Famous Phi Betes include:
By the time of the establishment of the United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa in 1883, there were 25 chapters in total. The first women were elected at the University of Vermont in 1875, and the first black member was elected at the same institution two years later.
Each chapter is designated by its state and a Greek letter indicating the order in which that state's chapters were founded. As an example, Alpha of Pennsylvania is at Dickinson College (1887); Beta of Pennsylvania, at Lehigh University (later in 1887); Delta of Pennsylvania, at the University of Pennsylvania (1892); and Gamma of Pennsylvania, at Lafayette College (1890).
In 1988, the United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa officially changed its name to The Phi Beta Kappa Society.
As of 2004, there are 270 chapters and over half a million living members.
Phi Beta Kappa (ΦΒΚ) stands for philosophia biou kubernetes, "philosophy, the guide of life."