The University has elected 90 new members to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. Of the honorees, 82 are part of the Class of 2022, nine of them having been inducted last year, and the remaining eight are in the Class of 2023. 

According to the Brandeis Chapter’s webpage, “Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most prestigious undergraduate honors organization in the United States. Founded at the College of William and Mary in 1776, its high and rigorous standards of excellence have made election to it one of the highest academic honors an undergraduate at a university in the United States can receive.” The Brandeis chapter was founded in 1961, the website goes on to state. 

This year’s ceremony took place in person on May 20. University President Ron Liebowitz gave opening remarks, reflecting on how the prestigious honor society only inducted men in the beginning of its existence but now it is a welcoming and diverse organization. Following this, as well as a short history of Phi Beta Kappa from Prof. George Hall (ECON), and ovations and a declaration of initiation from Prof. Brian Horton (ANTH), Prof. and Dean of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management David Weil gave the Phi Beta Kappa Address. Prof. Eva Bellin (POL) gave closing remarks, preceding a reception for inductees and their guests.

Weil is an “internationally recognized expert in employment and labor market policy along with regulation, transparency policy, and the impacts of industry restructuring on employment, work outcomes, and business performance,” according to his Brandeis page. Prior to his career at Heller, he worked under the Obama administration as the administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. Weil also “co-founded and co-directs the Transparency Policy Project at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government,” the page continues. Additionally, he has written well over 100 articles and five books, and has received numerous awards. 

“I have learned from my own experience in life that if you take on hard things, you must have grit, determination, persistence and a long view. But, above all, hope,” Weil said to students in his speech. 

Weil’s speech had a focus on the importance of engaging in public service, which he defined as anything that helps anyone in any way. “I have confidence that you will take the accomplishments we celebrate in your induction into Phi Beta Kappa and use them in ways to address the challenges of this world, in the small and in the large,” he said.