VERMILLION, S.D. -- Alpha Chapter of South Dakota, Phi Beta Kappa, will host its 2013 initiation ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 14, on the campus of the University of South Dakota. A celebratory banquet to honor all new members is at 5 p.m. in the Freedom Forum Conference Room at the Al Neuharth Media Center followed by the initiation ceremony and a presentation of the James M. Doyle Humanities Teaching Award by Matthew C. Moen, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, in the law school courtroom.
Following the award presentation, Dr. Dereck Daschke, professor and chair of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Truman State University, will present the 2013 Phi Beta Kappa Lifto Amundson Lecture, “Religious Studies, Liberal Arts, and the Educated Citizen.” The award presentation and lecture are free and open to the public.
Daschke joined the Truman State faculty in 2000 where his academic interests include apocalypticism, the psychology of religion, new religious movements, religion and health, and ancient and modern Judaism. He is secretary of the Delta Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at Truman State and the former chair of the psychology and biblical studies section of the Society of Biblical Literature. Daschke received a master’s and a doctorate degree in divinity from The University of Chicago Divinity School, specializing in the area of psychology and sociology of religion. He also received a bachelor's degree in psychology and bachelor's degree in religious studies from the University of North Carolina.
The Lifto Amundson Lecture was established by Marjorie Lifto Amundson and her son, Dr. Loren Amundson of Sioux Falls. She was a member of USD’s Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and her son was also elected to membership in the chapter. The annual lecture is sponsored by the South Dakota Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and is made possible by an endowment through the USD Foundation. The Alpha Chapter, chartered in 1926, is the only Phi Beta Kappa chapter in South Dakota and is sponsored by the College of Arts & Sciences. For more information, please visit http://orgs.usd.edu/pbk/ or go to the USD Department of History website at www.usd.edu/history.