For immediate release August 5, 2021

The Phi Beta Kappa Society Presents the President’s Award and John Hope Franklin Award at 46th Triennial Council

Phi Beta Kappa President Emerita and Visiting Scholar Committee Chair honored with National Phi Beta Kappa Awards.

WASHINGTON, DC, August 5, 2021 — The Phi Beta Kappa Society presented the Society’s President’s Award to former ΦBK President Catherine White Berheide on August 5 at the Society’s 46th Triennial Council. At the national convening of delegates representing the Phi Beta Kappa chapters and associations, the Society also presented its John Hope Franklin Award to Jean E. Howard.

The President’s Award 

The Phi Beta Kappa President’s Award, commemorated with the presentation of the Judith F. Krug Medal, is given in recognition of truly outstanding and extraordinary service to Phi Beta Kappa as a national organization. 
Catherine White Berheide, professor of sociology at Skidmore College, served as a Phi Beta Kappa Senator from 2000 to 2018, Vice President from 2012 to 2015 and President from 2015 to 2018. During her time on the Senate, Berheide served as co-chair on the Phi Beta Kappa Task Force on Stipulations from 2008 to 2011, and as a member of the Committee on Awards. She also served as a member, and later chair, of Phi Beta Kappa’s Committee on Qualifications, which evaluates the colleges and universities whose faculty are seeking to establish new Phi Beta Kappa chapters. While President, she traveled with the National Arts and Sciences Initiative across the country to present the Arts & Sciences Cities of Distinction award to cities that recognize the value of the arts and sciences in their communities. She also served as a chapter officer at Skidmore College from 1982 to 1985.  

Berheide’s achievements outside the Society include being named a Carnegie Scholar twice, winning the Hans O. Mauksh Award, and serving as Secretary of the American Sociological Association. She has also authored and edited five books and more than 50 scholarly articles on work, gender, or undergraduate education. 

The John Hope Franklin Award 

The John Hope Franklin Award, created by the Phi Beta Kappa Senate in 2011 in honor of distinguished historian, author and 18th President of Phi Beta Kappa, John Hope Franklin, recognizes individuals for exemplary long-standing service to the Society. 

Jean E. Howard served as a Phi Beta Kappa Senator from 2009 to 2021; during her entire tenure as a Senator, she was an active member of the Visiting Scholar Committee, and has served as Chairperson of the Committee since 2012. She is George Delacorte Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University where she teaches early modern literature, Shakespeare, feminist studies, and theater history.  Howard has authored over fifty essays; her books include Shakespeare’s Art of Orchestration: Stage Technique and Audience Response (1984); The Stage and Social Struggle in Early Modern England (1994); Engendering a Nation: A Feminist Account of Shakespeare’s English Histories (1997), co-written with Phyllis Rackin;  Theater of a City: The Places of London Comedy 1598-1642 (2007), which won the Barnard Hewitt Prize for the outstanding work of theater history for 2008, and Marx and Shakespeare in the Great Shakespeareans series (2012), co-written with Crystal Bartolovich. In addition, Professor Howard is one of the co-editors of The Norton Shakespeare and general editor of the Bedford Contextual Editions of Shakespeare for which with Pamela Allen Brown she edited As You Like It.  She has edited seven collections of essays and has received Guggenheim, ACLS, NEH, Huntington, Folger, and Newberry Library Fellowships. Howard has received several awards for the teaching and mentoring of graduate students and has directed over fifty doctoral dissertations.  Her book on King Lear is forthcoming from Arden in 2021.  She is completing another book, Staging History: Forging the Body Politic, that considers the different genealogies of the history play in America and England in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  It will be published by Columbia University Press in 2022. Howard regularly teaches at Taconic Women’s Correctional Facility as part of Columbia University’s Justice-in-Education initiative.  At Columbia she has served as Chair of the English Department, Chair of the Gender Institute, and was the university’s first Vice Provost for Diversity.  She is a Trustee Emerita of Brown University.


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 290 colleges and universities in the United States, nearly 50 alumni associations, and more than half a million members worldwide. Noteworthy members include 17 U.S. Presidents, 42 U.S. Supreme Court Justices and more than 150 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.


About the President’s Award

The Phi Beta Kappa President’s Award, created in 2009, is given to an individual in recognition of truly outstanding and extraordinary service to the national organization. It is generally awarded every three years at the Triennial Council meeting. The award is commemorated by the presentation of the Judith F. Krug Medal, named after former Phi Beta Kappa Senate Vice President Judith F. Krug, a passionate activist in defense of the right to free speech and against censorship.

About the John Hope Franklin Award

The John Hope Franklin Award, created in 2011, recognizes individuals for exemplary, long-standing service to The Phi Beta Kappa Society. The award, generally given every three years at the Triennial Council meeting, is named after John Hope Franklin, a distinguished historian, 1995 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and former President of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. 

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