Nine members of the Class of 2020 have been elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa.

An initiation ceremony was held on Friday, Sept. 20; though initiated this fall, these students were elected on the basis of their standing through their junior year at Sewanee. 

The initiation was scheduled during Family Weekend so that the students’ families could attend the ceremony. The initiation in the University Archives was followed by a reception with the members of the chapter and with other faculty members invited by the students, before the attendees moved on to the Foundation Day Convocation later that afternoon.

Election to Phi Beta Kappa is perhaps the most prized honor a college student can receive. Students who have demonstrated exceptional academic excellence become eligible for election after completing at least six consecutive semesters. Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary; the Sewanee Chapter, Beta of Tennessee, was established in 1926.

Congratulations to Sewanee’s newest members:

  • John Wesley Barganier, anthropology and English major, Montgomery, Alabama
  • Brenna Cady Bierman, chemistry major, Spokane, Washington
  • Margaret Ann Bowers, music and philosophy major, Arnold, Maryland
  • Taylor Lee Hall, biochemistry, Cookeville, Tennessee
  • Caroline Hermena Kerrison, chemistry major, Charleston, South Carolina
  • Jillian Elizabeth Miller, English and economics major, Belvidere, Tennessee
  • Andrew James Minor, biology major, Paris, Tennessee
  • Hpone Myint Tu, English and classical languages major, Rangoon, Myanmar
  • Carlos Francisco Zayas-Pons, English and Spanish major, Evans, Georgia

Additional students in the Class of 2020 will be elected to Phi Beta Kappa and initiated during the second semester. Each year the Sewanee chapter elects a total of approximately 10 percent of the senior class to membership in Phi Beta Kappa. Two percent of the class generally is elected at the beginning of the first semester, on the basis of six semesters' work; additional members are elected at the beginning of the second semester and during Commencement Weekend.