Neeley School dean to speak at Phi Beta Kappa anniversary

Homer Erekson, the dean of the Neeley School of Business, will speak about the value of a liberal arts education on Wednesday at an event celebrating the 40th anniversary of the oldest academic honor society in America, Phi Beta Kappa.

According to the Neeley School of Business website, Erekson graduated from TCU in 1974 and was a member of the honor society when he was an undergraduate.

Erekson said he was excited about speaking Wednesday and that he worked hard on his presentation, titled, “Learning the Price of Everything, and the Value of Nothing.”

“There’s something more than just measuring what we do and care about in life by dollar signs,” Erekson said. “Liberal education is fundamentally built on relationships.”

He also mentioned the importance of not measuring success in life based on financial achievement, but on the acquisition of knowledge.

Phi Beta Kappa President Linda Hughes said the society was founded at the College of William and Mary in 1776 and is the nation’s oldest honor society. She said the honor society was devoted to the liberal arts and the thoughtful reflection of knowledge and the contemporary world.

The historical society honors excellence, academic performance and scholarship, and its function is to provide an occasion and a means to pay tribute to those who value those ideas, Hughes said.

“It is testimony to what is perceived to be the academic quality of TCU,” she said.

Hughes said undergraduate qualifications for the honor society included majoring in the liberal arts or sciences and completing several rigorous courses.

Senior religion major Caroline Hamilton said she was surprised when she got invited as a junior because only seniors usually were inducted.

“I was kind of in shock, and it took a while to sink in,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton said she was one of two current students at TCU who were in Phi Beta Kappa.

Hughes said students received scholarship opportunities and that the honor society also gave out humanities and fellows awards to those who displayed outstanding social work.

Hamilton said it was an honor to be selected to join the society and that she was looking forward to the anniversary.

“I will be attending, which will probably be a little strange ’cause I will be the youngest person in the room,” she said. “But it’s always an honor to be in a room with other people who have been recognized as great people in their field.”

Phi Beta Kappa 40th anniversary at TCU

When: 6 p.m. today

Where: Brown-Lupton University Union Ballroom