Phi Beta Kappa

duck mascot outside bean hall

The Phi Beta Kappa Society

Alpha of Oregon chapter celebrates more than 100 years at the University of Oregon

Membership   |   Donor Recognition   |   Electees   |   Contact Us

The Phi Beta Kappa Society honors students whose undergraduate academic records fulfill the objectives of a liberal arts and sciences education. Phi Beta Kappa is more than a mere credential: in the wider world, PBK membership garners recognition as an honor that is neither cheaply won, nor widely bestowed. 

PBK offers opportunities to continue to learn and grow in the company of other members of our society across the country and across generations. Ask your advisors, mentors, or faculty members about us. We are confident they will tell you what we stand for. 

Charles Petrik, a UO junior double majoring in Global Studies and Geography, has been awarded the “Key into Public Service” scholarship.
Nayantara Arora, a third-year student majoring in neuroscience, was awarded the "Key into Public Service" scholarship.
students studying

PBK Membership

Each May, the Alpha of Oregon Chapter Executive Committee evaluates transcripts to select new members. Students who achieve the rigorous requirements—including outstanding breadth and rigor of upper-division course work, exceptional grade point averages, and a high percentage of overall “liberal” credits—receive a written letter of invitation as members-elect from the chapter and the Office of the President to join Phi Beta Kappa and attend the Induction Ceremony. The Oregon Six, a distinction originating in 1930, is a signature honor for the six most outstanding members-elect.

Learn more about selection

Notable Members

Sonia Sotomayor
Princeton University
US Supreme Court Justice
W.E.B. Du Bois
W.E.B. Du Bois
Fisk University
Civil Rights Activist & Author
peyton manning
Peyton Manning
University of Tennessee
NFL Athlete
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harvard University
US President
ellen ochoa
Ellen Ochoa
San Diego State University
Engineer & Astronaut

The Phi Beta Kappa Key

phi beta kappa key

Each inductee is eligible to purchase a key engraved with the member’s name, chapter, and calendar year of election. The Phi Beta Kappa key traces its origins to the era of the American Revolution. Conceived in 1776 by a group of talented undergraduates at the College of William and Mary as an emblem of their secret “philosophical society,” the key proclaims Phi Beta Kappa’s centuries-old conviction:

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The love of wisdom [is] the guide of Life
Philosophia Biou Kybernetes

As the Society they created encompassed more of the nation’s finest colleges and universities, its key became a universally recognized mark of academic achievement in the liberal arts and sciences. So it remains to this day, whether it is worn by a president, a Supreme Court justice, a college professor, or an entrepreneur, the key’s venerable pointing finger proclaims for all to see the wearer’s commitment to Phi Beta Kappa’s ancient principles (represented in the three stars) – friendship, morality, and learning.

Phi Beta Kappa keys are available in a variety of sizes and styles made to specifications set by the society. Members can order keys directly from Hand and Hammer Silversmiths.

william rosson

Donor Recognition

General William Bradford Rosson
August 25, 1918 - December 12, 2004

Rosson obtained his bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Oregon  in 1940 which earned him membership in the National Honor Society, Phi Beta Kappa.  

He was commissioned a second Lieutenant, through ROTC, in the Regular Army in 1940 and saw combat in World War II, earning the Distinguished Service Cross for valor on the Anzio Beachhead in Italy. He also fought in North Africa, Sicily, France, and Germany.  

Learn more about Rosson 

Contact Us

Visit the national and local websites to learn more.
Contact the Alpha of Oregon Chapter by email at
Meet the Alpha of Oregon team.