Records of Phi Beta Kappa, Delta of Colorado Chapter
Scope and Contents
The Records of Records of Phi Beta Kappa, Delta of Colorado Chapter consists of documents dated 1968 to 2008. The collection documents the Delta of Colorado's founding and activities through by-laws, annual reports, meeting agendas and minutes, directories and membership lists, manuals and national publications, correspondence, photographs, and slides. Most of Delta of Colorado's official records are located in three binders, called the Secretary's Book. A significant portion of the collection documents the chapter's annual selection of new members.
- Creation: 1968-2008
Restrictions on Access
Due to the presence of student information and financial information in all boxes, files require review before research access is granted. Access to student information is open only to the student in question and to Colorado State University employees. Files containing student information used to determine Phi Beta Kappa membership eligibility are open only to officers of Delta of Colorado Chapter. Additionally, the collection is stored off-site, so advance notice is required.
Restrictions on Use
Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.
Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most prestigious undergraduate honor society in the United States. Five students founded the first chapter on December 5, 1776, at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia (Alpha of Virginia). Several other chapters formed in the following decade: Yale (Alpha of Connecticut) in 1780, Harvard (Alpha of Massachusetts) in 1781, and Dartmouth (Alpha of New Hampshire) in 1787. The name Phi Beta Kappa comes from the Greek phrase "Philosophia Biou Kubernetes" meaning "the love of wisdom is the guide of life," and the society's goal was to encourage academic achievement and lifelong learning. The society's early meetings involved discussion and debate. Phi Beta Kappa began as a secret society with secret oaths, initiation rights, and a secret handshake, but due to criticisms of Freemasonry and secret societies, Phi Beta Kappa dropped all secrecy requirements in the 1830s. At the same time, Phi Beta Kappa also transitioned from a debating club into a scholastic honor society. In 1875, the the University of Vermont's Phi Beta Kappa chapter admitted the first women into the society. In 1883, Phi Beta Kappa's chartered chapters organized a national body, the United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa, now called the Phi Beta Kappa Society. There are currently 286 Phi Beta Kappa chapters.
In 1968, Phi Beta Kappa members initiated at other institutions who had moved to Fort Collins began meeting, and their efforts led to Colorado State University's application for a charter in 1970. After a lengthy review process, CSU's chapter was officially installed on November 15, 1973, and was designated Delta of Colorado, since it was the fourth chapter in the state. The state's other chapters are Alpha at the University of Colorado, Beta at the University of Denver, and Gamma at Colorado College. Delta of Colorado elected its first new members in 1974, and since then, the chapter has initiated between 5 and 100 new members annually. Over the years, Delta of Colorado has brought visiting scholars to Colorado State University and bestowed honorary membership on several people.
9 linear feet (6 record cartons)
Language of Materials
Founded on December 15, 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest undergraduate honor society, and following its motto "the love of learning is the guide of life," the society embraces learning through the liberal arts and sciences. Phi Beta Kappa, Delta of Colorado Chapter was initiated November 15, 1973, at Colorado State University. The collection documents Delta of Colorado's history and activities. Materials include by-laws, annual reports, meeting agendas and minutes, directories and membership lists, manuals and national publications, correspondence, photographs, and slides.
The first accession of the Records of Records of Phi Beta Kappa, Delta of Colorado Chapter was donated to the Colorado State University Archive in October 1992 when Bonnie Titley donated 1 box of materials on behalf of the organization. Additional accessions were received from Gloria Blumanhourst in 2009 (3 boxes), Dr. Kenneth Rock in 2014 (1 box), and Patricia Rettig in 2018 (1 box).
Processing has not been completed. In July 2018, thirteen metal plates listing past initiates which had been previously removed from a Delta of Colorado 20th anniversary plaque were discarded.
Note: Box contents are generally described below.
- Guide to the Records of Phi Beta Kappa, Delta of Colorado Chapter
- Copyright 2018
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository
Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA