Eta Chapter Installation

Friends of Eta of Minnesota

The following individuals are recognized as Friends of the Eta of Minnesota Chapter for displaying a commitment to the standards of Phi Beta Kappa and as people who were instrumental in establishing and founding our chapter.

Edward Lindell was president of Gustavus Adolphus College from 1975-1980 at a time when the college, like many other small colleges, was struggling under financial strains and shortfalls. Despite the challenges that obtaining a PBK chapter meant, he provided key administration support for our effort.

Patty Lindell was the driving spirit in the establishment of the Gustavus Library Association and served as its chairperson for 3 years. Her sprit, enthusiasm, and vision were responsible for the strength of the Gustavus Library Association and its success from its inception to the present day.

Edward and Patty Lindell were early advocates of the importance of the Gustavus Adolphus College's affiliation with organizations such as Phi Beta Kappa and worked tirelessly to make the dream of a PBK chapter a reality.

Robert E. Karsten was Dean of Faculty during the years 1973–1983 and while not a PBK member, devoted considerable time, energy, as well as the resources of the Dean's office, to assist with establishing a PBK chapter here and gaining approval for a charter from the PBK Society.

Rhoda Lund (wife of Russell Lund) was the founding president of the Gustavus Library Association and instrumental in its fundraising success. Upon her death in 1979 it was said that "Much more important than her financial support was her active, personal working involvement." (With Grace, Elegance, and Flair: The First 25 Years of Gustavus Library Associates, p. 43)

The Committee of Five was a faculty-mandated committee—Dr. Gerhard Alexis, Dr. Rodney Davis, Dr. Bernard Erling, Dr. Clair McRostie and Academic, Dean Albert G. Swanson. These involved and dedicated faculty members were responsible for researching the past Gustavus Adolphus College PBK chapter applications that had been denied and made recommendations based on their research that helped our successful application at the PBK 33rd Triennial Council meeting in Boston 1982.

Charter Chapter Members

The following individuals were the Eta of Minnesota Chapter charter members of Phi Beta Kappa. Eta of Minnesota was installed on April 7, 1983.

Name Electing Chapter Year
Gerhard T. Alexis University of Minnesota 1937
Helen Baumgartner Smith College 1953
Margarete Bower Allegheny College 1973
Howard Cohrt Stanford University 1960
Rodney O. Davis Trinity College, Connecticut 1949
Patricia Dean Carleton College 1958
Aaron Everett University of Idaho 1948
Mary Everett Florida State University 1944
Thomas Emmert St. Olaf College 1967
Marleen B. Flory Mount Holyoke College 1965
Robert Gardner Oberlin College 1966
Thomas A. Gover University of Kentucky 1955
Beverly Hargraves Carleton College 1971
Clair Johnson Augustana College, Illinois 1949
Byron Nordstrom Lawrence College 1965
Ranae Peterson University of South Dakota 1956
Richard C. Potter University of Iowa 1974
Alicia Rivero Potter Douglas College, Rutgers University 1976
Michael Shafto Carleton College 1970
Barbara Simpson Washington State University 1964
Sarah A. Stevenson University of Minnesota 1967
Linnea Wren Radcliffe College 1970

PBK Charters

PBK charters to establish a chapter are granted to the Phi Beta Kappa members on the faculty at the sheltering institution, rather than to the institution (college or university) itself. Gustavus Adolphus College, as our host institution, provides access to student information for appropriate faculty and staff so that the chapter can identify candidates for election to membership, a website, and other assistance that supports the efforts of our chapter.

A list of all the Phi Beta Kappa Chapters in Minnesota:

Chapter Institution Year
Alpha University of Minnesota, Twin Cities 1892
Beta Carleton College 1914
Gamma St. Catherine University 1938
Delta St. Olaf College 1949
Epsilon Macalester College 1968
Zeta Hamline University 1974
Eta Gustavus Adolphus College 1983
Theta College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University 2009

Why are there so few PBK chapters in Minnesota and nationally?

It is very difficult to obtain a charter from the Phi Beta Kappa Society (headquartered in Washington D.C.). It is a process that takes a huge commitment of time and energy from those at the sheltering institution. In addition, a wide array of factors is reviewed prior to granting a charter to faculty at a sheltering institution. Everything from the number of books in the library, the financial state of the institution, the kinds of majors, standardized test scores and grade point averages for incoming students, and many other factors. All of these features, and many more, are minutely scrutinized before the Committee on Qualifications of The Society will agree to go to the sheltering institution for the physical and more detailed review of the qualifications of the college or university. The rigor of the process ensures the integrity of both the Phi Beta Kappa Society and the chapter when a charter is granted.