The Kieffer Amendment

By Michael Gauger

Evelyn Thompson Kieffer, a longtime leader of the Southern California Association of Phi Beta Kappa, was at the center of one of the most important moments in Society history.

A measure that bore her name, the Kieffer Amendment, adopted at the 1991 Triennial Council in Washington, gave Phi Beta Kappa Associations the right to vote on chartering Chapters. All of Phi Beta Kappa is richer for that right, which was won after a great deal of work and perseverance by its advocates.

Kieffer, who was 93, died in December, we learned from Bette Napoli Harris, chairwoman of the Conference of Association Delegates and a Southern California Association leader. A memorial service for Kieffer was held last month at Occidental College in Los Angeles.

Kieffer held a doctorate in English literature from the University of Southern California. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Occidental and taught in the English and History of Civilization departments there.

We are grateful for her many contributions to Phi Beta Kappa.

Michael Gauger is a grant officer for the Columbia St. Mary’s Foundation and a Phi Beta Kappa Senator, North Central District.