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The Zeta of Wisconsin Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, founded in 1971, celebrates and advocates excellence in liberal studies by electing each year the most outstanding Marquette University arts and sciences students to its membership.

Five students at the College of William and Mary founded Phi Beta Kappa in 1776. Ever since, Phi Beta Kappa has embraced the principles of freedom of inquiry, liberty of thought and expression, personal freedom, scientific inquiry, and creative endeavor. The national Phi Beta Kappa Society sponsors activities to advance the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences in higher education and in society at large. The Society now has over half a million members and chapters at 280 American colleges and universities. Only about 10 percent of the nation's institutions of higher learning have Phi Beta Kappa chapters, and each year just one college in one hundred nationwide is invited to join Phi Beta Kappa. Less than 10 percent of the arts and sciences graduates of these distinguished institutions are elected to Phi Beta Kappa membership. The Phi Beta Kappa key is the distinctive insignia of this honor.