Today I went to the ceremony for the latest group of students to be inducted into Beta Alpha Psi, the national honor society for liberal arts and sciences majors.
Here’s a brief description of Phi Beta Kappa, from Villanova’s web site:
Phi Beta Kappa was founded at the College of William and Mary in 1776. Since that time, its rigorous and comprehensive standards have made election to it a premier sign of excellence. The Sigma of Pennsylvania Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was created at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova in April 1986.
The Phi Beta Kappa standards reflect the highest ideals of liberal education at Villanova: education that is concerned with values and facts, as well as wisdom and knowledge; education that seeks freedom from ignorance, alienation, and inhumanity; that values intellectual integrity and tolerance over expediency, and breadth of scholarly achievement over specialized expertise.
As a strong believer in the value of the liberal arts and sciences, it was nice to see a celebration of those students who have excelled in their pursuit of such knowledge.
At its core, Villanova is a liberal arts and science university, and this is clearly stated on its web site:
A premier institution of higher education, Villanova provides a comprehensive education rooted in the liberal arts; a shared commitment to the Augustinian ideals of truth, unity and love; and a community dedicated to service to others.
and in its Mission Statement:
Villanova emphasizes and celebrates the liberal arts and sciences as foundational to all academic programs.
As evidence of this liberal arts and sciences foundation, business students take approximately 50 percent of their required courses in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The balance of business and liberal arts coursework serves to instill the fundamentals of critical insight, mature judgment, and independent thinking, and fosters a sense of the importance of values and the moral responsibility of caring for others and working for the betterment of society.
So while sports teams may capture most of the attention and recognition on a college campus, at its heart college is a academic enterprise, and students such as those inducted into Phi Beta Kappa are the real superstars.
Congratulations to the newest members of Phi Beta Kappa, I wish you continued success.