In a socially distanced ceremony, 42 Creighton students, one alumna and one honorary initiate were inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society, Beta Chapter of Nebraska, in the Harper Center Hixson-Lied auditorium on April 16.
The ceremony, which was also livestreamed for family and friends via Zoom, went over the history of the society and its core values. This was followed by the inductees walking across the stage, receiving their certificate and posing for a photo.
The two honorary inductees also gave short speeches before a concluding speech from the Rev. Daniel Hendrickson, S.J.
Hendrickson said he was impressed with this year’s Phi Beta Kappa students.
While he thanked esteemed alumna and dedicated Creighton trustees Mary Pat McCormick and Mike McCarthy, he also honored the new group of students inducted this year.
“I am impressed with our entire group of new student inductees this year,” Hendrickson said. “Their impressive academic achievements make them eminently worthy of membership in the nation’s oldest academic honor society for the liberal arts and sciences, and every year, I look forward to the Phi Beta Kappa induction.”
According to Creighton’s website, “Phi Beta Kappa is considered the most prestigious of the national academic honor societies, comparable in status to Alpha Sigma Nu within the Jesuit network.”
Inducted senior Greg Sweetland had no idea what Phi Beta Kappa was until one of his professors pulled him aside and said that he had been nominated for membership.
“I said ‘yes’ to the nomination since someone was nice enough to go out of their way to nominate me, but I didn’t know what exactly it was I said ‘yes’ to until I did my research on it,” Sweetland said.
Jeffrey Hause, philosophy professor and director of the Creighton Honors Program, spoke in an email about what it means to be a part of Phi Beta Kappa.
“It means different things to different people,” Hause said. “To me and many of my colleagues, it’s a way of standing up for the value of the liberal arts and sciences as one important foundation for a good life.
“In that respect, it complements Creighton’s commitment to the value of an education with both breadth and depth,” he said