Rollins Inducts 23 New Members of Phi Beta Kappa

April 17, 2023

By Laura J. Cole ’04 ’08MLS

Phi Beta Kappa induction ceremony at Rollins College.
Photo by Scott Cook.

Rollins students join 17 U.S. presidents, 42 U.S. Supreme Court justices, and more than 150 Nobel Laureates as members of America’s most prestigious academic honor society.

On March 31, the Rollins chapter of Phi Beta Kappa—known as Theta Chapter of Florida—inducted its second class of members at the Rice Family Pavilion. Less than 1 percent of all college students in the U.S. qualify for acceptance into Phi Beta Kappa, which is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society for the liberal arts, with members undergoing a highly selective, merit-based invitation process. Membership recognizes their status as among the best and brightest liberal arts and sciences undergraduate students in the nation.

From left: Don Davison, Professor of Political Science at Rollins College; Barbara Perry, Gerald L. Baliles Professor and Director of Presidential Studies at the University of Virginia.Photos by Scott Cook.

Presiding over the installation and induction ceremony were political science professor Don Davison, who led the application committee and currently serves as the president of the Rollins chapter, and honorary Theta of Florida member Barbara Perry, the Gerald L. Baliles Professor and Director of Presidential Studies at the Miller Center at the University of Virginia. Perry is a former judicial fellow at the U.S. Supreme Court, researcher for Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and has conducted, directed, or participated in interviews for the Oral History Projects for Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Edward Kennedy, and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“The purpose of a liberal arts college and its curriculum is not for the private advantage and enjoyment of its recipients,” says Davison. “Instead, liberal education is designed to uncover what is meant by great values such as justice, equity, and the common good—and to use that knowledge for the betterment of society. These are among the most cherished values of Rollins College that are affirmed by our Phi Beta Kappa chapter.”

Phi Beta Kappa induction ceremony at Rollins College.
Photo by Scott Cook.

During the ceremony, Davison challenged the newly minted Phi Beta Kappa inductees to remember the responsibility of being liberally educated, sharing these words by influential American publisher Henry Regnery: “When you see truths which others miss, that is the time to speak. Education without courage is useless.”

Last spring, the College inducted its first class of 19 students and held the official installation of the Rollins chapter, joining an illustrious set of less than 10 percent of colleges in the U.S.—and only seven others in Florida—to shelter a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. This year, 23 more Tars have made the cut.

Senal Hewage ’23 was one of 23 Rollins students inducted into Phi Beta Kappa this year.
Senal Hewage ’23 was one of 23 Rollins students inducted into Phi Beta Kappa this year.Photo by Scott Cook.

2023 Student Phi Beta Kappa Inductees

  • Dar Bejerano ’23, Psychology and international business
  • Juliette Bennie ’23, English and economics
  • Sofia Blasser ’23, Art history
  • Cora Burkley ’23, Psychology
  • Jay Patrick Forsythe ’23, Music
  • Sara Elizabeth Fosdick ’23, English and music
  • Maya Lillian Grace Goldstein ’23, Sociology and critical media and cultural studies
  • Capri Gutierrez ’23, Political science
  • Katharina Erika Klara Hesse ’23, International relations
  • Senal Hewage ’23, Economics and physics
  • Abbey Rose Matusik ’23, Art history
  • Trinideé Jade Mercado ’23, Psychology
  • Makayla Mikesell ’23, Art history
  • Carlie Ashton Miles ’23, Biochemistry/molecular biology and theatre
  • Mia Morgan ’23, Spanish
  • Charlsey Newman ’23, Sociology and American studies
  • Sanjula Rajat ’23, Sociology and psychology
  • Mackenzie Scheer ’23, International relations
  • Polina Vlasova ’23, Political science
  • Anna Alexandra Voicu ’23, Psychology
  • Hallie Anne Walker ’23, Psychology
  • Hayden Patrick Wilde ’22, English
  • Connor Nuo Xu ’23, Economics and classical studies
A group of Rollins College students performing a science experiment.

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