Mercer approved for Phi Beta Kappa chapter

Mercer University announced Friday that it has been granted a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa during the organization’s 44th Triennial Council in Denver.

“The granting of a Phi Beta Kappa chapter to Mercer University rewards the hard work and diligence of many faculty members and administrators who prepared our application, planned and hosted a successful site visit by the Committee on Qualifications in 2014, and advocated for Mercer’s place in this most respected cohort of American academic institutions,” President William D. Underwood said in a news release. “It is an important affirmation of the rigor of Mercer’s arts and sciences curriculum, the quality of its faculty and students, and the strength of its mission and values.”

Mercer becomes the third Georgia research university and one of only 286 nationally to have a chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society, the release said.

Only about 10 percent of the nation’s institutions of higher learning have Phi Beta Kappa chapters, the release said. And only about 10 percent of the arts and sciences graduates of these institutions are invited to join The Phi Beta Kappa Society.

Mercer’s College of Liberal Arts has been working toward a Phi Beta Kappa chapter for years, the release said, and Friday’s announcement is the culmination of that work.

“We eagerly anticipate inducting our charter class of students this year, recognizing that they are among the best and brightest in the nation,” said Jeff Denny, chairman of Mercer’s Phi Beta Kappa application committee, associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts and associate professor of mathematics.

The Mercer chapter will be known as Zeta of Georgia and plans to induct its first members next spring.

To contact writer David Schick, call 744-4382 or find him on Twitter@davidcschick.