Issued on June 24, 2014


Carol Gould

The Phi Beta Kappa Society, America’s oldest and most prestigious academic honorary society, has welcomed a new alumni association in London, presently its only active association overseas. Phi Beta Kappa, founded in 1776, is America’s oldest and most widely known academic honor society. There are about 50 member associations in the US, the oldest dating back to 1877. The London Association of Phi Beta Kappa met for the first time on May 29, 2014.

“Members of Phi Beta Kappa share a common passion for the liberal arts and sciences, so it’s unsurprising that many choose to live, study and teach in a city as intellectually vibrant as London. Given this common bond, it’s also unsurprising that members want to meet: in less than six months, we have welcomed over 100 participants”, explained the founding member, Lydia Dye-Stonebridge.

“Our mission is, of course, to enhance the usefulness of Phi Beta Kappa membership. But given that Phi Beta Kappa membership is only conferred in America, we will be doing this through engagement with likeminded organizations here in the UK. Although our events will be centered around Phi Beta Kappa values, anyone is welcome to attend.”

The first event, held at the University of North Carolina’s centre on Bedford Square, featured a lecture from the acclaimed author and broadcaster Carol Gould. Carol, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, spoke on her 30 year career in television. 

Describing the significance of Phi Beta Kappa membership to her own career, Carol explained, “Being inducted into Phi Beta Kappa in 1976, its bicentennial year, was and is the greatest honour of my life. Being a member of Phi Beta Kappa, I feel, carries with it a degree of responsibility to lead a life of integrity and compassion. It has inspired me to achieve – – I have had two books published in the UK — but it has also given me the inspiration for a broad spectrum of written works. May Phi Beta Kappa go from strength to strength.”

To find out more about The London Association of Phi Beta Kappa, visit