24 students initiated into Phi Beta Kappa at USD

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Two dozen students from The University of South Dakota were initiated into the Alpha Chapter of South Dakota, Phi Beta Kappa, during the 2009 initiation and banquet ceremony at the Al Neuharth Media Center.

Senior students initiated Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest American honorary society, included Desiree Arbo, Jill Brink and Zach Crago of Sioux Falls, S.D.; Lorinda Covell, Abby Hurlburt and Jessica Mathison of Yankton, S.D.; Megan Determan of Alexandria, S.D.; Anne Doshier of Rapid City, S.D.; Mandy Ellefson of Garretson, S.D.; Emma Fikkert of Storm Lake, Iowa; Jessica Fjerstad of Madison, S.D.; Karl Giuseffi of Spearfish, S.D.; John Hines of Clear Lake, Iowa; Renae Hyronimus of Beresford, S.D.; Alex Morley of Fort Madison, Iowa; Megan Rieck of Warner, S.D.; Anne Rosenbaum of Jefferson, S.D.; Theresa Stevenson of Blencoe, Iowa; and Amanda Weber of Mitchell, S.D. Juniors initiated during the celebratory banquet for new members were Adam Bledsoe of Aberdeen, S.D.; Will Mortenson of Fort Pierre, S.D.; Katie Sheets of North Platte, Neb.; Allison Struck of Yankton, S.D.; and Veronica Sundet of Sioux Falls, S.D.

Steven J. Crum, Ph.D., professor and chair of Native American Studies at the University of California-Davis, was the keynote speaker for the event and presented the Lifto Amundson Phi Beta Kappa Lecture, "Native Response (special reference to Western Shoshones) to U.S. Policies, 1863-1946." Crum received his Ph.D. in history from Arizona State University and his research interests include the ethnohistory of North America, Native American higher education and the Western Shoshone.

Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1776 during the American Revolution. Only about 10 percent of the nation’s institutions of higher learning have Phi Beta Kappa chapters and only about 10 percent of the arts and sciences graduates of these distinguished institutions are selected for Phi Beta Kappa membership. USD is the only public or private university in South Dakota to shelter a Phi Beta Kappa chapter. The Lifto Amundson Lecture was established by Marjorie Lifto Amundson and her son, Dr. Loren Amundson of Sioux Falls, S.D. Both Marjorie Lifto Amundson and Dr. Loren Amundson were initiated into USD’s Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. For more information about the initiation and banquet ceremony or USD’s Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Chapter, please visit www.usd.edu/~pbk/.