Hotchkiss Elected to Senate

Nov 6, 2009

Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious academic honor society, elected Valerie Hotchkiss, scholar-librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, to its Senate on October 3.   

Hotchkiss is currently the head of The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Illinois.  She also serves as professor of Medieval Studies, Religious Studies, and Library Science and director of the Midwest Book & Manuscript Studies Program.  Hotchkiss will serve a six-year term on the Phi Beta Kappa Senate, the general administrative body of the Society.

“Phi Beta Kappa is very fortunate to have secured the services of Valerie Hotchkiss as a senator,” said John Churchill, secretary and chief executive officer of the Society.  "Members of our senate serve as the directors who guide the Society in matters of policy and set the direction for Phi Beta Kappa’s future."

Hotchkiss graduated summa cum laude in Classical Languages and Literatures from the University of Cincinnati, where she became a Phi Beta Kappa member.  She went on to achieve advanced degrees, including a master of library science degree and her Ph.D. from Yale University.  Over the past 20 years, Hotchkiss has led three libraries, including those at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and Southern Methodist University.  She is also the author and co-author of several books, including English in Print from Caxton to Shakespeare to Milton. 

“I feel that I can bring a useful perspective to discussions of the changing world of scholarly communications that will be part of the work of Phi Beta Kappa in the 21st century,” said Hotchkiss.  “As academic communities evolve, the place of Phi Beta Kappa as a golden standard and a unifying force on our campuses has never been more important.”

Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most respected undergraduate honors organization in the United States. The Society has pursued its mission of fostering and recognizing excellence in the liberal arts and sciences since 1776.  For more information on Phi Beta Kappa, visit www.pbk.org.  The chapter at the University of Illinois (www.pbk.uiuc.edu), Gamma of Illinois, was chartered in 1907.

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