I am the proud recipient of a Phi Beta Kappa Key!

PBK stands for Phi Beta Kappa, which is America’s oldest honor society. Some of you probably already knew that. I studied very diligently as an undergrad and I was fortunate enough to earn a PBK key when I graduated. I actually surprised myself! I was hoping that I would be inducted into the honor society, but I was actually surprised when they wrote to me to notify me that I was. Later, I felt that maybe I didn’t deserve to be a Phi Bete. I never wanted anyone to give me anything that I didn’t deserve. I always wondered about it.

Now as a Spanish lecturer at UIC, I volunteer to review academic records to see who deserves to earn a PBK key upon graduation. So I usually compare myself with PBK prospectives. I am proud to say that I usually fit right in the middle somewhere. I wasn’t a brainiac, but I wasn’t exactly a slacker, either. Most students who earn the PBK key have a GPA of 3.7 – 4.0 out of 4.0. I had a 3.71 GPA. Students must also demonstrate depth and breadth of study, risk taking, and a general love of learning. So if a student takes many honors college courses that contributes to his or her dept of breadth of studies. Doing a double major also accomplishes this. Well, I was in the honors college, and I did a double major in English (3.79) and Spanish (GPA 3.99), and I took a lot of upper lever-courses that I didn’t need just for the fun of it. I attended college later in life, so I really loved school and I tried to get as much out of it as possible. After reviewing students this year, I realize that I did deserve that PBK key!

I graduated with honors!

3 thoughts on “PBK

  1. Rosana, now that you mention it, I’m sure that these emotions are quite common. I just never thought of it until you mentioned them. Yesterday, I went to the PBK election meeting and these emotions were also apparent in the election process by the electors themselves. Some students were easily identified as PBK electees without any mental anguish. Others, we had to discuss all their merits in order to justify their induction into the society. However, every student who was elected certainly deserved the PBK key!

  2. I still remember many of the same emotions you describe when I got the news myself! It never occurred to me till this minute (numerous decades later) that this may be common!

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