How Phi Beta Kappa was Established at Spelman
"Philosophy (wisdom) is the Guide of Life."
Epsilon of Georgia is the Spelman College chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.
Efforts to establish a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at Spelman College began with a preliminary application in 1976 followed by preliminary applications in 1985 and 1994. The 1994 preliminary application was approved and full application was made on September 28, 1995 by the Phi Beta Kappa Group.
After a rigorous application process, which included the submission of a 157-page General Report and a three-day site visit, Spelman was granted a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa on September 27, 1997 at the Thirty-Eighth Triennial Meeting of the Phi Beta Kappa Council in Chicago. The chapter, Epsilon of Georgia, was installed on February 10, 1998 by David Levering Lewis, Ph.D., Martin Luther King, Jr. University Professor of History, Rutgers University.
Lewis remarked, "I should like to believe that Phi Beta Kappa's coming to Spelman is fatefully symbolic and represents a milestone in the progress of the life of the mind and of the 'love of learning' (Phi Beta Kappa's motto, indeed) among that half of humanity to whom the nation must turn increasingly for the mediation and attenuation of that patriarchal, racist, sexist and aggressive past that it so urgently needs to escape."
The chapter's first initiation ceremony was held April 28, 1998, to induct its first group of 44 undergraduate members. Since then, more than 500 members have been inducted into the Epsilon of Georgia chapter.
Phi Beta Kappa History | Membership Criteria