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Phi Beta Kappa President Jane Chaplin congratulates Sadie Dutton on winning the Phi Beta Kappa Prize along with classmate Kylie Winger, far left.

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Middlebury Elects 56 Students to Phi Beta Kappa

May 29, 2019

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – In a Commencement Weekend ceremony at Robison Concert Hall, 42 students participated in Middlebury’s 151st Middlebury Phi Beta Kappa induction. Phi Beta Kappa is the country’s oldest honor society for the liberal arts, founded in 1776 by a group of undergraduates at the College of William and Mary. The members inducted Saturday joined 14 classmates who were inducted last fall after three years at Middlebury.

Jane Chaplin, the James I. Armstrong Professor of Classics and president of Middlebury’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter, welcomed the audience and offered a brief historic overview of the organization. Chaplin noted that Phi Beta Kappa in more recent times has pushed to defend and promote the liberal arts.

Election to Phi Beta Kappa is an achievement and an honor, said Chaplin, “but I hope that you will see your path to it as the true lasting accomplishment, and that what you will do with it is to lead meaningful, thoughtful lives that attest to you, and to all those who know you, the inherent worth of liberal arts education.”

Kylie Winger ’19 gave the student address at the May Phi Beta Kappa induction.

    Kylie Ann Winger ’19, a Literary Studies major from Medford, Ore., gave the Phi Beta Kappa student address. Winger, who has attended the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and interned at New England Review, reflected on the value of uncertainty, which, she noted, was likely causing her classmates some anxiety as they prepared to leave Middlebury.

    “At some point over the past four years, most of us have had to face the question, ‘What are you going to do with that?’ Which is a different way of asking, ‘How are you going to get paid for that?’”

    Winger reassured her classmates that not knowing what they plan to do with their liberal arts degrees is not just okay, but actually valuable. “I think we would all do well to admit to ourselves more often the things we don’t know because there is beauty in not knowing. Not knowing creates opportunity,” she said.

    Winger and fellow inductee Sadie Dutton ’19 won the Phi Beta Kappa Prize, an award given by faculty members of the Middlebury chapter to “the senior whose scholarly or artistic accomplishment and breadth and contribution to the intellectual life of the community best exemplifies the society’s regard for intellectual excellence.”

    Middlebury's 2018–19 Phi Beta Kappa inductees at a May 25 induction ceremony at Robison Concert Hall.

      Susan Baldridge, professor of psychology and vice president of the Middlebury Phi Beta Kappa chapter, performed the induction ceremony. Afterward, Baldridge read a brief paragraph about each student from information the students had supplied about highlights of their Middlebury careers and their future plans.

      Each year the Middlebury chapter elects up to 10 percent of the senior class to Phi Beta Kappa membership. Two percent of the class is elected in August, on the basis of six semesters’ work, and up to an additional 8 percent is elected in May, on the basis of work completed over eight semesters.

      One of the traditional symbols most often identified with Phi Beta Kappa is the key, which the society developed in its early days. Middlebury owns one of the oldest Phi Beta Kappa keys still in existence—that of Middlebury’s first president, Jeremiah Atwater.

      The 2018–19 inductees:

      John Anthony Bowllan
      Daniel John Buchman
      Katherine Sanders Claman
      Kaitlynd Elizabeth Collins
      Ellen Franzwa Colton
      Heather R. Cox
      Sawyer Crosby
      Peter Emmett Davis*
      Langley Margaret Dunn
      Sarah Emily Dutton*
      Mariana Elena Echeverria Escobar
      Kyle Lincoln Freiler*
      Elizabeth A. Giovanniello*
      Stacy Meredith Goins*
      William Orion Greene
      Victoria Jane Isquith
      Nicholas Stanley Jaczko
      Xiaoli Jin
      Hayley Rhiannon Jones
      Joseph Harold Juster
      Kang Woo Khan Kim*
      Lucy Katherine Lang
      Chaeree Lee
      Brendan Aloysius Leech*
      Aaron Yu Teng Low
      Sedge Kea Lucas
      Adam James Mahady
      Madeline O’Neill Maloney
      Irene Teresa Margiotta
      Samuel Tompkins Martin
      Alejandro Martinez Perez*
      Jesse A. Masinter
      Katherine Tessa Monroe
      Finne Murphy
      Grant Thurber Olcott*
      Molly Haffer Paradies*
      John William Parker
      Mayher Jay Bimal Patel
      Christina Sofia Puccinelli*
      Charlotte Alison Reider-Smith
      Madeleine La Gorce Russell
      Christian Alexander Schmitt
      James Francis Scott
      Zachary Michael Senick
      Neha Sharma
      Andrew Douglas Smith
      Clara Mendel Sternberg
      Peter Joseph Thewissen*
      Mary Isabel Trichka
      Sydney Leigh Warren
      Billie Clare White
      Douglas L. Wilson*
      Kathleen E. Wilson
      Kylie Ann Winger*
      Kevin J. Zhang
      Lulu Zhou

      * Indicates student was elected after three years at Middlebury.