81 CSB and SJU students to be inducted into Phi Beta Kappa

April 23, 2010

An inaugural group of 81 students from the College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph, and Saint John's University, Collegeville, have been accepted into the Theta of Minnesota Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at CSB/SJU.

The students will be formally initiated at a ceremony at 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 27 at Alumnae Hall, Haehn Campus Center, CSB.

A total of 72 seniors and nine juniors were selected by faculty members at CSB and SJU who are members of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest academic honor society, which was founded in 1776.

The basic criteria for selection are grade-point average (3.75 for juniors, 3.65 for seniors) and a liberal arts major. The selection committee also looked at breadth and depth of the student's program and other achievements, such as a thesis or other research.

For a complete list of the students who have been accepted in Phi Beta Kappa, please see here.

Delegates from more than 200 chapters and associations of Phi Beta Kappa voted to establish the chapter at CSB/SJU Oct. 2, 2009, during their 42nd Triennial Council in Austin, Texas.

Phi Beta Kappa Secretary John Churchill and Associate Secretary Scott Lurding will represent the national office of Phi Beta Kappa as part of the installation ceremony. Phi Beta Kappa Vice President Kate Soule will also attend. 

CSB President MaryAnn Baenninger, who is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, will speak at the event.

In addition to the student inductions, six members of the CSB and SJU community will be inducted as Foundation members into the chapter. Foundation members are persons affiliated with a new chapter's sheltering institution who have distinguished themselves by their past support of the liberal arts and who become patrons of the new chapter at its inception. The Foundation members include:

  • The Rev. Robert Koopmann, OSB, president of SJU. Koopmann is a 1968 graduate of SJU, and was appointed the 12th president of SJU July 1, 2009;
  • Rita Knuesel, provost of CSB and SJU since 2007. She is a 1975 graduate of CSB;
  • Joe DesJardins, associate provost and academic dean at CSB and SJU. He is the author of several books on business ethics;
  • Bob Gavin, a 1962 graduate of SJU who served as president of Macalester College (1984-96); interim president, provost and professor at Haverford College in Pennsylvania; and president of Cranbrook Educational Community in Michigan;
  • Joyce Statz, a 1969 graduate of CSB. She has served on the CSB Board of Trustees since 2007;
  • Lynn Newman, a 1979 graduate of CSB. She is currently serving her fifth term on the CSB Board of Trustees.