Since the establishment of Phi Beta Kappa at the College of William and
Mary in 1776, the Greek letter honor societies have played an important
role in American education and training. Today, to recognize their best
students, many private postsecondary schools, institutes, colleges and
universities join Alpha Beta Kappa.
Each Chapter received its own
Charter. This Charter should be placed on display for all visitors and
current students. The Charter - which was issued to the administration,
faculty, staff and students - included the name of the institution, date
the Charter was officially issued, and the official Greek name of the
Chapter. The original group honored or "Charter Members" included the
President or Director, an Academic Officer or Senior Faculty Member, and
those students and others who qualified at the time.
Candidates - to select candidates, each Chapter may have formed a
selection committee. This committee could have included the President,
Director, Director of Education or Student Services, Academic Dean,
Faculty representatives, and one or two alumni members. Although
institutional grading systems vary, society candidates should generally
have marks of "A" or rank at the top of their class. As most
institutions and programs are dramatically unique, each committee
initially determined their own basic selection criteria.
Candidates - all recognition materials are prepared by Alpha Beta
Kappa. Therefore, Chapters should submit a list of names exactly as they
are to appear on the official certificates of membership at least eight
business days prior to the ceremony. Please allow additional time if
more than 25 individuals are to be recognized. Chapters can email, fax,
or mail these names.
Sponsoring Candidates - the fee for
each individual membership is $38. There are no annual dues for
institutions or members. Candidates may be institutionally sponsored or
Institutionally Sponsored - Most Chapters sponsor their
students. These Chapters simply send their list of candidates to Alpha
Beta Kappa via email. Within a few days, all recognition honors and
materials are delivered to the institution.
Student Sponsored - when students sponsor their own
memberships, each Chapter simply gives each candidate a membership
application (provided electronically by ABK). Applications can also be
mailed or emailed with an invitational cover letter to potential
candidates. Applications and fees are returned to the institution or
sent directly to Alpha Beta Kappa. Recognition honors for these honor
students are returned to the institution or mailed directly to students.
Certificates & Honors - each student elected to membership
receives a personalized membership certificate which includes the name
of the institution, Chapter name, and our Alpha Beta Kappa Gold Seal of
Distinction. Certificates for honorary, alumni, faculty and staff
members are indicated accordingly.
ABK Gold Key
To accompany these certificates, each outstanding student also receives our Honorary Alpha Beta Kappa Gold Key. Professionally die-struck, sandblasted and polished, each Gold Key profiles the Greek letters A.B.K., a five-pointed star, laurel branches, and two of the finest words in any language - Integrity and Excellence.
For the purposes of presentation during ceremonies, each Gold Key is handsomely profiled in its own case. As an added service, each honor student also receives a special congratulatory letter from Alpha Beta Kappa and a narrative about the society. Upon request, a letter of reference can also be acquired when seeking employment or further education.