Phi Beta Kappa

Delta of Connecticut Chapter

Phi Beta Kappa, Delta of Connecticut Chapter

Phi Beta Kappa, Delta of Connecticut, takes as its charge to new members the words spoken by Charles Evans Hughes, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, at the 100th anniversary celebration of the Alpha Chapter of Rhode Island. Justice Hughes said:

"The particular interest of Phi Beta Kappa is in liberal education. Whatever debate there may be as to its exact definition, it means the development by careful training of the capacity to appreciate what has been done and thought, the ability to make worthwhile appraisals of achievements, doctrines, theories, proposals. It is liberal because it emancipates. It signifies freedom from the tyranny of ignorance and, from what is worse, the dominion of folly. Learning is not its aim, so much as intelligence served by learning ... At this time, when the world stands in need of every influence which favors intellectual discipline and achievement, the service of Phi Beta Kappa is of heightened value. It holds aloft the old banner of scholarship; to the students who have turned aside from easier paths and, by their talent and fidelity, have proved themselves to be worthy, it gives the fitting recognition of a special distinction."

The Delta of Connecticut Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society was installed at Connecticut College on February 13, 1935. At that time, the faculty voted to retain the designation of Winthrop Scholar as its highest honor, reserved for students elected to Phi Beta Kappa in the fall term of their senior year. It was in May 1928 that Connecticut College had instituted the practice of honoring as "Winthrop Scholars" those members of the senior class who demonstrated exceptional scholarship.

Winthrop Scholars are named for John Winthrop the Younger (1606-1676) who founded the city of New London and served as governor of Connecticut. He was a remarkable scholar, one of the most learned and versatile men in New England. On his first trip to the New World, despite crowded shipboard conditions, he brought two hogsheads of books, which were to become the nucleus of one of the finest libraries in the colonies. As a scientist he was an international figure and one of the earliest members of the Royal Society of London. As an astronomer he made his own telescope, one of the few telescopes in the New World. He is credited with having discovered the fifth satellite of Jupiter some two hundred years before it was rediscovered with the aid of the great Lick telescope.

Contact Information:

Larry Vogel, President

Joseph Alchermes
Vice President, Phi Beta Kappa
Connecticut College
Box 5628, 270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320