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Members for Members: 
Activities offered by members through other organizations, that may be of interest. 

Gratz College Summer Adult Continuing Education Virtual Course to be given June 27-30 by PBK DV Member - Open to Public


PBK DV member Lance J. Sussman, PhD, will be teaching a 4 session, 2 hours each, virtual course on "Ukranian Jewish History and Culture" at Gratz College.  The 4 sessions are from June 27-30, 2022, from 10:00 am - 12:00 p.m. EDT, for a single fee of $135.  Not connected with PBK DV.  Click here for more information and to register. 


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PBK Delaware Valley Member News:

Jill Dennin Committed To Serve PA Senate District 24


Jill Dennin (PBK Goucher College and member of PBK Delaware Valley) is the Democratic candidate for the office of Pennsylvania State senator from District 24, comprising parts of Montgomery, Bucks, and Berks Counties. Candidate Dennin has lived in Pennsylvania for 33 years and is active in many aspects of her District.

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PBK Society Highlighted PBK DV Book Club Selections

The PBK Society regularly posts its associations' book club events on its website, including those of PBK Delaware Valley.  However a recent PBK Society e-newsletter image showcased 2 of our PBK DV Book Club's recent selections, "Heartland", by Sarah Smarsh in April and "Crying in H Mart", by Michelle Zauner in June.

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PBK Delaware Valley Member News:

Eliot Nierman, MD, lauded in Philadelphia Inquirer


Eliot Nierman (PBK Harvard College and member of PBK Delaware Valley) received a heartfelt tribute upon his upcoming retirement, in the 6/12/22 Health section of the Philadelphia Inquirer, written by one of his long-time patients who is an Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of Delaware and former Inquirer health reporter. The writer praised his humanity, caring, and excellence as a primary care physician during his dedicated career at Graduate Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania health system.  

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Olivia Negro, Ursinus College Rising Senior, Named 2022 PBK "Key Into Public Service Scholar"

The Phi Beta Kappa Society has announced its 2022 "Key Into Public Service Scholars", comprising 20 outstanding sophomores and juniors from among almost 900 applicants across the US, who will receive a $5000 scholarship, participate in a training & mentoring event in June, and be introduced to public sector pathway opportunities.


Olivia Negro, a rising senior at Ursinus College, Montgomery County, in our PBK Delaware Valley area, is one of the 2022 awardees.  Olivia has demonstrated her interest in public service through her efforts as a Bonner Leader in that national service-learning program, has interned for PA State Senator Maria Collett, and has participated in Model UN for 6 years, serving as head delegate for the 2021-2022 Ursinus delegation to the National Model UN Conference in NYC, where the Ursinus won a distinguished delegation award.  Congratulations, Olivia!

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PBK's Enjoyed Fairmount Park Spring Walk


On April 30, 2022, PBK's and family/friends enjoyed a great day for a 2-hour spring walk led by Shea Sandifer, along with many good conversations, in West Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, while along the trail viewing statues, a large arch commemorating Philadelphia's Civil War heroes, Shofuso Japanese Garden, the Horticultural Center, and many flowering trees, shrubs, and plants, followed by a bring-your-own lunch at the end of the walk for more time to enjoy PBK colleagues' company. 

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PBK's Toured Brandywine River Museum of Art


On March 26, 2022, PBK's and family/friends enjoyed a private guided tour of the permanent collection of the Brandywine River Museum of Art, including many paintings by the Wyeth family, along with time to view the extensive special retrospective exhibit of the life work of Wayne Thiebaud, curated by the Crocker Museum of Art, Sacramento CA.  A number of the group also enjoyed lunch together in the museum cafe.

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PBK's Toured Antique Ice Tool Museum


On June 25, 2022, PBK's and family/friends enjoyed a private guided tour of the Antique Ice Tool Museum just outside of  West Chester, PA, housed in a beautifully renovated 1834 stone barn.  The PBK DV group learned the fascinating history and saw the physical artifacts (implements & tools, vehicles, home items, etc.) of the bygone era when the "natural ice" industry was key to an expanded year-round diet for Americans, supported the dissemination of agricultural products, and when natural ice harvested from lakes was the 2nd largest US export in the 19th century.  After the fascinating tour, many of the group drove a short way to enjoy connecting with each other over lunch and good conversation at "The Couch Tomato Cafe" in the center of West Chester. 

