New Members of Phi Beta Kappa Announced

Phi Beta Kappa, the nationwide academic honors society, announced on Friday the 24 juniors who will be inducted into the society this spring.

“I simply feel gratified that many years of hard work at Harvard have been publicly acknowledged,” said Thomas P. Wolf ’05, a history concentrator who learned of his election on Wednesday by University mail.

Winners were notified throughout last week.

Alpha Iota of Massachussetts, Harvard’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, nominates the 48 juniors with the highest GPAs.

Applicants received their nominations in late February and early March, and then had to submit two letters of recommendation and allow their transcripts to be released.

The selection committee split the applicants into three fields—natural sciences, social sciences and humanities—for consideration. The final election took place April 8.

Gabriel D. Carroll ’05 of Leverett House was told of his election by his House Master, a member of the selection committee, at a House function on Thursday.

“I’m still not entirely sure of the significance,” Carroll, a math and linguistics concentrator, said.

The so-called “Junior 24” will be the first inductees in the Class of 2005. Several more rounds of elections next year will bring nearly 10 percent of the class into the society.

The Harvard chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, established in 1781, is the oldest continuously operating chapter in the country.

Nevertheless, many of the newly elected members do not know much about the society.

“I don’t think I knew what the organization or the process was until last month,” Carroll said.

Wolf said he found the process “somewhat unclear.”

Saurabh H. Sanghvi ’04, who was elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior last year, told The Crimson at the time that he did not know much about it.

Now, “It surprised me how much it ended up mattering...I went through [corporate] recruiting last semester, and it definitely helped,” Sanghvi said over the weekend. “People see that, and it’s impressive.”

But Sanghvi said that “the best thing about it is that I got to meet a bunch of really smart people” in other concentrations. “It was great to see what these other guys were doing.”