Honors society inducts new members

After four years of late-night studying, endless research and dozens of exams, nearly 200 of GW’s brightest students were rewarded for their hard work and welcomed into the country’s most prestigious honors society.

Close to 150 seniors and 28 juniors were inducted into Phi Beta Kappa Friday, an academic fraternity that requires members, along with meeting other criteria, to be in the top ten percent of their class.

Phi Beta Kappa, founded in 1776, boasts the membership of 17 presidents and 38 Supreme Court justices, Provost Steve Lerman said. Other members include author Mark Twain, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and alumna and trustee Kerry Washington.

“You represent the most accomplished liberal arts and sciences students at the George Washington University,” Lerman said. “In addition to obtaining the highest levels of academic achievement, you’ve displayed genuine passion for learning and established yourselves as leaders both on and off our campus.”

Each inductee received a symbolic Phi Beta Kappa key, a token that former president of the D.C-area Phi Beta Kappa Association Christel McDonald explained has notable value.

“Wear it with pride. It will be your companion for the rest of your life,” she said.

She urged the new initiates to take advantage of the resources that come with their new membership by listing the association on their resumes and attending networking events with other distinguished members.

“Someday perhaps 20 or 30 years from now, someone may be mentioning your name on the list of impressive figures who have been inducted into Phi Beta Kappa,” president of GW’s Phi Beta Kappa Gerald Feldman said.

Feldman congratulated the new inductees on their hard work and accomplishments before leaving them with Robert Frost’s words of wisdom, quoting “The Road Not Taken.” He wished them good luck before teaching them the “secret Phi Beta Kappa handshake.”

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