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Annual Membership Meeting - 10/11/22


The 2022 Annual Meeting of the Phi Beta Kappa Association of the Delaware Valley will be held virtually on Tuesday, October, 11, 2022, at 7:00 pm, to which all members are invited to attend and participate.  During the Annual Meeting, members will hear a recap of the past year's activities and finances, will give input to determine the coming year's plans, and elect all officers and Council members for the open Council seats.  The Annual Meeting agenda, the election slate, brief bios for candidates, and the link to join the virtual meeting will be sent to all members 15 days in advance of the Annual Meeting.


Delaware Valley College & University PBK Chapters Announce 2022 Inductees


Local College & University Chapters in our PBK Delaware Valley 10-county area that have posted their 2022 newly elected PBK members following their spring PBK induction ceremonies include:  Rutgers University-Camden, Saint Joseph's University, Swarthmore College, the University of Delaware, the University of Pennsylvania, and Ursinus College.  Please click on each to see the proud new PBK members.

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November 3, 2022 - 7:00 pm

Mini TED Talks - What I Care About

An exciting hour-long virtual event for 3 PBK Delaware Valley members to briefly and concisely share their work or projects/activities that they care greatly about, and take Q&A.  Moderated by Council member & Young Professionals Co-Chair Alan Mason. Speakers: Margaret Bacheler, EdD: "Angels in Your Neighborhood: How Angel Investing Supports Economic Development";  Richard C. Kiger, Esq.: "Dispute Resolution: What You Need to Know"; and Alan Mason, PhD candidate U.Del., "Don't you wish you played the piccolo? An introduction to the double bass".  Enjoy these engaging and stimulating discussions on timely and interesting topics from PBK colleagues.  No charge event.  Register here.

Latest in the series of "Mini TED-like Talks:  What I Care About"


On July 21, 2022, Shea Sandifer hosted and moderated this event, where three PBK DV members shared insights about topics they are engaged with. Gary Heidt, an experienced "educator's educator", spoke on "Curiouser and Curiouser: An Inquiry Driven Classroom", Rebecca Lowenstein-Harting, experienced working with overlooked non-traditional students committed to completing their schooling as adults, spoke on "The Invisible Literacy Crisis:  Addressing the Need for Adult Basic Education in Pennsylvania". Jill Dennin, current 2022 candidate for PA State Senate District 24, spoke on "Running for Office - What it Takes".  Each speaker took questions after their talk from the engaged and very appreciative audience. 

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PBK's Visited Grounds for Sculpture

As suggested by PBK DV Young Professional Jack Faulhaber and co-led by YP Brigid Connolly, on July 16, 2022, PBK's and family/friends enjoyed a 1.5 hr. guided walking tour of the outdoor sculptures and beautiful gardens at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton Township, NJ.  Grounds for Sculpture has almost 300 outdoor sculptures of all sorts, including representational and abstract creations, both static and wind-moving, as well as surprising life-size or larger, 3-D renderings of well-known paintings. After the tour, a number of the participants enjoyed an outdoor group lunch and good conversation at the Van Gogh Cafe.  Photographed in front of  "King Lear", Seward Johnson, 2009.

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PBK's Visited Mt. Cuba Center Gardens

On Sept. 10, 2022, PBK's and family/friends enjoyed a guided walking tour of the formal gardens, trial gardens, and forest trails at Mt. Cuba Center in Hockessin, DE.  Mt. Cuba Center is on the former property of the Copeland family, one of the many DuPont descendants with a profound interest in gardens and the natural world. Mt. Cuba is particularly dedicated to native plant species for their benefits to the local ecology, supporting pollinators and the web of life intertwined by the evolutionary history of native plants with the soil organisms, birds, insects and animals supported therefrom. The group enjoyed a box lunch picnic after the tour.

