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Hollins University President to Speak for Phi Beta Kappa

Monday, March 24, 2003

SPARTANBURG, SC—Hollins University president Dr. Nora Kizer Bell will be the featured speaker on Thursday, April 3, at the Phi Beta Kappa Convocation scheduled for 11 a.m. in Leonard Auditorium in Main Building.

She will speak on “The Tyranny of the Majority.” The program is free and open to the public.

New members of Wofford College’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa will be inducted in a 3 p.m. ceremony in the Papadopoulos Building, with a reception to follow at Wofford President Benjamin B. Dunlap’s home for invited friends and family.

Bell, who became Hollins’ 10th president in July 2002 and was inaugurated in February of this year, is a native of Charleston, W.Va., and holds a bachelor of arts degree from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Va., where she graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She completed her master’s degree at the University of South Carolina and her Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina.

Located in Roanoke, Va., Hollins University is a 160-year-old liberal arts college for women.

Bell gained significant teaching and research experience in philosophy and bioethics, and held a number of administrative positions, first USC and then at the University of North Texas. She authored the book “Conflicts in Health Care: Who Decides?” and continues to have articles and book chapters widely published. A second book is in progress.

In 1997, Bell became the first female president of Wesleyan College in Macon, Ga., a national liberal arts college for women and the first college in the world chartered to grant degrees to women.

She is married to David A. Bell, president of Macon State College. They have three children and two grandchildren.

Wofford College is one of only 266 four-year colleges in the United States to have a Phi Beta Kappa chapter. Wofford received its chapter at the 1940 triennial meeting, bringing to fruition more than 10 years of work by three Phil Beta Kappa members who were serving on the faculty — President Henry Nelson Snyder, Dr. David Duncan Wallace (class of 1894) and Dr. John West Harris (class of 1916). Harris, a vigorous campaigner for Wofford being awarded a chapter, later founded the National Beta Club, still headquartered in Spartanburg.

Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary; it was the first of the Greek letter fraternities. The organization is devoted to the principles of “friendship, morality, and literature (or learning).” With more than 350,000 members across the country, Phi Beta Kappa today sponsors numerous programs to encourage scholarship and learning, including the Phi Beta Kappa Book Awards and the visiting scholar, academic fellowship and leadership programs.