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Phi Beta Kappa Inducts 30th Group of Student Scholars

Fifty students will be inducted into Phi Beta Kappa on May 14 ahead of a commencement weekend that will celebrate the classes of 2021 and 2020.

The induction ceremony for the prestigious national honor society has been part of commencement week activities since the Tau of Pennsylvania chapter was officially established at Ursinus on Oct. 30, 1991, and first accepted members in 1992. Ursinus is one of only 10 percent of U.S. colleges and universities to host a chapter.

In order to be eligible for consideration, a GPA of 3.50 for seniors and 3.75 for juniors is required, as well as completion of a full year of intermediate level language in college. Additional qualities and factors taken into consideration include nominees’ intellectual curiosity, character, breadth of academic program, and service to the community.

This year’s induction ceremony will be held outdoors and adhere to physical-distancing guidelines. To limit the number of large-scale gatherings with visitors prior to commencement, ceremony attendees will be limited to student inductees and Ursinus faculty and staff. A recording of the ceremony will be posted on our Phi Beta Kappa web page on May 20.

“The chapter is very excited to be able to have an in-person induction ceremony this year,” said Mark Ellison, the David Laucks Hain professor of chemistry and president of Ursinus’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. “This group of students has been especially resilient through the difficulties in the past year, yet through it all, they performed at an exceptionally high level. We congratulate them and are proud to induct them into Phi Beta Kappa.”

Ellison will initiate the new members alongside Assistant Professor of Business and Economics Eric Parnell, who is keynote speaker and the chapter’s vice president, and Associate Professor of Politics Rebecca Evans, who is the chapter’s treasurer.

The following is a list of the 2021 inductees, along with the recipients of the John M. Wickersham Sophomore Book Award, which is given to sophomores with the highest GPA after three semesters.

Class of 2021

Nareen Babaian, Mary Baldy, Dominique Ballinger, Brittney Bedrossian, Caroline Bormann, Nicole Bryce, Olivia Byrne, Stephanie Chell, Emily Cid, Ana DerSimonian, Hailey DiCicco, Molly Divis, Neve Durrwachter, Naomi Epstein, Samuel Ernst, Matthew Furgele, Angela Gervasi, Malcolm Godshall, George Gordon, Myla Haan, Emily Harris, Jacqlyn Henigan, Karen Herrera, Jacob Kang, Shayna Kushner, Sarah Lafharis, Meghan Lashley, Gillianne Lux, Sophie May, Hannah Merges, Marisa Morano, Autumn Murphy, Caitlin O’Neill, Lucas Olshevski, Chase Opperman, Thea Pastras*, Taylor Pyle, Vikki Rueda-Juarez, Kathleen Saddler, Benjamin Sallavanti, Elvi Sopiqoti*, Morgan Sotoloff, Aliyah Stephens, Briana Strickland, Rachel Thornton, Brianna Valerio, Emma Warnick, Madeline Wert, Carver Wolfe, Adam Zucker

*Elected as a junior

Class of 2022

Jesse Wun, Jenna Menapace

John Wickersham Book Award Winners (Class of 2023)

Rachel Arthur, Alexandria Fowler, Rebekah Kline

Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., to form a student society devoted to liberal education and intellectual fellowship. Members include 17 U.S. Presidents, 42 Supreme Court Justices, and more than 150 Nobel Laureates. This year’s inductees join more than 800 Ursinus alumni who have joined Phi Beta Kappa since its inception at the college.