The MIT dome with the Charles River seen running in front of it.

Alexander Turner and David Vaccaro Selected for Induction to Phi Beta Kappa

Categories: Awards, Students

Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest academic honor society.

The Xi Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa voted to invite 76 members of the Class of 2018 to membership in the Society in recognition of their excellent academic records and commitment to the objectives of a liberal education. Two members of the esteemed group who have received this notable achievement are graduating Chemistry majors:

Alexander Turner of Neutral Bay, Australia
Chemistry & Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

David Vaccaro of Stoneham, MA

Founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary, Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) honors the nation’s most outstanding undergraduate students for excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. Only 10% of higher education institutions have PBK chapters, and fewer than 10% of students at these institutions are selected for membership. The Department is incredibly proud of these inductees and all of their illustrious achievements.

MIT’s own chapter, Xi of Massachusetts, annually elects students in their senior year of undergraduate study. Students do not apply for membership. Election is conducted by a faculty committee, which reviews the academic records of seniors to find students with superlative records and clear evidence of breadth in the liberal arts.

Several mechanical criteria may be of interest to you in choosing HASS and related subjects. Phi Beta Kappa members must have two years of a foreign language in college, three years in high school, a combination thereof, or be a native speaker of a language other than English. Majors in engineering must show clear evidence of depth and breadth in their selection of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) and related courses. Generally, members will have more than the required eight HASS courses.

This year’s Phi Beta Kappa lecture and Initiation Ceremony will be held on Thursday, June 7 at 3:00PM in 32-123. This year’s lecture will be by Dr. Allan Adams, Principal Investigator in the Future Ocean Lab.  His talk, entitled, “On the Value of Invisible Things,” will be followed by a dessert reception.