WMU News

'Foundation members' chosen for Phi Beta Kappa chapter

February 3, 1998

KALAMAZOO -- Six Western Michigan University faculty members will be inducted into the University's new chapter of Phi Beta Kappa as "Foundation Members" to honor them for their superior scholarship in the arts and sciences.

The induction will take place during the chapter's installation ceremonies Monday, Feb. 23, in Shaw Theatre.

The selection of Foundation Members is a one-time opportunity that occurs when a new chapter of Phi Beta Kappa is chartered. The University was chosen this past fall to shelter a chapter of the oldest and most widely recognized academic honor society in the country. WMU is one of only 91 public universities in the nation and one of only four public universities in Michigan to be so honored.

"During the installation ceremonies, we are given the opportunity to choose certain faculty colleagues for this honor," said Dr. John W. Petro, chairperson of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and president-elect of the WMU chapter. "These are people we feel have earned the right to belong to this society based on their scholarly endeavors and their dedication to excellence in undergraduate liberal arts and sciences."

Those selected as Foundation Members for WMU's Theta of Michigan chapter are: Dr. Ernst A. Breisach, professor emeritus of history; Dr. Elise B. Jorgens, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of English; Dr. Erika Loeffler-Friedl, the Edwin E. Meader Professor of Anthropology; Dr. Paul L. Maier, professor of history; Dr. Michael S. Pritchard, professor of philosophy; and Dr. Arthur T. White, professor of mathematics and statistics.

These six Foundation Members will be inducted into Phi Beta Kappa as honorary members of the new chapter. In subsequent years, a maximum of one honorary member and two alumni members may be inducted into the chapter per year.

During the installation ceremonies, 70 current and retired faculty and staff members will be recognized as charter members of the new chapter. The first group of students will be inducted into the society in a separate initiation ceremony scheduled for Wednesday, April 1.

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