Professor giving a lecture to students in old main

Proctor, 26 students inducted into Phi Beta Kappa

April 15, 2004

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Wofford College celebrated its annual Phi Beta Kappa Day on Thursday, April 15, when Dr. James E. Proctor (Class of 1967) of the faculty and 26 new undergraduate members-in-course were inducted into the prestigious liberal arts honor society.

Phi Beta Kappa is devoted to the principles of “friendship, morality, and literature (or learning).” Founded at the College of William and Mary in December 1776, it was the first of the Greek letter fraternities. John Quincy Adams, Edward Everette and Joseph Story, members of the Harvard chapter, are credited with making the fraternity a public literary and honor society for undergraduate men and women in the 1830s. With almost 400,000 members across the country, Phi Beta Kappa today sponsors numerous programs to encourage scholarship and learning, including the Phi Beta Kappa Book Awards, visiting scholars, academic fellowships, and leadership programs. The society's official journal is The American Scholar, a quarterly magazine featuring articles of cultural and intellectual interest.

At the end of the last academic year, there were approximately 3,500 colleges and universities in the United States. Only 270 of them have the right to induct their graduates into Phi Beta Kappa. Independent colleges and universities in the Carolinas with chapters are Wofford, Davidson, Duke, Furman and Wake Forest.

The highlight of Wofford’s Phi Beta Kappa Day was the annual convocation in which the Right Reverend John Shelby Spong addressed the Wofford and Spartanburg communities on the topic “The Church’s Struggle to Worship with Integrity in the 21st Century.”

One of the featured scholars in the April 5 ABC television special: Jesus and Paul: The Word and the Witness, Spong once said, “I write as a believing skeptic inside the structures of the church for those who have drifted outside these structures. I try to keep one foot in tradition and one in the radical secularity of the 21st century. I seek the inner meaning of the Christian symbol beyond the literal words of scripture and creed.”

He has written 16 books on various socio-religious issues and subjects, beginning with Honest Prayer in 1973. His especially influential books include Why Christianity Must Change or Die: A Bishop Speaks for Believers in Exile and a memoir, Here I Stand: My Struggle for a Christianity of Integrity, Love, and Equality. He has won numerous awards over the course of his distinguished career, including Humanist of the Year (1999) and the Brotherhood Award from National Conference of Christians and Jews (1974).

Inducted into Phi Beta Kappa were:
Dr. James Edwin Proctor ’67, Hartsville, SC, professor, department of finance and accounting

Mindy Marriott Adams, Columbia, SC
George Wrigley Burdette III, Greenville, SC
Ashley Elizabeth Costa, Homewood, AL
Matthew Black Kendrick, Spartanburg, SC
Devon E. McCafferty, Charleston, SC
Elizabeth Ann Byars, Columbia, SC
Kenneth Michael Camacho, Lakeland, FL
Rebecca Ann Catoe, Columbia, SC
Lauren Rae Dempsey, Jacksonville, FL
John Matthew Ferguson, Greenville, SC
John Walker Hackney, Winston-Salem, SC
James Alan Henderson, Augusta, GA
Matthew Richard Howsare, Columbia, SC
Brittnee Noelle Jones, Waynesville, NC
Evelyn Ruth King, Columbia, SC
Jennifer Mary Gene Lowe, Decater, GA
Lindsay Ryan Lyman, Beaufort, SC
Kathryn Sue Maloney, Bradenton, FL
Karla Nicole Parris, Shelby, NC
Dawna Shawntelle Quick, Sumter, SC
LeAnne Elizabeth Rawls, Columbia, SC
Clayton Eugene Robinson, Florence, SC
Wendy Michelle Rohr, West Palm Beach, FL
Ashlee Lane Ruff, Newberry, SC
Robert Emil Tibbetts, Greenville, SC
Allyn Lewis Steele, Cleveland, NC