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UW Phi Beta Kappa Chapter to Dedicate Display Case Oct. 14

October 6, 2016
two men in suits standing in front of a display case
Cedric Reverand, UW Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) chapter president, and Eric Nye, UW chapter secretary, hold a replica of a gold key, the symbol of the honor society, in front of the PBK display case in Coe Library. (UW Photo)

Members of the University of Wyoming Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) chapter will dedicate a display case that features the nation’s oldest academic honor society and the local chapter Friday, Oct. 14.

A dedication ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. at the display case’s location on the third floor of Coe Library, near the Writing Center. Speakers at the dedication will be Bill Gern, UW vice president for research and economic development; Cedric Reverand, UW chapter president and emeritus professor of English; Erin Forbes, UW chapter vice president and assistant professor of English; and Eric Nye, UW chapter secretary and professor of English.

The display case contains the UW chapter’s charter from 1940, awards, photos of the two most recent groups of students initiated, books, publications and replicas of the PBK key. 

“The goal is to acquaint students with the meaning of this liberal arts honorary; how venerable a history it has had; and how important its symbolism is to UW,” Nye says. “And, it will help them understand that PBK is alone among all honorary societies in consisting of faculty and staff members who select new members from among the top students with excellence in the liberal arts.” 

Students are elected to membership in PBK at the discretion of the local chapter. To be eligible, students must complete all requirements as stipulated by the Phi Beta Kappa Society; have a minimum 3.5 GPA for seniors or 4.0 for juniors; complete at least 60 credit hours at UW (for transfer students); and complete at least 90 hours of coursework in the liberal arts and sciences, including satisfactory completion of at least the intermediate level of a second language.

Nye says membership never exceeds the top 10 percent of the graduating class, and PBK members at UW typically are in the top 4 to 5 percent.

Last fall, the Phi Beta Kappa Society honored UW as one of the nation’s two top public university chapters during its Triennial Council meeting in Denver. The society considered the chapter’s initiation rate and programming that included a strong track record of visiting scholars, relations with the university and quality speakers at the initiation ceremonies, among other factors. UW was selected from among 283 chartered institutions, the top colleges and universities nationwide.

Additionally, Nye was elected last year as UW’s first-ever representative to the PBK senate, the general governing body of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. The senate consists of 24 senators, each serving a six-year term, who sit as the board of directors and guide the society in matters of policy, setting the direction for PBK’s future.

PBK has launched a multiyear National Arts & Sciences Initiative to demonstrate that a broad-based arts and sciences education can expand opportunity, drive ingenuity and innovation, and make a strong investment in America.

“The values prized by Phi Beta Kappa have never been more needed by our nation or our institution,” Nye says.

For more information about PBK at UW, visit

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