Phi Beta Kappa

Obituaries from September 1957 Alumni Magazine

September 1957

Mrs. Howard G. Watson, formerly Helen Fooks Wright, of the class of 1903, died on May 31, 1957.  She was the principal of a high school in Perryville, MD, and the mother of one.  She was a member of the Presbyterian Church and of Pi Beta Phi, along with the Harmon Literary Society, the Navy League, and the Women's College Club of Cecil County, MD.  She was a also a former president of the Retired Teachers of Marylnd.  Miss Ruth E.

Victoria Hann, Dean of Women, Is Given Promotion

September 1957

Victoria Hann, of the class of 1950 and the Dean of Women at Dickinson College, was given a promotion by the Board of Trustees.  Hann was promoted to the rank of assistant professor.  Dean Hann graduated from Dickinson Phi Beta Kappa in 1950, and went on to earn a masters degree at Columbia University.  She was appointed dean of women in 1964.

"The Presence of the Black American at Dickinson College from 1773 to the Present," a Research Paper by Elaine Vivian Watson

May 10, 1984

In her 1984 research paper "The Presence of the Black American at Dickinson College from 1773 to the Present," Elaine Vivian Watson researched the influence of "Black America" upon Dickinson College. Her paper includes information on "unfamous firsts" at Dickinson as well as information on the Black Alumni Questionaire.


Some "Unfamous Firsts" Include:


1901: John Robert Paul Brock is the first black male student to graduate from Dickinson College.


Phi Beta Kappa Members


Warren J. Gates, the Robert Coleman Professor Emeritus of History put together a Handbook for the Alpha Chapter of PA of Phi Beta Kappa. Included was this chart, showing the number of degree-seeking and class-attending male and female inductees over multiple decades. We can see that in many years, women rivaled men in earning this national honor.

More Women Admitted into Phi Beta Kappa Society


The 1897 Microcosm shows that even more women are being initiated in the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Based on their scholarly merits, Mary L. Billings, Mary A. Wilcox, and Anna E. Isenberg were inducted into the society.

Women Admitted into Phi Beta Kappa Society


In the 1896 Microcosm two women from the class of 1895 were initiated into the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Emma V. Harry and Amy Fisher were two of the first women initiated in this fraternity based on overall academic excellence. Membership to this fraternity was determined by the resident members of the chapter.

Sui Generis Receives Plaque from Phi Beta Kappa

Septermber 16,1960

According to the official minutes of Sui Generis, a non-exclusive women's fraternity, in 1960 the members received an award from Phi Beta Kappa for their outstanding scholarship.  Sui Generis had the highest percentage of the Phi Beta Kappa average, a 3.5, of all of the sororities and fraternities on campus.

Bryn Mawr Fellowship Winner

August 1923

Helen L. Witmer graduated in the year 1919; and set off to the University of Wisconsin, where she obtained her master's degree. There she applied and was awarded the Bryn Mawr Fellowship in social economy, valued at $810 at the time it was bestowed. It was to be used between 1923-1924, after wich she would return to Winsconsin to get her Ph. D.