On Friday, April 14, the Alpha of Alabama chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was pleased to induct 76 new members as a part of its 2023 cohort, among them 13 History majors and four History minors. Dean Joseph Messina of the College of Arts and Sciences was also inducted as an honorary member, and have a brief address to the students. UA History alumna Martha Griffith, currently Director of Special Projects for University President Stuart Bell, introduced the inductees to the storied history, symbolism, and ceremony of Phi Beta Kappa, as well as the long history of Alabama’s own chapter, established in 1851.
Founded at William and Mary in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most prestigious academic honor society in the United States. Its motto is that the “love of learning is the guide to life.” Among its members have been numerous luminaries of the American past, including several presidents, supreme court justices, and Nobel laureates.