On Apr. 6, the Zeta Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at the College inducted 33 students to its ranks. Founded at the College of William and Mary on December 5, 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s first – and most prestigious – academic honor society. St. Mary’s was approved for a chapter in 1997, after a rigorous review process that took more than three years to complete. Election to membership in Phi Beta Kappa is based on three criteria: academic achievement in the liberal arts and sciences; breadth of intellectual interests; and good moral character. There are 280 Phi Beta Kappa chapters across the United States today, with a membership exceeding 500,000 students.