Seven Middlebury athletes were recently inducted into the College's Phi Beta Kappa chapter. Tom Dils (men's soccer) and Hannah Blackburn (volleyball) join honorees Noel Antonisse (men's swimming & diving), James Burke (football), Melanie English (volleyball), Kate Reinmuth (women's soccer) and Day Robins (women's soccer) who were inducted during the Fall Family Weekend in October.
The seven Panthers were part of 51 honored as part of a commencement-weekend ceremony at the Mahaney Center for the Arts. Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest honor society for the liberal arts and sciences in the United States. The new members join 12 classmates who were inducted last fall after three years at Middlebury.
"At institutions like Middlebury it is all too easy to take this kind of higher learning for granted," said Jane Chaplin, president of Middlebury's Phi Beta Kappa chapter and the James I. Armstrong Professor of Classics. "But very few people enjoy the sort of education you have received here, and only about one in every 100 students graduates from college as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. When you join that one percent of college graduates tomorrow, we hope you will cherish that privilege, and that you will go on to share it with everyone you meet."
Chaplin described some of rich history and traditions surrounding Phi Beta Kappa, which began at the College of William and Mary in 1776. One of the traditional symbols most often identified with Phi Beta Kappa is the key, which the society developed in its early days. Middlebury owns one of the oldest Phi Beta Kappa keys still in existence, Chaplin noted, holding up a key that belonged to Middlebury's first president, Jeremiah Atwater.
Graduating senior Julie Priya Merchant, who was inducted last fall after three years at Middlebury, gave the student address.
Mohamed Hussein received the Phi Beta Kappa Prize, which is presented "to the graduating senior(s) whose scholarly or artistic accomplishment and breadth, and contribution to the intellectual life of the community, best exemplify the Society's regard for intellectual excellence."
Susan Baldridge, vice president of Middlebury's Phi Beta Kappa chapter and provost, led the group in the traditional oath of induction, then presented the new members to the audience of family, friends, and faculty members.
Each year the Middlebury chapter elects up to 10 percent of the senior class to membership: Two percent of the class is elected in August, on the basis of six semesters' work, and up to an additional eight percent is elected in May, on the basis of work completed over eight semesters.
For a complete list of the 51 honorees, please visit HERE.