Although the Society’s fourth annual Key Connections program looks different this fall, our commitment to offering a warm welcome to recent graduates is stronger than ever. We launched a new national program, hosted online, to kick off a series of virtual Key Connections events held by local associations. As our newest members take the first steps in their careers, even in the challenging times of the current pandemic, this signature program continues to provide opportunities to build networks among Phi Beta Kappa members around the country.
On September 10, the Society presented “Making the Most of Your Liberal Arts Education,” a livestreamed panel discussion moderated by ΦBK Secretary Frederick M. Lawrence and LinkedIn Senior Editor-at-Large George Anders (ΦBK, Stanford University). The panel featured young leaders from several leading companies, including Karen Su with Spotify (ΦBK, Wellesley College), Jarvis Sam with Nike (ΦBK, Rice University), Thas Naseemuddeen with Omelet (ΦBK, University of California San Diego), and Kristen Lear with National Geographic (ΦBK, Ohio Wesleyan University). The panelists spoke candidly about the challenges they faced in their own careers and shared wisdom and advice with the virtual audience.
In the weeks following the national program, 24 Phi Beta Kappa associations hosted virtual Key Connections events. From book discussions to happy hours and game nights to lectures, our newest inductees had no shortage of opportunities to mix and mingle with their fellow Phi Betes, all from the comfort of their own homes. Members in Nashville had an illuminating discussion on the use of music in political campaigns; Northern New England members attended a virtual panel discussion on the experiences of Black culture bearers in New Hampshire and Vermont; and Detroit and Boston members enjoyed a night of challenging trivia, to name just a few.
At a time when so many are looking for connection and community, Key Connections continues to provide a chance for new ΦBK members to come together. The proliferation of virtual events this fall and winter offers all Phi Beta Kappa members more opportunities to participate than ever before, regardless of physical location. Many associations have embraced the turn toward virtual programs and are offering a whole host of book clubs, movie screenings, lectures, happy hours, and more. Be sure to check our Calendar of Events to find new ways to stay connected with Phi Beta Kappa. We hope to “see” you at an event soon!