Key Connections Events Link Inductees to Involvement

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Since 2017, Phi Beta Kappa has partnered with local alumni associations in cities across the country for Key Connections, an event series that offers opportunities for recent Phi Beta Kappa inductees to connect with fellow members in their communities.

On September 13, the Society hosted Avenues to Advocacy and Nonprofit Careers, a national, virtual panel discussion that featured ΦΒΚ members who are engaged in mission-focused work addressing diverse issues via community programs, government affairs, messaging campaigns, and more. During the conversation, panelists shared their experiences and expertise, discussed how their liberal arts and sciences education supports their careers, and explained why advocacy and nonprofit jobs are essential to help communities thrive. They also shared tips on how to navigate nonprofit careers and how to participate in advocacy outside of the workplace.

Rebecca Koenig (ΦBK, College of William & Mary), editor and senior reporter at EdSurge, moderated the panel, which also featured Jon Goldstein (ΦBK, Trinity College), senior director of regulatory affairs at the Environmental Defense Fund; Aimee Olivo (ΦBK, Trinity Washington University), executive director at Art Works Now; and Shayna Strom (ΦBK, Yale University), president and CEO of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.

Attendees had the opportunity to ask questions of the panel, reflect on the discussion, and connect with their peers. This event came together with the help of Phi Beta Kappa’s summer interns as well as the Society’s National Arts and Sciences Initiative staff. Be sure to check our Key Connections page,, for a recording of the event and other helpful resources.

The national event served as the kickoff for more than 20 local events hosted by Phi Beta Kappa associations across the country to help introduce their associations to recent members and provide space for conversation and networking. ΦBK Secretary and CEO Fred Lawrence had the opportunity to attend Key Connections events in Atlanta and Dallas. The Austin Association gathered at a theater event featuring the music of the Go-Go’s; inductees in the Twin Cities enjoyed a riverboat tour; the Colorado Association hosted a social event at local Bar Max, owned by ΦBK member Marshall Smith; and several other local associations gathered socially in the spirit of Phi Beta Kappa’s founding to enjoy lively conversation as well as food and drink. The annual fall events oftentimes serve as the first step in further engagement with the Society.

Key Connections events for recent inductees will continue throughout October. We encourage all Phi Beta Kappa members to explore and take advantage of the in-person and virtual events scheduled throughout the year. Many associations host regular book clubs, museum tours, movie screenings, happy hours, and more. Check the calendar of events at to find new ways to stay connected with Phi Beta Kappa. We hope to see you soon!