Founded in 1776, 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 2019 to membership in the Society in recognition of their excellent academic records and commitment to the objectives of a liberal education. This achievement is bestowed upon fewer than 10% of the class. Four members of the esteemed group who have received this notable achievement are graduating Chemistry majors:
- Minwoo Bae, of Goyang-si, Korea
- Angela Cai, of Silver Spring, Maryland
Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
- Katherine Chew, of Glen Rock, New Jersey
- Yue Zhang, of Louisville, Kentucky
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.
In early June each year, on the afternoon before MIT’s annual Commencement exercises, the MIT Phi Beta Kappa chapter holds an induction ceremony to honor its newest members in front of their family and friends. The President, Historian, and Guide of our chapter, as well as all MIT Faculty members, preside over this event, which begins with a scholarly lecture by an MIT professor on a topic of broad intellectual interest. Recent speakers have discussed reform of the voting system in the United States, and the size and nature of the physical universe.