Phi Beta Kappa

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The Phi Beta Kappa Society is the oldest and most distinguished academic honorary society in America. It was founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary, and chapters were subsequently established at Yale in 1780 and at Harvard in 1781. In 1989 a Phi Beta Kappa Chapter--Beta of Oklahoma--was chartered on the University of Tulsa campus, the second to be established in the state of Oklahoma.

The Society champions and promotes the freedom of scholarly inquiry and the liberal ideal in education. By liberal we mean free and broad, in the sense of an educational breadth that crosses disciplines, and is suffused with a relish for the adventure of lifelong learning. Liberal Studies generally refer to disciplines and courses in the arts and sciences (such as English literature, psychology, art history, biology, and physics) that are not just for the purpose of preparing one for a profession, but also for providing an understanding of the complexity and diversity of the world around us, the vastness of the universe that encompasses us, and the cultural and historical foundations of human societies that comprise our global communities. A liberal education leads to the formation of a broadly educated person who is equipped with the tools and skills for effective and critical thinking, writing, and speaking; and it enables one to make a positive and a distinctive difference in the world, regardless of what profession or environment one enters. Election to membership in Phi Beta Kappa acknowledges that an individual has attained high scholarly distinction and possesses the potential for a lifetime of learning and outstanding achievement.
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