Skip to Main Content

GACA Collection 329. Collection of Phi Beta Kappa, Eta of Minnesota Chapter, 1955-Ongoing: Overview

Need More Information?

To learn more about this collection please see the finding aid link found above, and/or visit the College and Lutheran Church Archives to use these primary sources.

Collection Description

Collection of Phi Beta Kappa, Eta of Minnesota Chapter, 1955-Ongoing.  GACA Collection 329.  2 Records Center Cartons, 1 oversize folder, and digital media.

The Phi Beta Kappa (PBK), Eta of Minnesota Chapter collection consists of records, correspondence, and informational material about the national organization and the Gustavus Adolphus College chapter.  Materials regarding the process of PBK chapter installation, and course and student eligibility are included.  PBK is a prestigious national honor society in which only a small fraction of colleges in the United States are included.  Less than ten percent of graduating seniors with liberal arts majors at Gustavus receive this honor.

Historical Note

Gustavus Adolphus College faculty members struggled to obtain a Phi Beta Kappa Charter for thirty years.  They were not successful until they applied at the 33rd Triennial Council Meeting in 1982.  Edward and Patty Lindell, Robert E. Karsten, and Rhoda Lund advocated for the attempts to obtain a chapter during the late 1970s and early 1980s.  The Committee of Five (Dr. Gerhard Alexis, Dr. Rodney Davis, Dr. Bernard Erling, Dr. Clair McRostie and Academic Dean Albert G. Swanson) was the driving force to ensure all requirements were met in order to become a chapter of PBK.  The honor society evaluates schools with great scrutiny, and the Gustavus chapter (Eta of Minnesota) was finally installed on April 7th, 1983. 

*Some material taken from the Gustavus Phi Beta Kappa webpage. (accessed 29 January 2013)

Scope and Content

The PBK collection is divided into seven series: Administrative, Correspondence, Lectures and Events, Miscellaneous, Pre-Chapter Material, Requirements, and United Chapters.

Administrative, 1978-Ongoing consists of meeting agendas, memos, and minutes.  It also includes financial records and member information.

Correspondence, general, 1982-Ongoing holds correspondence concerning national and local chapter PBK activities.

Lectures and Events, 1982- Ongoing contains programs, schedules, and literature regarding the Visiting Scholar program and other events hosted by PBK.

Miscellaneous, 1981-Ongoing includes a cartoon, a history of PBK, newsletters, articles, and recommended reading for students.

Pre-Chapter Material, 1955-85 consists of correspondence, reports, and informational material concerning the establishment of a PBK chapter at Gustavus.

Requirements, 1983-Ongoing contains lists of appropriate classes and other requirements for students in order for them to become eligible for PBK membership.

United Chapters, 1975- Ongoing holds material relevant for all PBK chapters such as Triennial Council information, handbooks, constitutions, and chapter lists.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License