Phi Beta Kappa Key: The nation's oldest academic honor society, founded December 5, 1776

Theta of Michigan

An emblem of high achievement and strong potential.

Founded at the College of William and Mary in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest and most prestigious academic honor society. Each year, about one college senior in a hundred, nationwide, is invited to join, making Phi Beta Kappa one of the most selective associations in the nation. Fewer than 15% of U.S. colleges and universities have been granted a chapter. At such institutions, invitations to join Phi Beta Kappa are only extended to outstanding students in the top 10% of their class who demonstrate a commitment to the liberal arts and sciences and to freedom of inquiry and expression. Membership in Phi Beta Kappa is for life.

Each year Phi Beta Kappa, with its affiliates, raises and distributes more than $1 million to benefit students and scholars through its various programs.

These activities, whether local or national, provide support in the form of lectureships, book and essay awards, summer institutes for teachers, and funds for visiting scholars.

Phi Beta Kappa chapters and their community counterparts, the associations, work with the national office to sustain a variety of programs that honor and champion liberal arts scholarship.