Phi Beta Kappa recognizes students' academic achievements

by Hannah Jinks | 10/22/18 2:45am

On Thurs., Oct. 18, 21 members of the Class of 2019 joined Dartmouth’s Alpha of New Hampshire chapter of the honor society Phi Beta Kappa. Founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary, Phi Beta Kappa recognizes and connects the nation’s best students across its 286 chapters. In addition to the 21 senior-class inductees, six members of the Class of 2020 received the Phi Beta Kappa Sophomore Prize.

Students inducted into Phi Beta Kappa in the fall must hold one of the top 20 cumulative grade point averages in their class after completing eight academic terms within three years of matriculating. The Phi Beta Kappa Sophomore Prize awards students with the highest cumulative grade point averages in their class after five terms of enrollment.

The Phi Beta Kappa inductees are Olivia Bewley ’19, Connor Bondarchuk ’19, Emily Chao ’19, Nicole Chen ’19, John Davidson ’19, Christine Dong ’19, James Herman ’19, Meredith Holmes ’19, Young Jang ’19, Josephina Lin ’19, Andrew Liu ’19, Anant Mishra ’19, Colleen O’Connor ’19, Sonia Qin ’19, Sonia Rowley ’19, Samantha Stern ’19, Alexander Sullivan ’19, Arvind Suresh ’19, Elizabeth Terman ’19, Ruoni Wang ’19 and David Wong ’19.

Recipients of the Sophomore Prize are Emma Esterman ’20, Brandon Nye ’20, Scott Okuno ’20, Joshua Perlmutter ’20, Armin Tavakkoli ’20 and Sebastian Wurzrainer ’20.

The ceremony involved a welcoming and initiation of the inductees, followed by the awarding of the Sophomore Prize. During the formal induction, honorees shook the hands of the chapter marshall, president and vice president. They also signed a book signifying their eternal membership and received a certificate. In her closing remarks, Kate Soule, director of Arts and Sciences Finance and Research Administration and secretary-treasurer of Dartmouth’s chapter, taught the inductees the secret Phi Beta Kappa handshake.

This year, the ceremony was held at Occom Commons rather than the President’s house due to logistical conflicts, Soule said.

According to Soule, membership in the honor society comes with many benefits. Chief among them are the lifelong connections members form through local alumni associations.

“Through Phi Beta Kappa associations, members can network, attend cultural events, join a book club, give back through community service and engage in the spirit of ‘learning for all of life,’” she said.

Chen said she was eager to take advantage of such opportunities, though the perks of membership were an afterthought.

“I’m just really honored to be here,” she said. “I’ve loved meeting people and learning about the society and Dartmouth’s chapter, which I didn’t know much about before.”

During the reception, many noted that their qualification came as a pleasant surprise, especially considering the intelligence and ambition of their peers.

“A lot of the people here are amazing, and I look up to them a lot,” Wang said. “I’ve taken classes with many of them, so it’s very exciting.”

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Barbara E. Will English professor and associate dean of the arts and humanities, was nominated for and granted honorary membership in Dartmouth’s Alpha chapter. Howard Weinberg ’69 was nominated for and granted alumni membership.