Wayne State invites top students to join Phi Beta Kappa chapter

July 13, 1999

Seventy top students have been invited for membership in Wayne State University's Phi Beta Kappa chapter.

Members must be in the top 10 percent of their class and have academic records that reflect the broad liberal arts and science spirit.

Chapter officers are President Richard Elling of Ferndale, professor of political science; President-elect William Stine of Grosse Pointe, professor of philosophy; Secretary Martha Ratliff of Ann Arbor, professor of English; and Treasurer Louis Kibler of Livonia, professor of Romance languages.

George Bush is one of 15 presidents to have earned the Phi Beta Kappa key. Other members whose names are well known include Henry Kissinger, Harvard University; Kris Kristofferson, Pomona College; Jonas Salk, City College of New York; and Tom Brokaw, University of South Dakota.

Election to Phi Beta Kappa has been a nationwide recognition of high scholastic achievement for more than 200 years. The tradition began in December 1776 at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va. While the original society did not survive the British advance on the city, it did grant charters for branches, which ensured its continuity.

Today, 10 percent of the nation's postsecondary institutions hold charters. In 1900, when the first general national listing of honorees was published, the living membership was about 10,500. In 1990 it was close to 426,000.

Wayne State's charter was granted in 1953. Membership also is open to faculty and staff who became Phi Beta Kappa members at other institutions and now are employed at WSU.

For more information call Ratliff at (313) 577-7646.