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Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholars

The Delaware Valley Association is fortunate to have 11 college and university Phi Beta Kappa Chapters in our region.  The Phi Beta Kappa national Visiting Scholars program supports bringing eminent annually designated academic scholars as speakers to Chapters across the country.  

The Phi of Pennsylvania Chapter at  St Joseph's University hosted Professor Adriana Zavala in January 2022 for two days of talks and interactions, as a 2021-2022 PBK Visiting Scholar.  Professor Zavala is jointly appointed at Tufts University as Associate Professor in the Dept. of History of Art and Architecture, and the Dept. of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora. 

She received her PhD in art history from Brown University and specializes in modern Mexican and contemporary US Latinx art. She is the founding co-director of the US Latinx Art Forum, dedicated to the art and art history of the US Latinx community.  Her first book, Becoming Modern, Becoming Tradition:  Women, Gender, and Representation in Mexican Art, a feminist study of Mexican visual art, won the Avery Prize from the Assn. of Latin American Art.  

Professor Zavala's current work includes a co-authored book about 20th-century Mexican intellectuals and visual artists who grappled with Mexico City's Aztec foundations to visualize a modern city informed by colonial maps, manuscripts and archaeological studies.  She also writes about Latinx visual art, race, and colonialism. Her curatorial projects include Frida Kahlo: Art Garden Life for the New York Botanical Garden with the accompanying catalog, Frida Kahlo's Garden. 


Key Connections 2022 - "Effective Networking for Career Success"

On Sept. 28, 2022, as part of the PBK Society's national "Key Connections" September initiative to reach out to recent PBK inductees, five PBK Delaware Valley members with established successful careers connected with recent PBK inductees from our region and discussed how to develop and optimize networking skills. After opening remarks by Doug Bobrow of JP Morgan Private Bank, small group breakout rooms were led by Doug, Heidi Gray-Devita of The 200% Company, Diane Roggen Sirull, Esq. of MUFG Bank, Margaret Bacheler of Angel Capital Association, and Brigid Connolly of Language Service Associates. 

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PBK's Enjoyed Pennypack Park Nature Walk

On Oct. 15, 2022, PBK's and friends enjoyed great conversations during a beautiful 2-hour nature walk on trails of Pennypack Park in Northeast Philadelphia, the "cousin" to Wissahickon Valley Park in Northwest Philadelphia and comprised of over 1600 acres on both sides of Pennypack Creek from Montgomery County to the Delaware River. The walk was led by Shea Sandifer, Council member and Co-Chair of the Young Professionals group. Participants enjoyed more conversation over a bring-your-own lunch in one of the picnic areas after the walk.  

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Latest "Mini TED-like Talks:  What I Care About"


On November 3, 2022, Alan Mason hosted and moderated this event, where three PBK DV members shared insights about topics they are engaged with. Richard Kiger, Esq., spoke on "Dispute Resolution: What You Need to Know", Margaret Bacheler, Ed.D., spoke on "Angels in Your Neighborhood: How Angel Investing Supports Economic Development", and Alan Mason spoke on "Don't you wish you played the picolo? An introduction to the Double Bass".  Each speaker took questions after their talk from the engaged and appreciative audience.

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May 20, 2023 - 10:30 am

Meet-Up for Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust Nature Walk


Meet-up with other PBK's, family, and friends to enjoy great conversations during a beautiful approx. 2-hour nature walk on trails of the 825 acre Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust, a private, non-profit ecological reserve started in 1970 and open to the public, located in Huntingdon Valley, PA, just northwest of Philadelphia. The walk will be led by Shea Sandifer, PBK DV Council member and Co-Chair of the Young Professionals group. Participants will enjoy more good conversation over a bring-your-own lunch in a suitable outdoor area during the walk.  No charge event. Click here to leave contact information for updates on the group's plans, including exact meet-up location and other information available closer to the date.

