsha I. Lester

Edmund J. Kahn Distinguished Professor in Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania

Nora Naranjo Morse

Sculptor, Poet, Espanola, New Mexico

Daniel T. Rodgers

Henry Charles Lea Professor of History, Emeritus, Princeton University

Jeremy A. Sabloff

Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Emeritus, University of Pennsylvania

David F. Weiman

Alena Wels Hirschorn ’58 Professor of Economics, Barnard Collegey

Laura Wexler

Professor of American Studies and Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Yale University

John Fabian Witt

Allen H. Duffy Class of 1960 Professor of Law, Yale University

Patricia Wright

Distinguished Service Professor of Anthropology, Stony Brook University

Shuhai Xiao

Professor of Geobiology, Virginia Tech


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

Michael Bérubé

Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Literature, Pennsylvania State University

David K. Campbell

Professor of Physics, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Boston University

Hazel V. Carby

Charles C. and Dorathea S. Dilley Professor of African American Studies and American Studies, Yale University 2015-2016 ɸBK-Frank M. Updike Memorial Scholar

Carol Greenhouse

Arthur W. Marks ’19 Professor of Anthropology, Princeton University

David B. Grusky

Barbara Kimball Browning Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University

Rigoberto Hernandez

Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology

Mae Ngai

Professor of History & Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies, Columbia University

Judith Resnik

Arthur Liman Professor of Law, Yale Law School

Larry A. Silver

Farquhar Professor of Art History, University of Pennsylvania

Harold W. Stanley

Geurin-Pettus Distinguished Chair in American Politics and Political Economy, Southern Methodist University

Richard Sylla

Henry Kaufman Professor of the History of Financial Institutions and Markets, and Professor of Economics, New York University

Blaire Van Valkenburgh

Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Los Angeles

Vincent L. Wimbush

Director, Institute for Signifying Scriptures

Love of learning is the guide of life.