Phi Beta Kappa inducts 21 new members

by Stephanie Racker | 10/24/19 2:05am

The Phi Beta Kappa honor society inducted 21 new members from the Class of 2020 on Tuesday. The society held its 232nd annual meeting in College President Phil Hanlon’s house, where the ceremony traditionally takes place. Last year’s ceremony took place in Occom Commons due to logistical difficulties.  

Originally founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest academic honor society in the United States. Dartmouth’s Chapter of the society — Alpha of New Hampshire — is the fourth-oldest chapter in the United States. 

“The object of the Phi Beta Kappa Society is the encouragement of friendship, morality and literature among students and graduates of American colleges,” said director of arts and sciences finance and research administration and Alpha Chapter secretary Kate Soule.

In order to become a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, a student must have completed a minimum of eight terms at Dartmouth and have a cumulative grade point average that places them in the top 20 students of their class by Oct. 15 of their senior fall term. 

The new Phi Beta Kappa inductees are Mary Versa Clemens-Sewall ’20, Phoebe Cunningham ’20, Hoang Long Do ’20, Christopher Esch ’20, Emma Esterman ’20, Delia Friel ’20, William Kaufman ’20, Victoria Nedder ’20, Brandon Nye ’20, Scott Okuno ’20, Sarah Pearl ’20, Joshua Perlmutter ’20, Anjali Prabhat ’20, Josiah Putman ’20, Matthew Radosevich ’20, Courtney Stump ’20, Armin Tavakkoli ’20, Zijie Wang ’20, Samuel Wilson ’20, Sebastian Wurzrainer ’20 and Xinchen Zhao ’20. 

Being a part of an honor society like Phi Beta Kappa offers a larger point of community and connection, according to Clemens-Sewall. 

“I was talking before the ceremony with someone who’s in a society from a different institution, so it was neat to share her story of being inducted five years ago at another college,” Clemens-Sewall said. “It offered a point of connection even beyond Dartmouth.”

Along with the induction of new class members to Phi Beta Kappa, the honor society also hosted the nominee for honorary membership in Alpha Chapter, microbiology and immunology professor George O’Toole, the nominee for alumni membership in Alpha Chapter, Arizona State University journalism professor Stephen Doig ’70 and the 17 recipients of Phi Beta Kappa’s Sophomore Prize — a significant increase from the six recipients of the award recognized last year.

Alpha Chapter president and associate dean of the faculty for interdisciplinary programs Dennis Washburn said that recipients of the Sophomore Prize must have the highest academic rank among members of their class by the conclusion of their fifth term at Dartmouth, which is to have been completed no later than the second June following matriculation.

The recipients of Phi Beta Kappa’s Sophomore Prize winners are Will Baxley ’21, Tyler Brody ’21, Kate Budney ’21, Amanda Chen ’21, Cara Ditmar ’21, Isabella Frohlich ’21, Utsav Jalan ’21, Paul Jeon ’21, Rachel Kent ’21, Max Mickenberg ’21, Savannah Miller ’21, Amanda Pinson ’21, Alexander Soong ’21, Michael St. George ’21, Emily Stehr ’21, Sanjena Venkatesh ’21 and Elwyn Zhang ’21.

Wurzrainer is a member of The Dartmouth staff.