PBK's Viewed Winterthur Kennedy Exhibit & Yuletide-Decorated Mansion

On Dec. 3, 2022, PBK's and friends enjoyed a private 30 min. gallery tour of the acclaimed Jacqueline Kennedy special exhibit , an approx. one-hour tour of the seasonal unique Yuletide-decorated DuPont mansion containing historical American decorative arts, and an optional "buy-your-own" lunch in the Winterthur Cafe to enjoy good conversation with other PBK's and friends. The Kennedy exhibition displayed how Winterthur experts assisted Mrs. Kennedy to famously & authentically refurbish the White House historical rooms during the Kennedy administration.

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PBK's Toured Philadelphia's Yards Brewery

On January 21, 2023, PBK's enjoyed a tour of Philadelphia's Yards Brewery with a most enthusiastic guide, followed by lunch and good conversation with PBK colleagues and family/friends in the large, open and industrial-space high-ceilinged Yards Taproom Restaurant.  On the tour the group got a behind-the-scenes look at how Philly's award-winning ales are made, learned about the brewing process, saw the bottling line, and those who chose sipped one of Yards' beers along the way, while each of the group was gifted at the end of the tour with a souvenir Yards pint glass

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PBK's Enjoyed Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Special Exhibition "Making American Artists: Stories from PAFA, 1776-1976"

On February 11, 2023, PBK's and family/friends enjoyed a private guided tour of PAFA's special exhibition "Making American Artists: Stories from PAFA, 1776-1976", which included over 100 of the most acclaimed and iconic pieces of American art, from artists who were shaped by PAFA, either through education or exhibition of their work. Organized by theme instead of chronology, the exhibition was curated to critically re-examine PAFA's legacy while shedding light on its continuing role in shaping American Art of the 21st century. After closing in the spring fo 2023,  the exhibition will to go on a 2-year national tour from June 2023 - May 2025. The group then enjoyed good conversations over coffee/tea & snacks at the museum's Tableau Cafe.

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PBK's Spent a Day at the Penn Museum Focused on Eastern Mediterranean Archeology


On March 18, 2023, PBK's and family/friends enjoyed a private guided tour of of Penn Museum's Eastern Mediterranean Gallery, highlighting the Museum’s excavated collections in their historical context and how the area’s rich, complex history is providing new evidence that transforms what we think we know about an area comprising Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Palestinian Territories, and Cyprus - a hub of creativity and a great crossroads in history, where diverse people and cultures connected through trade, migration, religion, and empire, with both co-existence and conflict.  

     After a light lunch at the Museum cafe, Stephen Phillips, Ph.D., Curatorial Research Coordinator, Egyptian Section, spoke to the group about the archeological ancient city of Petra, “a rose-red city half as old as Time,” nestled in a mountainous basin in a remote, rugged corner of Jordan. As one of the “new seven wonders of the ancient world,” Petra is famous for its more than 800 rock-cut tombs and monuments, including a Roman theater capable of seating as many as 8,500 people. Archaeological investigations at Petra continue to the present day including continuing at the dig site that Dr. Phillips worked on at the Temple of the Winged Lions, as the group learned about excavation techniques, life on an archaeological dig, and whether real-life archaeology is anything like the movies. Many thanks to Event Sponsor, PBK DV Member James T. Fox, IV.  

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PBK's Enjoyed 2023 Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival


On April 15, 2023, Sara Ramasastry led a Meet-Up of PBK's & friends to enjoy the 2023 Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival in West Fairmount Park, the annual spring celebration of Japanese arts and culture organized by the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia. The group met at 11 AM at the Horticulture Center and Centennial Arboretum in West Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, and had the opportunity to take in music and dance performances, cultural activities, a vendor market and more. Everyone enjoyed good conversation while experiencing the festival together and over a buy-your-own lunch in the festival food area.

