20 seniors inducted to Phi Bete

by Hannah Plotkin | 11/3/04 6:00am

The 20 members of the Class of 2005 with the highest cumulative grade point averages were inducted into Phi Beta Kappa honor society's Dartmouth chapter Tuesday evening.

The newly initiated Phi Betes are Mikhail Akulov, Devin Dwyer, Cortelyou Kenney, Jason Lee, Andrew Li, Tori McKee, Anna Nowogrodzki, Elizabeth Pope, Sandeep Ramesh, Samantha Schilling, Christine Schott, Nicholas Schwartz, Hiram Shaish, Katharine Stahl, Stephen Stahr, Mark Wang, Patrick Ward, Katharine Wendell, Christina Yu and Thomas Zangle.

Potential Phi Betes must rank among the top 20 undergraduates in terms of cumulative grade point average after three years spent at the College. They also must have completed at least eight residence or off-campus terms. A student is also eligible at the time of graduation if they have the same cumulative grade point average as the top 10 percent of the previous three graduating classes.

New Phi Bete member Katie Stahl experienced a pleasant surprise when notified two weeks ago of her election into the society.

"I wasn't expecting it at all," she said.

On the other hand, fellow member Christina Yu was confident of her standing within the Class of 2005.

"I knew I would get in, unless something catastrophic happened," she said.

Yu identified hard work and academic passion as the keys to her success.

"Approach your work with a blend of passion and humility and don't seek too much external validation because that always comes much later," she said. "In the end, it's just you and the books, and you've got to learn to just love the discipline itself."

Yu added, "Studying isn't glamorous. It's very nitty gritty."

Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. After the formation of chapters at Yale and then Harvard, the society's Alpha of New Hampshire chapter was founded at Dartmouth in 1787. The organization changed from a regular fraternity into a scholarship based society in the 1845-1846 school year. In 1883, women became eligible to join the society, although this didn't affect Dartmouth students for decades to come.

Following the initiation ceremony, the society awarded the Phi Beta Kappa Prize to students having the highest cumulative average before Sophomore Summer, after five terms at the College. This year's recipients were Robert Butts, Alison Crocker and Austin Vedder, all members of the Class of 2006. Each received an award of $100.

Butts is also a member of The Dartmouth staff.

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