Sixty-six students from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University were invited into the Theta of Minnesota Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at CSB and SJU. The students were inducted into the chapter during a ceremony at 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 26, at Alumnae Hall, CSB; this event was followed by an invitation-only gala banquet for Phi Beta Kappa members and their guests in room 204, Gorecki Center, CSB.
SJU junior Alex Seefeldt performed an original piano composition during the processional. CSB/SJU Provost Richard Ice gave welcoming remarks, and Laura Taylor, assistant professor of theology at CSB and SJU who is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, delivered the keynote address, “The Heart of the Matter: The Value of a Liberal Arts Education.”
Kathryn Enke, chief of staff to CSB President Mary Dana Hinton, was inducted into the Theta of Minnesota Chapter as a CSB alumna member. SJU President Michael Hemesath was also present at the ceremony.
A total of 54 seniors and 12 juniors were selected by faculty members at CSB and SJU who are members of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest academic honor society (founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary in Virginia). There are 40 students from CSB and 26 from SJU in this year's group.
Students are chosen based on their grade-point average (3.85 for juniors, 3.65 for seniors) and must be a liberal arts and/or sciences major. The selection committee also looked at the breadth and depth of the student's program and other achievements, such as a thesis or other research; interest in other cultures or languages; extracurricular activities; and academic performance.
This is the eighth group of students who have been inducted into the chapter. Delegates from more than 200 chapters and associations of Phi Beta Kappa voted to establish the chapter at CSB and SJU Oct. 2, 2009, during their Triennial Council in Austin, Texas.
The CSB and SJU chapter was the eighth Phi Beta Kappa chapter established in Minnesota and was named 'Theta' after the eighth letter of the Greek alphabet.
Taylor, Laura, "The Heart of the Matter: The Value of a Liberal Arts Education" (2017). Phi Beta Kappa Lectures. 6.