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PBK's Attended Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia Concert


On May 15, 2023, PBK's and family attended a matinee concert by the acclaimed Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia performed in the Perelman Theater within the Kimmel Center, Philadelphia. The concert began with "Fate Now Conquers", by Carlos Simon, current composer-in-residence for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, inspired by the harmonic structure of the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony. Next was Samuel Barber’s quintessentially American, virtuosic Violin Concerto performed by exciting soloist Sandy Cameron on her Guarnerius violin (c.1735), The concert concluded with Beethoven’s upbeat F major 8th Symphony.  A subset of the group enjoyed a pre-concert group lunch at nearby "Jasmine Rice Rittenhouse" Thai restaurant. Many thanks to Event sponsor, PBK DV member Lawrence G. McMichael.

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2nd Annual Dinner with PBK DV Friends 


On June 13, 2023, PBK's gathered at the White Dog Cafe in Haverford, PA to connect and enjoy the company of other PBK's.  After several hours of a leisurely good meal and great conversations, all agreed that the evening was again a success and look forward to welcoming other PBK's to join in for a 3rd annual dinner in June 2024!

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A Day at the 2023 NJ Renaissance Faire  


On June 10, 2023, PBK's and family/friends enjoyed as a group the many experiences at the New Jersey Renaissance Faire - the annual celebration of 16th century Elizabethan England by talented and dedicated re-enactors in the "Village of Crossford", created on the Burlington County Fairgrounds.  6 formal stages offered entertainment with dozens of scheduled shows including live jousting, demonstration of sword fights by armor-clad trained amateur league competitors, Highland Games competitions, musical entertainment, theatricals, animal acts, comedic skits, displays by artisans who create period crafts, and the like, although the entire Village was a stage.  Colorful characters, charming artists, and outdoor improvisational scenes on the village paths were such that at this all-outdoor Faire the live interactions were part of the cultural experience.

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October 14, 2023 - 10:30 am

Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust Nature Walk

Huntingdon Valley, PA


Rescheduled from 5/20/23.  Meet with other PBK's, family, and friends to enjoy great conversations during a beautiful approx. 2-hour nature walk on trails of the 825 acre Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust, a private, non-profit ecological reserve established in 1970 and open to the public, located in Huntingdon Valley, PA, just north of Philadelphia. The walk will be led by Shea Sandifer, PBK DV Council member and Co-Chair of the Young Professionals group. Participants will enjoy more good conversation after the walk over a bring-your-own group lunch at the Visitor Center picnic area.  No charge event. Register here to get information on the meeting place as well as updates closer to the event..

December 14, 2023 - 7:00 pm

Virtual Book Club - The Chinese Groove


Virtual discussion of The Chinese Groove, by Kathryn Ma.  Described as a lyrical and sharply written novel about a relentlessly optimistic contemporary young immigrant from China with "big dreams and dire prospects", who heads to San Francisco to claim his destiny only to discover his fractured mixed Chinese-Jewish extended family, who need his help, "even if they they don't know it yet". Though dealing with serious universal subjects, the San Francisco Chronicle calls The Chinese Groove "A contender for the funniest book about survival you will ever read," while a starred Kirkus Review says "Ma knows how to twist a plot in unexpected deeply satisfying directions, by writing with compassion, humor, and insight". NY Times Editors' Choice.  No charge event. Register here.

PBK's Had Great Tours of the Seaport Museum, the USFS Cruiser Olympia, and the WWII Submarine Becuna


On July 22, 2023, PBK's and guests toured the Independence Seaport Museum along the Delaware River waterfront, home to one of the largest maritime art and artifact collections in North America.  In addition to  the museum, the event included private guided tours of the Spanish American War (Admiral Dewey's flagship (USFS) during the 1898 Battle of Manila Bay) and oldest floating steel warship in the world, the cruiser Olympia, and the WW II submarine Becunato walk the steps of history.  After the tours, the group enjoyed lunch at the National Mechanics restaurant, in the historic Mechanics National Bank building built by prominent architect William Strickland in 1837.


