Class of 2015 Seniors Inducted into Phi Beta Kappa

The New York Delta Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society initiated 48 GS students, the most in decades, at the Phi Beta Kappa Induction Ceremony on May 15, 2015 at Faculty House at the Initiation Ceremony on Friday, May 16 at Faculty House.

May 18, 2015

Dean Peter J. Awn, vice president of the GS Division of the Delta Chapter of New York, began the ceremony by welcoming the candidates, declaring them exemplary of GS accomplishments as a whole.

"I am in awe of your accomplishments, and how they glow with intellectual light," Awn said.

Professor Deborah B. Mowshowitz, President of the Delta Chapter, went on to trace the development of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, from its origins at the College of William and Mary to its presence today at 283 colleges and universities. The GS division was established in 1952.

GS Division Secretary, Senior Associate Dean Victoria Rosner, broadly profiled the candidates’ diversity. Students are notable not only for their high grade point averages but also because of where they come from, their previous education, and the personal challenges they have overcome to arrive where they are today.

Dean Peter J. Awn and Professor Deborah Mowshowitz perform the secret PBK handshake

The two students who best represent Phi Beta Kappa’s ideal of intellectual integrity, tolerance for others' views, and a broad range of academic interests received the Phi Beta Kappa award. This year, the award went to both GS Class of 2015 valedictorian Lindsay Hadad and salutatorian Andrew King.

The award presentation was followed by the Phi Beta Kappa address, delivered by Eleena Melamed '06. Malemed is the vice president of private equity and principal investments at Lehman Brothers Holdings, and before coming to GS was a professional ballet dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. In her speech entitled "Lessons Learned," she recounted a story of the lessons learned from closely working through a large-scale corporate failure.

“I learned a lot about integrity, loyalty, and values,” she said, and described how those who do the right thing even though it hurts are the ones who succeed in the long run.

Finally, the candidates were initiated into Phi Beta Kappa by Professor Mowshowitz and current members. As their names were called, inductees signed the chapter register and received their certificate and pin. To close, Dean Rosner formally inducted the candidates and offered her congratulations to the now fully-fledged members of the New York Delta Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa academic society.

Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest academic honor society, and its initials represent the society's motto: "love of learning is the guide of life." Roughly ten percent of U.S. institutions of higher learning have Phi Beta Kappa chapters, and among those institutions, only about ten percent of arts and sciences graduates are selected for membership, making it one of the highest academic honors for undergraduate students in the nation.

To be inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society, students must be recommended by faculty who work closely with them and are members of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Recommendations are based on the students' academic programs and their ability to support the society's ideals of academic, social, and community-based programs. 

2015 Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society Inductees