Key Connections Engages Recent Inductees

By Laura Hartnett

More than 1,700 of Phi Beta Kappa’s newest members registered for 23 events across the country this fall as the Society partnered with local ΦBK associations to engage young members and welcome them into the national network of ΦBK alumni. These events represent the first phase of the Society’s newly launched initiative, Key Connections, designed to build ties among recent inductees and encourage them to join their local associations where they have the opportunity to expand professional connections, take advantage of cultural opportunities, and gain leadership experience. 

The inaugural event series highlighted local attractions like the Dallas Museum of Art and the Heinz History Center, included activities ranging from brewery tours to archaeological hikes, offered opportunities to network with peers and potential mentors, and featured speakers who shared career advice and reflected on the enduring value of a liberal arts and sciences education.  

ΦBK Secretary and CEO Fred Lawrence and media executive Tony Maciulis (ΦBK, Columbia University, 1998) headlined a sold-out networking reception and panel discussion with the New York Association in Manhattan. On the West Coast, George Anders (ΦBK, Stanford University, 1977), author of the recently-released You Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of a “Useless” Liberal Arts Education (2017), moderated events in San Francisco and Silicon Valley in conjunction with the Northern California Association.

“We are delighted so many recent ΦBK graduates had the opportunity to connect at favorite local venues and career-oriented events,” commented Lawrence. “This is very much in the spirit of our founding, but, even more importantly, meeting a critical need for our members today.”

“It can be hard to get started after your undergraduate years, especially if you’ve recently moved and might not have a well-established network,” said ΦBK Associate Secretary Eva Caldera. “We hope that our members take advantage of  ΦBK’s incredible network, making professional connections and forming friendships along the way.” 

L-R: Key Connections networking panelists Tony Maciulis, Akilah M. Browne, Greg Woodburn, and Kala DeStefano, New York City, September 7. All are ΦBK members. 

Laura Hartnett is Deputy Director of Chapter and Association Relations at Phi Beta Kappa. She can be reached at (202) 745-3273 or