Blanche Stanley delights her granddaughter, Christine, with her gold Phi Beta Kappa key, circa 1970.
Multi-Generation ΦBK Families
For more than 200 years, our members have been gathering at colleges and universities around the country to admit the next generation into Phi Beta Kappa. We celebrate the love of learning that inspired them, and all the generations of ΦBK before them, to pursue excellence in their academic work and value a life of the mind.
A love of learning, however, doesn’t begin with a college entrance exam. It starts long before that, with parents and grandparents, uncles, aunts, older brothers and sisters, with a family that teaches its children about hard work, about what is valuable, and what’s worth striving for.
Some of them have ΦBK keys of their own.
Is there more than one ΦBK member in your family? Send us your photo to include in our family album by writing to
Meet father and daughter Phi Beta Kappas James “Jay” Gilbaugh (ΦBK, University of Oregon, 1983) and Katherine “Katie” Gilbaugh (ΦBK, University of Kansas, 2015). Jay, who studied chemistry and mathematics at Oregon is now a physician with Wichita Urology Group and the current president of the Kansas Medical Society. Katie, who majored in journalism and English, is an account manager with VML in New York City. The photo below was taken on the beach in Gearhart, Oregon.
Proud mother and grandmother Sally Mayock Hartley (ΦBK, Mills College, 1948) poses with son Jim Hartley (ΦBK, Stanford University, 1980) and grandson Nick Hartley (ΦBK, Stanford University, 2016). This Phi Beta Kappa family represents the impressive breadth and diversity of a liberal arts and sciences education: Sally studied history and government at Mills, while at Stanford her son focused on civil engineering and Italian and grandson Nick majored in product design combined with anthropology.
Grandmother Nancy Bergmans Reed of California is shown with grandchildren Erik and Emily Matson of Virginia. Nancy was a 1960 honors graduate of the University of California, Berkeley (in three years) and an inductee of the Alpha of California chapter. She subsequently finished two master's degrees in English as a second language (UCLA) and family and community counseling (Northeastern Illinois University). Grandson Erik Matson is a December 2012 magna cum laude graduate of George Mason University in economics and an inductee of the Omicron of Virginia chapter. He is scheduled to finish his PhD in economics in 2017. Emily Matson is a May 2012 summa cum laude graduate of The College of William and Mary in East Asian studies and an inductee of the Alpha of Virginia chapter. She has finished her course work for her PhD in modern Chinese history at the University of Virginia and is continuing the research for her dissertation.