Texas Tech’s Phi Beta Kappa Chapter Receives Top Honors from National Society

Lambda of Texas, the Phi Beta Kappa chapter at Texas Tech, was one of only 22 chapters to receive the rating.

Only three years after receiving its charter, Texas Tech University’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa received the highest possible rating for 2008-2009 from the national Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society. Lambda of Texas, the Phi Beta Kappa chapter at Texas Tech, was one of only 22 chapters to receive the rating. The chapter now will be considered for the Exemplary Chapter Award that will be presented to three chapters at the 2012 Triennial Council meeting in Palm Beach, Fla. “This outstanding ranking exemplifies the quality and character of the Phi Beta Kappa chapter at Texas Tech,” said Texas Tech University President Guy Bailey. “The chapter’s passion and dedication to academics is apparent through its hard work and numerous achievements.” The recognition of Texas Tech’s chapter is based on such factors as the strong presence of Phi Beta Kappa on campus, its high standards and success in student selection, activities and the hosting of speakers and events, the chapter’s Web site and exemplary collaboration with the regional Phi Beta Kappa alumni association. The chapter’s annual report for 2008-2009 was prepared by Mary Jane Hurst, professor of English and founding president of Lambda of Texas. “In short, the chapter received this recognition because of its commitment to excellence,” Hurst said. “This means that not only is Texas Tech University among the top 10 percent of all colleges and universities with respect to its liberal arts and sciences programs, but that its Phi Beta Kappa chapter is one of the very best in the country. I think it is probably unusual for a young chapter, especially at a large school, to receive a top ranking.” In addition to Hurst, the officers for 2008-2009 included Vice President Edward Quitevis, professor of chemistry; Secretary Daniel Hurst, professor of pediatric neurology; Historian Carl Seaquist, associate professor of mathematics and statistics; and Treasurer Alison Myhra, professor of law. Rick Rosen, current Lambda of Texas chapter president and vice dean of the School of Law, said the chapter also was helped by its close relationship with Phi Beta Kappa’s regional alumni association, the Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association of West Texas and Eastern New Mexico, led by its president, Alice White. “Only the nation’s finest colleges and universities ever receive a Phi Beta Kappa chapter,” Rosen said. “To be ranked among the top 10 percent of chapters of these elite institutions is a remarkable achievement and reflects the strength of commitment of both the chapter’s members and Texas Tech University.” Out of thousands of institutions of higher education in the United States, only 280 have been granted the right to shelter Phi Beta Kappa chapters. That’s fewer than 10 percent of U.S. institutions. As one of 22 chapters with a ranking of 1, Lambda of Texas is thus ranked in the top 10 percent of all chapters. Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1776. Texas Tech received its Phi Beta Kappa charter in 2006 and is one of only three public universities in Texas with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter. CONTACT: Mary Jane Hurst, founding president and professor of English, Department of English, Texas Tech University, maryjane.hurst@ttu.edu. Rick Rosen, current Phi Beta Kappa president and vice dean of the School of Law, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-, or richard.rosen@ttu.edu.