Records, 1907-1994

Phi Beta Kappa Alpha of North Dakota (University of North Dakota)


5.50 linear ft.
Organized by material type; Chronological arrangement.
The Phi Beta Kappa Letters are a bound collection of letters from former UND Phi Beta Kappa members written to celebrate the University chapter's 25th Anniversary. The letters are arranged alphabetically by correspondent and often include very detailed biographical information. Phi Beta Kappa Records date from 1907 to 1994. The core of the Phi Beta Kappa Collection is its membership, financial, correspondence, Triennial Council, and publication records. Membership files date from 1914-1993. Membership materials include letters of invitation into the organization and letters of acceptance from selected students. There is also correspondence dealing with the spring and fall elections when new members are chosen. Membership lists include the names of potential members, accepted members, and grade point averages. Also included are newspaper clippings of new members, order forms for Phi Beta Kappa keys, membership receipts, membership file cards, and, in some cases, actual membership certificates. The financial records date from 1914-1986. The Treasurer's Report lists the chapters financial condition year by year from 1914 to 1967. The financial records from 1914-1965 contain, for the most part, receipts for registration fees and Phi Kappa Key receipts. The financial records from 1966-1986 contain a far greater number of receipts, including bank statements, deposit slips, and limited tax information. The correspondence files date from 1907 to 1992. They include correspondence dealing with the formation of the chapter, university correspondence, and correspondence from the national office; also included is correspondence with the chapter secretary, the majority of which is with the national office. The Triennial Council Records include correspondence relating to selection of delegates, location of meetings, financial considerations, and delegate's manuals. Phi Beta Kappa publications include the Phi Beta Kappa Key dated May 1931 and October 1931(Chester Fritz Library holds hard bound volumes of the Key dated 1910-1931.); the Phi Beta Kappa Bulletin, dated 1938-1946, 1950-1959,1962,1965,1977, documents meetings of the organization on a national level; and the Key Reporter, dated 1936-1954,1977 is the national newsletter.
Phi Beta Kappa was founded on December 5, 1776 at the College of William and Mary, the oldest of all Greek letter societies in the United States. The intention of its founding members was to have an organization that discussed the concerns of a fledgling nation and promoted a congenial brotherhood of select young men. Phi Beta Kappa was initially a secret society requiring an oath. However, in the first four years of its existence the cloak of secrecy was abandoned. During those four years the organization elected fifty male members. In 1780 the College of William and Mary was forced to close down due to the invading British Army. After this event Phi Beta Kappa began to file chapters at other universities. It was not until 1875 that individual chapters allowed female members. In 1883, when Phi Beta Kappa became a national organization, all chapters were open to women. The charter of Phi Beta Kappa at the University of North Dakota was granted in 1913. In the spring of 1914 the chapter was officially installed. Phi Beta Kappa promotes academic achievement. Potential members must demonstrate high academic ability and meet stringent grade point requirements. In addition to seeking members, Phi Beta Kappa launched such intellectual mediums as the Visiting Scholars Program in which it sought to broaden the knowledge of all university students.
Access: Open for inspection under the Rules and Regulations of the Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections.
Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections, Chester Fritz Library, University of North Dakota.
Inventory list available Folder level control.

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