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The Dartmouth
February 24, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Twenty members of Class of 2024 inducted into Phi Beta Kappa

On Oct. 12, Dartmouth’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter welcomed 20 seniors and awarded 43 juniors the Sophomore Prize for high academic merit.

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On Oct. 12, the Phi Beta Kappa honor society inducted twenty members of the Class of 2024, honoring students who have achieved grade point averages that fall within the top 20 in their class after completing eight terms at Dartmouth within three years of matriculation. The ceremony also awarded the annual Phi Beta Kappa Sophomore Prize to members of the Class of 2025 who achieved the highest academic ranking after completing five terms, no later than two years after matriculation. 

According to previous coverage from The Dartmouth, Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest honor society in the United States. The College’s chapter, known as Alpha of New Hampshire, is the fourth oldest chapter, founded in 1781. 

This year’s Phi Beta Kappa inductees are Sophia Bokaie ’24, Elizabeth Borgmann ’24, Ethan Chen ’24, Ash Chinta ’24, Caroline Conway ’24, Yevheniia Dubrova ’24, Hayden El Rafei ’24, Benjamin Fagell ’24, Elizabeth Frey ’24, Jack Friedman ’24, Caroline Hall ’24, Sydney Hoffman ’24, Adithi Jayaraman ’24, Kamil Salame ’24, Paul Shin ’24, Anna Swain ’24, Gavin Walsh ’24, Katherine Walther ’24, Allan Wang ’24 and Brian Zheng ’24.

The Phi Beta Kappa Sophomore Prize was awarded to 43 juniors, for their academic performance within two years of matriculating. This year, the Sophomore Prize was awarded to Aimen Abdulaziz ’25, Louis Awdeh ’25, Alexander Azar III ’25, Jessica Bargamian ’25, Kevin Cao ’25, Kaia Culotta ’25, Eliza Dunn ’25, Noah Durham ’25, Wyatt Ellison ’25, Emily Fagell ’25, Mariel Fulghum ’25, Lizzy Hanson ’25, Lindsay Harris ’25, Patrick Herrin ’25, Pranav Kanmadikar ’25, Meghan Kulasingham-Poon ’25, Ashton Lewis ’25, Elizabeth Li ’25, Lin Liang ’25, Nadine Formiga ’25, Jadyn Malone ’25, Colleen Moore ’25, Charlie Morris ’25, Efstratia Nicholson ’25, Allison Nishi ’25, Liam Nokes ’25, Ryan Pettit ’25, Vicky Pham ’25, Matthew Plawecki ’25, Katherine Plaza ’25, Arpit Rao ’25, Lara Roelofs ’25, Eren Saglam ’25, Zachary Seburn ’25, Benjamin Sheldon ’25, Anna St Jean ’25, Holly Sullivan ’25, Serena Suson ’25, Declan Unverferth ’25, Connor Vogel ’25, Geoffrey Yang ’25, Albert Zhang ’25 and Vania Zhao ’25. 

The induction ceremony took place at Collis Common Ground and began with a brief history of Phi Beta Kappa, delivered by chapter vice president John Carey. Dartmouth Chapter secretary Kate Soule then read from portions of the Phi Beta Kappa constitution. During the formal initiation, students pledged their adherence to the principles of the society, including “fraternity, morality and literature,” and shook hands with the chapter president and vice president. Students then signed the Phi Beta Kappa Constitution and received certificates.

This year, the nominees for alumni membership in Dartmouth’s Alpha chapter of Phi Beta Kappa were Nora Jacobson ’74 and Heidi Williams ’03. Honorary membership in the Alpha Chapter was granted to Sherman Fairchild distinguished history professor Matthew Delmont. According to Chapter president Andrew Samwick, honorary and alumni memberships are granted to “outstanding candidate[s] who [exemplify] the principles of Phi Beta Kappa.”

“What inspires me about [Phi Beta Kappa] is its foundation in the pursuit of knowledge,” Delmont said in his address. “It’s at the core of what we do here at Dartmouth.”

Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary, according to Soule. It originated as a secret society where students would come together to freely debate the ideas of the day — namely, the American Revolution. “Freedom and inquiry and expression” have always been the “hallmarks” of the society, Carey said in his speech. Dartmouth's Alpha Chapter differs slightly in its standards from the National Phi Beta Kappa because it was established before the creation of the national society, according to Soule.

While national requirements include two years of foreign language study, Dartmouth students only need three terms of language classes to fulfill the College’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter demands, Soule said. Dartmouth’s chapter is also unique because students who are working towards a Bachelor of Arts in Engineering are also eligible to be inductees. 

Awardees including Jayaraman expressed gratitude for being selected.  

“I take this award as a reminder to stay curious and pursue knowledge for the sake of it,” Jayaraman said. “I think it was really cool how they put this all together for us to honor us. I think recognizing that there’s a bigger purpose than all these things is important. But I feel really lucky to be inducted.”

Conway said her “two very supportive parents and access to great educational opportunities,” played an instrumental role in her induction. She also expressed uncertainty around the necessity of a ceremony.

“I have mixed feelings about the ceremonial side of academia,” Conway said. “I say this as someone who intends to be a professor, so I’m obviously not against it in its entirety. I do think that there is sometimes an undercurrent of elitism in ceremonies like this one.”

According to Soule, while the induction ceremony can seem a bit “flowery,” it is also a physical manifestation of the hard work and dedication embodied by Dartmouth students. 

“This is the most fun thing I do here at Dartmouth,” Soule said. “I’m the one who’s lettering the certificates, so I spend a good five minutes on each person’s name, you know, measuring out the letters and such. At the ceremony, I get to put faces to those names. I feel like I know them.”

Jayaraman said that the Dartmouth experience is much broader than achieving academic merit.

“A bunch of us are just perfectionists,” Jayaraman said. “I think celebrating is great. And I know all these people did so much work to get here. But I think you should just keep in mind that there’s so much more to life and so much more to Dartmouth.”

Soule said a second induction ceremony will take place during the spring, during which the top ten percent of the graduating class will be initiated.

Correction appended (2:50 pm): A previous version of this article misrepresented the cutoff for the Phi Beta Kappa Sophomore Prize and omitted the specific entrance requirements for early inductees to the society.