Why join Phi Beta Kappa?

Students frequently ask us why they should join Phi Beta Kappa. We have asked some UNH current students, alumni and members of our chapter to reflect on what PBK means to them. Some point to practical advantages, and some to less tangible benefits. Phi Beta Kappa membership is an honor that does not diminish with time.

In addition, you may be surprised at some of the well known persons who are PBK members. You can find a list on the National PBK website.

Reflections from recent graduates:
Some students have the additional honor of being elected as juniors rather than seniors, so we are including their comments here with those of students who have graduated in the last few years.

I am most proud to be a member of Phi Beta Kappa as it is an honor achieved through hard work and discipline. Phi Beta Kappa has left a time-honored legacy. As part of the current generation of Phi Beta Kappa scholars, I can say that this legacy has and will continue to inspire future generations of Phi Beta Kappa scholars to leave their own mark on the world and that this incentive to succeed will set the stage for a continuation of positive goals.
Andrew Ntapalis, Class of 2014
PBK University of New Hampshire 2013

…My mother gave me my grandmother's key to wear on a bracelet at the initiation last year… My invitation to PBK has inspired me to go after all of my dreams and believe in myself… READ MORE
Megan Katz, Class of 2012
PBK University of New Hampshire 2011

PBK was definitely helpful…It seemed to jump off my resume when I met with people…READ MORE
Gregory Manz, Class of 2011
PBK University of New Hampshire 2011

Interviewers have actually gone out of their way to congratulate me and explain how impressive it is to see as part of an applicant’s overall package…READ MORE
Paul deTurk, Class of 2010
PBK University of New Hampshire 2010

Reflections from other UNH alumni members:
There is only an upside to becoming a member of Phi Beta Kappa… READ MORE
Jackson D. Toof, Esq.
Class of 1999
Attorney with Washington, D.C. law firm and
Lieutenant Commander in U.S. Navy JAG Corps Reserve

When I attended UNH, I decided to earn a dual degree, so that I could be eligible to join the esteemed ranks of Phi Beta Kappa… READ MORE
Jude Blake, Trustee, University System of New Hampshire
UNH ’77; Phi Beta Kappa, 1976

When I was in my last semester at UNH, I was elected to Phi Beta Kappa…we never doubted the honor of election… READ MORE
Roderick W. Story, UNH 1959, Editor-in-Chief, 1959 Granite.

I was honored to be invited to join… it supports Liberal Arts education and its newsletter and magazine contain articles about the intellectual life of the nation… READ MORE
Priscilla Daggett, Phi Beta Kappa, 1957

…I never thought not to join. Wearing the key has provided unspoken perks many times… READ MORE
Sylvia Sawyer Miskoe, BA 1956

Reflections from UNH chapter members:
Beta Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa consists of UNH faculty and staff who have been elected to PBK at any institution.

…I wasn't AIMING for an invitation from Phi Beta Kappa, but I was thrilled when it arrived so unexpectedly in my mailbox that spring day… It is a joy to be a member of a community of Phi Beta Kappa members whose hard work and intellectual curiosity shape their lives and provide them more opportunities than they probably imagined… READ MORE
Cathy A. Frierson, Professor of History
PBK University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

My membership in Phi Beta Kappa was responsible for a Library Director in California selecting me for my first interview for a professional library position… READ MORE
Linda B. Johnson, Associate Professor, Library PBK University of Arizona

Being elected to Phi Beta Kappa was a highlight of my senior year in college… READ MORE
Jeffry Diefendorf
Professor of History and Pamela Shulman Professor of European and Holocaust Studies
PBK Stanford University

Association with PBK really opened a lot of doors.
Edward L. Chupp, Professor Emeritus of Physics
PBK University of California, Berkeley

…I was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, honoring my somewhat eclectic collection of courses, all in the liberal arts tradition of exploring the world and looking for hidden truths… it is the gold standard saying that you are a person of depth, intellectual, curious, and serious about learning…READ MORE
Bill Troy, Lecturer of Business, Manchester Campus
PBK University of Massachusetts

Reflections from UNH chapter member affiliates:

The decision to join Phi Beta Kappa is more than simply deciding to join an (or another) academic honor society. PBK values a liberal arts education -- even in an increasingly highly technological society. Critical thinking, a vitally important tool in today's world, needs a broad and deep knowledge base from which to draw. READ MORE
Pius Charles Murray Librarian III, Houston Public Library
PBK College of the Holy Cross