For immediate release October 22, 2015

The Phi Beta Kappa Society Votes to Establish New Chapters at Mercer University, Oregon State University, and The University of Houston

WASHINGTON, DC — The Phi Beta Kappa Society voted to establish three new chapters on October 9th at the meeting of its 44th Triennial Council in Denver, Colorado. The Society awarded new chapters to Phi Beta Kappa faculty at Mercer University, Macon, Ga.; Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore; and The University of Houston, Houston, Tex.

The Triennial Council is the legislative body of The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s oldest academic honor society founded on December 5, 1776. The Council convenes every three years to carry out the business of the Society, including granting new chapters after a rigorous, multi-year application process administered by the Society’s Committee on Qualifications. Prospective chapters must be approved by the Phi Beta Kappa Senate before the entire Triennial body votes.

The addition of these three chapters brings the total number of Phi Beta Kappa chapters at colleges and universities to 286 nationwide. The founding members of each new chapter will organize the official chapter installation and first induction ceremonies for new members at their institutions in the coming months.

“Phi Beta Kappa exists to honor students and to advocate for the liberal arts and sciences on campus and in the broader world,” said the head of Phi Beta Kappa’s national office, Secretary John Churchill. “With the establishment of these chapters, we are delighted to acknowledge the accomplishments of these institutions in fostering robust environments where the liberal arts and sciences flourish. We look forward to a lively partnership in advancing that cause.” 

Phi Beta Kappa celebrates and advocates excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. Its campus chapters invite for induction the most outstanding arts and sciences students at America’s leading colleges and universities. Phi Beta Kappa members have included 17 U.S. Presidents, 37 U.S. Supreme Court Justices and 131 Nobel Laureates. 

The Society operates under the conviction that a strong liberal arts and sciences education creates opportunity, drives ingenuity and innovation, and makes a strong investment in America.Through the organization of Visiting Scholars on college campuses, grants for programs promoting an arts and sciences education locally, and recognition of academic excellence, Phi Beta Kappa works to instill in students and the nation at large the value of a broad-based, liberal arts and sciences education at both a personal and professional level. The new chapters at Mercer University, Oregon State University and The University of Houston will join Phi Beta Kappa in carrying out this mission.


About The Phi Beta Kappa Society

Founded on Dec. 5, 1776, The Phi Beta Kappa Society is the nation's most prestigious academic honor society. It has chapters at 286 colleges and universities in the United States, almost 50 alumni associations, and more than half a million members worldwide. Noteworthy members include 17 U.S. Presidents, 39 U.S. Supreme Court Justices and more than 130 Nobel Laureates. The mission of The Phi Beta Kappa Society is to champion education in the liberal arts and sciences, foster freedom of thought, and recognize academic excellence. For more information, visit