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Alpha of Oklahoma Chapter Information

Phi Beta Kappa key


The Alpha of Oklahoma Chapter was established on May 24, 1920. An article in The Daily Transcript of Norman, Oklahoma on May 20, 1920, described what was to take place:


Public of Norman is Cordially Invited to Attend Installation Ceremonies, Is Announced


Installation of a new chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, to be known as the Alpha of Oklahoma, will take place at the university, Monday, May 24. It will consist of the following exercises:


At 4 o'clock all the old and new members will meet in the office of the president of the university, where the installation of the chapter and the initiation of the new members, both undergraduates and alumni, will take place and be conducted by Dr. Frances W. Shepardson, of Springfield, Ill., vice-president of the United chapters of the Phi Beta Kappa of America.


These ceremonies will last between one and two hours and will be followed by a banquet at the banquet room of the Teepee house, and a program of speeches. Then at 8 p.m. the chapter will march in a body to the university auditorium, where a formal presentation of the charter will be made by Dr. Shepardson; a response given on behalf of the charter by one of its faculty members; and public announcement will be made of names of all the members who have been elected to Phi Beta Kappa; and then will follow the Phi Beta Kappa address of the evening by Doctor Shepardson.


Doctor Shepardson was formerly dean of the College of Arts and Sciences of the University of Chicago. He is now director of the bureau of Registration and Education for the state of Illinois. He is a writer of note and a speaker of ability.


The people of Norman, as well as students and faculty of the university are cordially invited to attend the evening exercises at the auditorium.


Charter members:

Theodore Hampton Brewer, Alpha of Tennessee (Vanderbilt University)
Stratton Duluth Brooks, Alpha of Michigan (University of Michigan)
Lucien Quitman Campbell, Alpha of Louisiana (Tulane University)
John Begg Cheadle, Alpha of Kansas (University of Kansas)
Edmund Pendleton Randolph Duval, Alpha of Texas (University of Texas)
William Henry Emig, Beta of Missouri (Washington University)
James Huston Felgar, Alpha of Kansas (University of Kansas)
Harold Harvey Herbert, Gamma of Illinois (University of Illinois)
Roy Temple House, Iota of Ohio (Miami University)
Victor Henry Kulp, Beta of Illinois (University of Chicago)
Henry Higgins Lane, Alpha of Indiana (DePauw University)
Julien Charles Monnet, Alpha of Iowa (State University of Iowa)
Lawrence Nelson Morgan, Alpha of North Carolina (University of North Carolina)
Daniel Webster Ohern, Alpha of Maryland (Johns Hopkins University)
Joseph Francis Paxton, Alpha of Missouri, (University of Missouri)
Angelo Cyrus Scott, Alpha of Kansas (University of Kansas)
Edward Kitchell Witcher, Gamma of Illinois (University of Illinois)

Constitution and Bylaws

Constitution and Bylaws (pdf)

Election and Admission of New Members

There is no application process for Phi Beta Kappa. Apart from a very small number of juniors, only those students who are graduating seniors in the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Atmospheric & Geographic Sciences, College of International Studies, Gaylord College of Journalism & Mass Communication, and ConocoPhillips School of Geology & Geophysics who have a 3.60 GPA or better and who have applied for graduation are considered for membership. A chapter committee then reviews the academic records of each student, focusing on the quality and distribution of coursework and the breadth of academic experience in the social sciences, humanities, language, mathematics, and natural science. Each year in early April the final selected students are invited to chapter membership. Summer and December graduates are considered for membership in the spring semester, along with the spring graduates.


See Bylaws, Section III, "Election and Admission of New Members."


The Alpha of Oklahoma Chapter is fortunate to have endowed awards that provide funding for several scholarships offered each year to outstanding juniors and seniors in the College of Arts and Sciences.

  • The Amy Taylor Sewell Memorial Prize has been provided through the generosity of Ralph Sewell, a prominent figure in the world of Oklahoma journalism, to honor his late wife, Amy Taylor Sewell. Prizes are awarded to juniors who have the potential of becoming members of Phi Beta Kappa.
  • The Savoie Lottinville Prize is named for the late Savoie Lottinville, a member of the chapter and longtime editor of the University of Oklahoma Press. Prizes are awarded to juniors who have the potential of becoming members of Phi Beta Kappa.
  • The Mary Esther Selby Saxon Award was established in memory of Mary Esther Selby Saxon, a former Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian at the University of Oklahoma and a dedicated staff member of the High School and College Relations Department. The prizes go to graduating Phi Beta Kappa seniors who plan to do graduate work in any field of the Humanities or the Social Sciences.
  • The Roland Lehr Memorial Prize was established in memory of the late Roland Lehr, a distinguished professor of chemistry, twice acting Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and active member of the Alpha of Oklahoma. Each year the chapter is able to make one or two Roland Lehr Memorial awards to deserving Phi Beta Kappa graduates who plan to pursue graduate work in the natural sciences, the physical sciences, or in medicine. The amount of the award varies from year to year.
  • The Phi Beta Kappa Undergraduate Research Day Prizes are awarded to students whose contributions to the Undergraduate Research Day are ranked best by a panel of professors.

Updated 4-8-2014