Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most prestigious academic honor society in the United States. Founded in 1776 at the College of William & Mary, it recognizes outstanding performance in the liberal arts and sciences and derives its name from the Greek phrase Philosophia Biou Kybernetes: “Love of wisdom is the guide of life.” Approximately 10 percent of US colleges and universities shelter a Phi Beta Kappa chapter, and approximately 10 percent of students at those institutions are invited to join. Membership in Phi Beta Kappa is a rare honor, and academics and employers recognize it as a mark of intellectual breadth and exceptional academic performance.
The chapter sheltered at the University of Vermont—the Alpha of Vermont—was chartered in 1848, making it the eleventh chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. It has a rich history in its own right, being the first chapter in the nation to elect women and African Americans to membership, which it did in the 1870s. Since 1848, approximately 4,200 UVM students have been inducted.
Please use the menu above to find information about our selection criteria, details about our induction ceremonies and business meetings, opportunities for faculty and staff at UVM to participate in chapter activities, our chapter history, and more.