New Members Inducted Into Mass. Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa

The Massachusetts chapter of Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) inducted new members into its ranks and held a ceremony for all PBK members of the Class of 2000 yesterday. Ten percent of the senior class--inducted in the spring of their junior year, in the fall of their senior year and at the end of senior spring--is part of the elite academic society.

Professor of the History of Science Everett I. Mendelsohn opened the ceremony, which was attended by more than 200 friends and family and the senior members.

"No one of you is here accidentally. You've made it to the very top of a very stiff group of competitors," Mendelsohn said.


After honoring faculty members and inducting honorary members into PBK, the audience was treated to performances by the Racliffe Choral Society and the poet Heather McHugh '70, who received an honorary degree.

Professor of Afro-American Studies K. Anthony Appiah, who also received an honorary degree, turned the ceremony to a personal note. He talked about his family's own experiences and travels in a multicultural world, and then offered advice to students entering the paradoxical "global village."

"Our most basic social identities are no longer village identities. Relations between citizens must be relations between strangers," Appiah said.

He advised that "we display concern for fellow human beings without demanding they become like ourselves."

"Our differences can be resources for each other," Appiah said.

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