MIT chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society inducts 74 graduates of the Class of 2017
 

“This year's inductees represent the very best of MIT, in the sense that they have excelled not only at technical subjects, but also at the humanities, arts, and social and natural sciences.”

— Arthur Bahr, Associate Professor of Literature and President, Xi of Massachusetts


 

2017 Phi Beta Kappa Lecture by Professor Malick Ghachem
The University, the Constitution, and the Ends of Academic Excellence



The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s oldest academic honor society, this year admitted 74 graduating seniors from the Class of 2017 into the MIT chapter, Xi of Massachusetts.

Founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary, Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) honors the nation’s most outstanding undergraduate students for excellence in the liberal arts (which includes the humanities, arts, science, and social sciences). Only 10 percent of higher education institutions have PBK chapters, and fewer than 10 percent of students at these institutions are selected for membership.

“Our newest members have been selected due to their all-around excellence in these areas of academic endeavor,” said Arthur Bahr, Associate Professor of Literature and President of Xi of Massachusetts. "This year's inductees represent the very best of MIT, in the sense that they have excelled not only at technical subjects, but also at the humanities, arts, and social and natural sciences in their purest forms. The education these students have received will prepare them for successful careers, and also for a rich life full of learning and contemplation.”
 

Browse the complete set of photographs from the 2017 Phi Beta Kappa ceremony at the SHASS Flickr stream.



Dr. Malick Ghachem, Associate Professor of History, presented a talk entitled The University, the Constitution, and the Ends of Academic Excellence, which examined the role of American universities in the litigation over President Trump’s recent travel ban as a way of understanding the purposes of higher education and academic excellence. A commitment to openness and engagement with the widest possible range of voices and opinions, he argued, are central to a university’s mission and lie at the core of academic excellence.

The 2017 inductees were provided with a brief introduction of the rights and responsibilities of PBK members by Professor Bahr as well as the chapter historian, Anne McCants, Professor of History, and the chapter guardian, Charles Stewart III, the Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Political Science. 

The 74 inductees were then recognized individually and asked to sign the register of the Xi of Massachusetts chapter before receiving their certificates of membership.
 

Suggested Links

2017 Phi Beta Kappa Lecture by Professor Malick Ghachem
The University, the Constitution, and the Ends of Academic Excellence

Flickr Gallery | Photographs of the 2017 Ceremony at MIT

Webpage | MIT Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society: Xi of Massachusetts

Webpage | MIT Phi Beta Kappa Annual Induction Ceremony | Gallery of Speakers

Malick Ghachem's website
 



Prepared by MIT SHASS Communications
Editorial and Design Director: Emily Hiestand
Editorial Associate: Daniel Evans Pritchard