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The Phi Beta Kappa, History

Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and largest academic honor society, was founded on Dec. 5, 1776, by five students at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va. It was the first society to have a Greek letter name. And in its early years it introduced the essential characteristics of such societies: an oath of secrecy (discarded in 1831), a badge, mottoes in Latin and Greek, a code of laws, and an elaborate initiation ritual.

The national office of the Society was originally located in Williamsburg, VA. Respective state headquarters are housed in universities or designated areas.In 1954 it moved to Washington, DC where it still resides. The national office is responsible for running the daily operations of the Society, including relations with the chapter and associations, maintaining membership data and the planning and administration or programs that promote the mission of Phi Beta Kappa.

The Society's Mission

A core part of Phi Beta Kappa's mission is to foster and promote the liberal arts and sciences. In addition to conferring membership to outstanding students, the Society is involved in a number of advocacy programs to spread the message about the benefits of a liberal arts education.

The Society's Constitution and By Laws

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