Photo by Angie Draheim

On Nov. 13, the Zeta Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at St. Mary’s College of Maryland held its 17th annual book awards, presenting book prizes to five county high school seniors in recognition of their outstanding academic record.  Shown in photo from left to right: Blake Buckler (Chopticon); Virginia “Rosie” Click (Leonardtown); Abisha Dowla (Great Mills); Rand Duarte (St. Mary’s Ryken); Timothy Green (King’s Christian).

Founded at the College of William and Mary in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s first – and most prestigious – academic honor society. St. Mary’s College was approved for a chapter in 1997, after a rigorous review process that took more than three years to complete. Election to membership in Phi Beta Kappa is based on three criteria: academic achievement in the liberal arts and sciences; breadth of intellectual interests; and good moral character. There are 283 Phi Beta Kappa chapters across the United States today, with a membership exceeding 600,000.