Creighton has recently welcomed a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa to its campus. Now that this prestigious honor society has officially become established, an installation ceremony was held on Nov. 29 to initiate foundation members from among the faculty as well as to induct new student members.
After the procession of new and current members entered the Harper Center Auditorium, the ceremony began with a prayer delivered by the Rev. William W. Harmless, S.J. Following this invocation, a total of six foundation members were initiated into this organization. Creighton president the Rev. Timothy R. Lannon, S.J. being among such selected individuals.
Philosophy and classical and near eastern studies professor Jeffrey Hause was among the Charter members of this organization in attendance at this installation ceremony. Hause was also heavily involved as a member of the team that wrote the application for Creighton’s new chapter back in 2010.
Hause became a member of Phi Beta Kappa his senior year at the University of California, Los Angeles. The high importance that this honor society places upon the liberal arts and sciences in the United States is what initially led Hause to want to join this organization.
“[Phi Beta Kappa] emphasizes the value of these disciplines for good citizenship and for leading a flourishing human life,” Hause said. “Because I believe that knowledge helps us to lead fuller human lives, I fully support the mission of Phi Beta Kappa and want to help advance it.”
Hause feels that it is very important for students to become involved in organizations such as this because the value of studying the liberal arts is currently being measured monetarily rather than based upon how much an individual can truly gain from the study of such disciplines.
“At a time when people are increasingly measuring the value of a discipline by how much money people who study it make when they leave college, and not by how insightful, how reasonable or how creative it makes them, we need people to join Phi Beta Kappa to join their voices with the rest of those who advocate for the value of all our liberal arts disciplines,” Hause said.
While Hause is very happy to welcome new inductees into Creighton’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, he feels it is very important for these new inductees to remember that being a member of this organization brings about new responsibilities and challenges that members must rise to.
“While membership is an honor, it also brings responsibilities to advocate for the liberal arts,” Hause said. “Stay lifelong learners, and take joy in devoting yourself to the pursuit of wisdom, which is a noble and supremely human endeavor.”
After the proposed foundation members accepted the oath detailing their responsibilities as members and were thus fully initiated into the chapter, the initiation of the members-in- course began. 13 Creighton students of varying majors and academic class standings were initiated during this part of the ceremony. These new members received certificates of membership as they processed across the stage upon the calling of each individual’s name.
Arts & Sciences senior Erin Borchers was among the new student members inducted at this ceremony. Borchers was aware that Creighton would soon be offering a Phi Beta Kappa chapter and was hoping to become involved. Therefore, she was very excited when one of her professors pulled her aside during class to congratulate her on being nominated for induction.
Borchers said she is very pleased to be a member of Phi Beta Kappa as she supports its mission and believes that the prestigious reputation of this organization will help to present her with many future life opportunities
“I think that Phi Beta Kappa is definitely an honor that people recognize, and something like that can get you pretty far in life,” Borchers said. “Being the oldest and most prestigious honors society, it’s synonymous with high academic achievement in the liberal arts. I’ve always been a hard-working person, and I think that dedication speaks for itself, but being inducted into Phi Beta Kappa is really like a universal neon sign to that effect.”
In addition to her academic success, Borchers feels that she most contributes “academic diversity” to this organization because one of the eligibility requirements for membership is that 75 percent of a student’s courses have to be liberal arts classes, a very difficult task for a physics and economics major such as Borchers, but she managed to meet this requirement.
“I’m extremely honored to be an inducted member of the organization,” Borchers said. “More than that, the historical significance of being among the first group of students inducted into Creighton’s chapter is just mind-boggling to me. I still can’t even believe it.”