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CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
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e-mail: melvin-shaw@uiowa.edu

Release: Nov. 10, 1999

Phi Beta Kappa honor society advisors hope for greater member participation

IOWA CITY, Iowa – University of Iowa faculty advisors of the Alpha of Iowa chapter of Phi Beta Kappa honor society are hopeful that with some changes they can increase campus and community-wide awareness of academe's oldest Greek letter fraternity.

Prior to this year, student Phi Beta Kappa members and an advisor have directed most of the chapter's public functions. Robert Ketterer, professor of classics and society president, says the honor society is now being supported by the College of Liberal Arts and is guided by four faculty and staff members including himself; Kristine Fitch, associate professor, communication studies; Kim Mara, associate professor, theater arts; and Pat Mason-Browne, senior advisor, office of academic programs.

Ketterer says with the additional staff help, the revision of the chapter's constitution, and other minor changes, the UI chapter hopes to attract participation among students who have achieved academic success as well as already inducted Phi Beta Kappa members who would like to meet regularly with each other for talks and continued learning.

Nationally only 10 percent of college students are inducted, underscoring the nearly 223-year-old society's well-recognized status, Ketterer says. Each year, the chapter officers review the academic records of UI seniors and juniors who meet the honor society's minimum academic requirements, which for seniors is a minimum 3.8 g.p.a., and completion of 100 semester hours. Juniors must meet a minimum 3.9 g.p.a. requirement, and must have completed 90 semester hours. Seniors and juniors must also have completed the UI's four-year proficiency in a single foreign language in order to be considered for induction. Last May, 74 students were initiated.

The Alpha of Iowa chapter inducts senior members twice yearly, next on Dec. 5, which marks the date of the fraternity's founding. The induction of juniors -- who are inducted only in the spring -- will be held in May.

A business meeting is planned for Monday, Nov. 29 at Gilmore Hall, Room 106, at which time faculty officers will be elected for the 2000 calendar year. For more information about the UI chapter, contact Professor Robert Ketterer at 319-335-2327 or robert-ketterer@uiowa.edu or Pat Mason-Browne at 335-2633, p-mason-browne@uiowa.edu