For Immediate Release – January 12, 2004



Faculty to Process in Full Academic Attire for Ceremony;

Nationally Known Expert on Higher Education to Deliver Keynote Address

GENESEO, N.Y. – The installation of the Alpha Delta of New York chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa society will take place at the State University of New York at Geneseo at 4 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 16, in the Alice Austin Theatre in the William A. Brodie Hall.

The chapter installation ceremony will feature a procession of Phi Beta Kappa Geneseo faculty members in full academic attire. A highlight of the event will be a keynote speech delivered by Catharine R. Stimpson, dean of New York University’s Graduate School of Arts and Science, who will speak about "The Privileges of the Liberal Arts." An NYU professor, author and editor, Stimpson has served as director of the Fellows Program at the MacArthur Foundation in Chicago, and is also known for her public service, which includes chairing the New York State Council for the Humanities, the National Council for Research on Women, and the Ms. Magazine Board of Scholars.

The installation ceremony at Geneseo will be presided over by John Churchill, secretary of the Phi Beta Kappa society, who will officially grant the chapter its charter.

Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s best known and most significant honor society, granted a charter in August for a new chapter to the faculty members of Phi Beta Kappa at SUNY Geneseo. Geneseo is one of only eight institutions of higher education across the nation to achieve the honor this year, and the college is the first non-doctoral undergraduate institution within SUNY to earn this distinction.

"This ceremony will be very meaningful for Geneseo," said Doug Baldwin, associate professor and chair of the computer science department at the college. "The event will mark the official creation of our chapter, and is the moment that we can start acting as a chapter. It is, in a sense, the moment of birth for the Geneseo chapter." Baldwin, who served as chair of the steering committee that pursued the Phi Beta Kappa chapter at Geneseo, said that the election of officers for the Alpha Delta of New York chapter will take place before the installation, and the individuals will be officially granted their status as officers during the Jan. 16 ceremony. According to Baldwin, four officers will be elected: president, vice president, secretary/treasurer, and historian.

Baldwin also indicated that the election of the first round of students at Geneseo to Phi Beta Kappa will take place later in the spring.

Approximately 100 individuals from outside of campus, many of them affiliated with Phi Beta Kappa, have been invited to the installation. "Representatives from other Phi Beta Kappa chapters across New York State, as well as from COPLAC (Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges) schools that have chapters, have been invited to attend," Baldwin explained. He added that members of the Phi Beta Kappa visiting team who helped to review Geneseo’s application to the society, and advocated for the establishment Alpha Delta of New York chapter, have also been invited. In addition, the event is open to the entire campus community.

"The Phi Beta Kappa Society is the oldest and most prestigious honor society in the liberal arts, dating back to 1776," said SUNY Geneseo President Christopher C. Dahl. "With membership in Phi Beta Kappa, Geneseo now takes its place among a select group of 270 of the finest colleges and universities in the nation as guarantors of quality in the liberal arts."

For more than 200 years, the Phi Beta Kappa Society has pursued its mission of fostering and recognizing excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. The Society's distinctive emblem, a golden key, is widely recognized as a symbol of academic achievement. Through the time-honored process of granting charters to the institutions that shelter Phi Beta Kappa chapters, the Society reaffirms that mission. Phi Beta Kappa elects over 15,000 new members a year from 262 chapters across the United States.

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