Did You Know: Phi Beta Kappa at W&M

by Faye Shealy


The Phi Beta Kappa Society originated at the College of William & Mary. In 1776, five students met at a tavern to form a secret club so they could discuss topics of their choosing. The first college society to bear a Greek-letter name, it also introduced these frat-row characteristics: an oath of secrecy, code of laws, elaborate form of initiation, special handshake and Greek and Latin mottoes. Seven of nine current Supreme Court justices are members of what is now an honor society. Many William & Mary Law School faculty and students have been honored with membership in Phi Beta Kappa as well. They are in good company!