SHERIDAN — The nation’s oldest academic honor society, Phi Beta Kappa, has selected 42 new members for the University of Wyoming chapter. Students were selected based upon their demonstrated excellence in the liberal arts and sciences.

“To be elected, a student needs to show a balanced liberal arts education that accords with the national stipulations, and which we verify by examining every candidate’s transcript in detail,” said Eric Nye, professor in the Department of English and chapter secretary. “It is the one distinction prospective employers and graduate schools are swift to notice.”

Nye said members cannot apply or be nominated to PBK but are selected by faculty members in the chapter.

Membership is limited to those in the top 10 percent of the graduating class.

In all, less than 1 percent of U.S. college graduates are chosen. UW’s chapter, Alpha of Wyoming, has more than 100 faculty and staff members.

Most new members are seniors, but a handful of students are elected as juniors, Nye said. 

Phi Beta Kappa selects new members annually from each of its 286 chapters nationwide. The UW chapter sponsors lectures, scholarships and other academic activities. The chapter will celebrate the 78th anniversary of earning its charter next November.

New PBK members at UW, from Sheridan County, are:

Big Horn — Andrew Schuster, history.

Clearmont — Sara Ellingrod, international studies.

Sheridan — Brittney Buckler, Spanish and elementary education; Tyler Julian, international studies and Spanish; and Meredith Weber, psychology and sociology.