Friday, December 4, 2015

Archives Display: Phi Beta Kappa Anniversary

On December 3 four students were initiated into St. Catherine's chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. The nation's oldest and most prestigious academic honors society, Phi Beta Kappa was founded on December 5, 1776 at the College of William and Mary. To celebrate the initiation and the 239th anniversary of PBK, the Archives & Special Collections has put together materials from past Founder's Day events at St. Kate's.

St. Catherine became the first Catholic institution to be granted a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa when its chapter, Gamma of Minnesota, was installed in May of 1938, after 17 years of applying for a charter. The success was largely due to Sister Antonia McHugh's famous determination to get what she wanted for the college. Even afterwards there was some minor protesting about the Catholic affiliation of St. Kate's. 

Charles Buzicky serves 200th birthday cake to Sisters Eucharista
Galvin, Helen Margaret Peck, and Antonine O'Brien
The display features Sister Antonia's PBK pin and the beginning page of her speech The American Woman Scholar, given at St. Kate's first Founder's day in 1938. Other items include Hubert Humphrey's letter of regret at not speaking for Founder's Day due to scheduling conflicts and a picture of the birthday cake for Phi Beta Kappa's bicentennial. 

For more information, visit the Archives online or in person in Room 62 of the Library, open Monday-Friday from 9:30-4:30.

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