April 16, 2009
Steven Berk is vice president for medical affairs, dean of the School of Medicine and interim vice president for the F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
Texas Tech University’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society, will induct 87 students into the society.
The ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. April 17 in the Lanier Center of the School of Law.
Steven Berk, M.D., dean of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Medicine and a Phi Beta Kappa member elected from Brandeis University, will give the keynote address. Berk graduated from Boston University School of Medicine and completed his internal medicine residency and infectious disease fellowship at Boston Hospital. He is board certified in internal medicine and infectious disease with a certificate of added qualification in Geriatrics
TTUHSC President John Baldwin, himself a member of Phi Beta Kappa, is scheduled to speak briefly as well. Chancellor Kent Hance also is scheduled to attend the ceremony, greeting students and their families.
Phi Beta Kappa has been in continuous existence since its founding in 1776 and is considered one of the nation’s leading advocates for excellence in education, particularly in the liberal arts and sciences. The society has chapters at only 10 percent of U.S. universities. Only three public universities in the state of Texas have been granted the right to host chapters.
Mary Jane Hurst, a professor of English and president of the Texas Tech Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, served as the leader for the initiative to secure a Phi Beta Kappa chapter. She said that the honor society has very high expectations for its host institutions and for the students selected for membership.
“We are very proud of the high quality of undergraduate education available at Texas Tech, and we are very proud of these outstanding students who are being elected to membership in the nation’s most prestigious academic honorary,” Hurst said. “The academic records of approximately 170 Texas Tech students who met the stringent Phi Beta Kappa eligibility requirements were reviewed by a committee of ten Phi Beta Kappa faculty members. That committee recommended these 87 students for membership. Then, the 73 Phi Beta Kappa faculty and staff members at Texas Tech University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center reviewed the committee's recommendations and voted to elect these students.”
The ceremony will last about an hour and will be followed by a reception in the School of Law Forum. Students, faculty, staff and the public are welcome to attend. Community visitors may park in the parking lot next to the law school.
Phi Beta Kappa , the nation’s oldest academic honor society, was established in 1776 at the College of William and Mary. Its mission is to champion education in the liberal arts and sciences, to recognize academic excellence, and to foster freedom of thought and expression.