AU Press Releases

Phi Beta Kappa selects ‘Wit and Wisdom’ winner

The Alfred University chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the academic honor society, selected Elizabeth Wager of Jamestown, NY as winner of its first-ever “Wit and Wisdom” competition.

Wager is a junior English major who was selected for her paper and collection of original poetry, “Why do personas matter?” She is scheduled to present her work at the March 4, 2010 Bergren Forum on campus.

All undergraduate students “blessed with the wit and wisdom to deliver an eloquent and stirring address to the community” were invited to enter either a selection of creative writing or a scholarly essay. The creative writing category included all genres of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and playwriting. The essay was to be a scholarly or academic piece that would appeal to a general audience of adults.

In addition to presenting at the Bergren Forum, Wager will also receive an honorarium of $250, be honored with a dinner on campus, and her work will be featured in the Fiat Lux, the student newspaper on campus.
Seniors Steve Burger of Woonsocket, RI, and Mikenna Pierotti of Painted Post, both English majors, were also recognized as finalists in the competition.

Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is considered to be among the most prestigious of honor societies, and is dedicated “to the ideal of excellence in the liberal arts and sciences.” To be eligible to have a Phi Beta Kappa chapter, Colleges of Liberal Arts & Sciences must meet the society’s rigorous academic standards and be approved by the membership. There are fewer than 300 colleges — roughly 15 percent – nationwide that have been granted a Phi Beta Kappa chapter. Alfred University was awarded a chapter in 2003 and installed its first members in April 2004.

The Bergren Forum, sponsored by the Alfred University Division of Human Studies, meets Thursdays at 12:10 p.m., in Powell Campus Center’s Nevins Theatre during each academic semester at the University. The event is free of charge and open to the public. Participants are encouraged to bring a lunch; coffee and tea will be available.