Phi Beta Kappa Initiates 10 Seniors

Ten Occidental College seniors have been elected to membership in the Delta of California Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honors organization.


To be considered for membership, seniors must have attended Occidental for at least four semesters and meet a minimum grade point average set by the chapter’s faculty members each year.

"Each of you has been selected for membership in Phi Beta Kappa based on your extraordinary academic accomplishments in your first three years here at Occidental," Louise Yuhas, chair of the Department of Art History and Visual Arts and chapter president, said at the Nov. 20 initiation ceremony. "We look forward to hearing great things from and about you."

Occidental’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter was chartered in 1926, one of the first liberal arts colleges in the west to attain such a distinction. Only 10 percent of American colleges and universities have Phi Beta Kappa chapters.

This year’s initiates are:

  • Andrew Blythe, an economics major from Gold River
  • Meredith Burke, a sociology major from Oakland
  • Elizabeth Chang, a sociology major from Taiwan
  • Erin Conley, a double major in English and comparative literary studies and religious studies from Los Angeles
  • Molly Frolich, a psychology major from Bellingham, WA
  • Talia Gusfield, a sociology major from Davis
  • Wynne McAuley, an economics major from Barrington, RI
  • Laura Mellem, a critical theory and social justice major from Bloomington, MN
  • Jessica Simes, a sociology major from Los Angeles
  • Caroline White, a biology major from Orinda