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PBK's Walked Old City "Bankers' Row" for Architectural Tour of Philadelphia's History as Financial Center of the Early Republic


On August 5, 2023, PBK's and guests enjoyed a guided walking tour of the area of Old City that in the early years of the new Republic, was the nation’s financial capital, home to the first stock exchange (1790), the Bank of the United States, the US Mint, the first securities exchange, the first commodities exchange, and other early banking and insurance institutions. The important early institutions were housed in architectural treasures, ranging from Greek Revival “temples” to later brick and limestone buildings such as the US Customs House. After the tour, the group had lunch and good conversation at the Red Owl Tavern restaurant, on the corner of 5th & Chestnut Streets across from Independence Hall. 


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2023 PBK Delaware Valley "Key Connections" in-person Happy Hour Social & Networking Event 


On September 28, 2023, approx. 30 new and current PBK's met to connect & network at an in-person Happy Hour at the Logan Square location of Misconduct Tavern over wine, beer, soft drinks, flatbreads, empanadas  & a variety of sliders. In addition to lively conversation, there was a short program with presentations on PBK DV's activities, member support resources, community outreach through high school book awards and proposed scholarships, as well as Young Professionals activities.  Then each attendee briefly introduced themself and said a few words. A good time was had by all and there was interest to have additional in-person Happy Hours in the future.

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2023 Annual Meeting - Phi Beta Kappa Association of the Delaware Valley 


On October 17, 2023, PBK Delaware Valley members participated in the Association's 2023 Virtual Annual Meeting. The past year's activities & plans for the coming year were presented & discussed, along with discussion of a proposal for a new scholarship award, and election of Officers and Council members for 2023 - 2024 for the governing Council of the Association.  


PBK's Attended Philadelphia Chamber Music Society Bespoke Ensemble Concert


On October 22, 2023, PBK's and friends attended  a wonderful matinee performance featuring Philadelphia Orchestra principal clarinet Ricardo Morales, violist and President of the Curtis Institute of Music Roberto Díaz, Seattle Symphony Principal Cello Efe Balticigil, and pianist and Artistic Director of the Kingston Chamber Music Festival Natalie Zhu. The ensemble performed Beethoven's Clarinet Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 11; selections from Bruch's Eight Pieces, Op. 83; Husa's "Evocations of Slovakia"; and Brahms' Clarinet Trio in A Minor, Op. 114, at the American Philosophical Society's Benjamin Franklin Hall.  A subset of the group enjoyed a pre-concert group lunch at nearby "Franklin Social" restaurant. 

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Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Public Lecture at St. Joseph's University


On October 23 -24, 2023, the St. Joseph's University Phi of Pennsylvania Phi Beta Kappa Chapter hosted one of PBK's 2023 Visiting Scholars, Trevon Logan, the Hazel C. Youngberg Trustees Distinguished Professor of Economics and Associate Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, The Ohio State University. On Monday, October 23rd, from 4:00 - 5:30 p.m., Professor Logan delivered a public lecture entitled, “All We Have Is The Truth: Burdened Individuality, Abstract Equality, and Economic Interference” in the Teletorium in Mandeville Hall, to which PBK DV members were welcome to attend. The lecture asked if we are interpreting racial economic and social disparities appropriately. 

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PBK's Tour Historic Laurel Hill East Cemetery 


On November 18, 2023, PBK's had a private guided tour of historic Laurel Hill East Cemetery, which was established in 1836 as a garden-designed, non-sectarian cemetery (in a time when cemeteries were usually affiliated with a specific house of worship) to serve as a "school of instruction" in architecture, culture, landscape gardening, and arboriculture.  It was not only a burial place, but a scenic riverside sanctuary for the living, away from the noise and grime of crowded city life, to which Philadelphians regularly came out from the city to enjoy an afternoon relaxing and socializing with friends & family. The tour covered the resting places of numerous notable men and women, some with quite creative memorials, including political, military, commerce, cultural and social leaders of the 19th and 20th centuries, leading to a lively interactive discussion with the very knowledgeable guide. An optional group lunch took place afterward at LeBus restaurant in nearby East Falls.

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