Phi Beta Kappa inducts 24 seniors early
By Allyson Bennett, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Tuesday, November 20, 2007
The 24 members of the Class of 2008 whose cumulative grade point averages were among the 20 highest in the grade were inducted into the Dartmouth chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society on Monday night in a ceremony held at the home of College President James Wright and Susan Wright. Phi Beta Kappa, the largest academic honor society in the country, recognizes college students for scholastic achievement.
Seniors inducted into the society were Kathryn Alpert, Michael Audet, Timothy Baker, Lauren Berkovits, Michelle Chen, Nicholas Christman, Jean Ellen Cowgill, William DeKrey, Meghan Feely, Margaret Fitchet, Amy Flaster, Olivia Gilliatt, Jennifer Heinen, Christa Hinckley, Nigel Hsu, Brendan Huang, David Lamb, Daniel Mahoney, Stuart Reid, Maheshwor Shrestha, Alex Tarzy, Pamela Tieu, Scott Wong and Jimmy Zhuang.
Dartmouth's chapter of the society votes students into the chapter based on the students' academic record. The students themselves do not take any action to initiate this process.
Alpert, who learned in mid-October that she would be inducted into the society, said she was surprised to receive the news.
"[I] felt very thankful -- it was so nice to be recognized for something that is important to me," Alpert, a government major, wrote in an e-mail. "I don't know how it will affect the future, but for now, it certainly makes me smile!"
Audet, a mathematics major, said that he appreciated that Wright held the induction ceremony at his own home.
"It's nice to know that people do get recognition for their academic performance and that it's something that the school values and takes very seriously," Audet said.
While Audet praised the College's emphasis on academics, he also stressed Dartmouth's collaborative learning environment.
"It doesn't seem very overly competitive," Audet said of the College. "If you're taking a math class, for example, or doing group work, you can just talk about what you're learning in class, and it's a very cooperative atmosphere."
Yangyang Liu '09 received the Phi Beta Kappa Prize, awarded to the junior with the highest cumulative GPA after five terms at Dartmouth.
Jewish studies professor Susannah Heschel, engineering professor William Lotko and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons professor Samuel Silverstein '58 were elected honorary members of Dartmouth's chapter at the ceremony.
Other members of the Class of 2008 who attain at least a GPA of 3.8, or the top 10 percent of the class, will be invited to join the society in the spring.
The Phi Beta Kappa honors society was founded at the College of William and Mary in 1776. Dartmouth's Alpha Chapter, established in 1787, is the fourth oldest in the country.
Reid is a member of The Dartmouth Senior Staff.