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Eckerd College celebrates 21st Phi Beta Kappa Induction

By Ashlyn Fransen '24
Published May 22, 2024
Categories: About Eckerd, Academics, Awards, Students

President Annarelli places a Phi Beta Kappa cord over the head of Ella Glass ’24, one of 23 students inducted into Phi Beta Kappa at Eckerd College this year. Photos by Carly Harshbarger ’25

Twenty-three Eckerd College students were inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest honor society, on May 16. Among them was Cara DeLacluyse, a senior marine science student from Third Lake, Illinois. Her mother, Mary, clapped and cheered from the audience.

When Mary first heard the news of her daughter’s induction, she changed her flight from Chicago to attend the ceremony. Mary also is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and she always wished the same for her daughter.

“To have my mom at the induction ceremony meant the world to me,” Cara said.

Eckerd is home to the Zeta chapter of Florida and was the sixth of eight Florida schools to establish a chapter. Dean Emeritus of Faculty Lloyd Chapin, Ph.D., worked tirelessly to establish the chapter, as Lisa Bonner Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry and president of the Zeta chapter of Florida, noted at the ceremony. At the time, the College was less than 50 years old—founding a chapter as such a young institution was quite an honor. Since 2004, when Eckerd’s chapter was officially sealed, 460 students have been inducted. It is typical for less than 10% of each graduating class to meet the requirements for Phi Beta Kappa, which are a 3.75 GPA in liberal arts coursework and at least two years of language study.

“The language requirement is the biggest hurdle for students,” Bonner explained. “But it’s an important skill because it uses a different part of the brain.”

The 2024 Phi Beta Kappa inductees of the Zeta chapter of Florida (Cara DeLacluyse ’24 in back row, fifth from left)

This year’s cohort of inductees speaks nine languages collectively—including Hindi, Latin and Arabic. Cara chose to minor in visual arts and Spanish, which equipped her to study abroad in Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and Spain. Now that she has graduated with high honors and the Marine Science Academic Excellence Award, she plans to teach English in Spain and continue mastering the Spanish language.

“I grew up as an overachiever,” Cara said. “Being inducted into Phi Beta Kappa feels both very validating and an exciting culmination of all of our hard work.”

There are a plethora of benefits that come with membership in the society—including internships, scholarships and fellowships. Eckerd fully covers lifelong membership.

Not every school has the capacity to do that, and Bonner notes that we are fortunate to have very involved faculty, such as the late Professor Emeritus of Philosophy Peter Pav, who have contributed to endowments that honor students’ diligence.

“It’s important for students who are at the top of their game to be recognized,” Bonner said.

One such honor is the Peter Pav First-Year Scholar Award, which recognizes students who finish their first year with a 4.0 GPA. Cara became a Peter Pav First-Year Scholar in 2021, the year the award’s namesake died. But his support of student excellence has endured.

Her Autumn Term mentor, Michael Hilton, Ph. D., assistant professor of computer science, came to the PBK ceremony to celebrate Cara’s successes since her first semester at Eckerd.

“He’s been there throughout my four years of college,” Cara said, “and he met my mom today—so it was all very special.”

Inductees await their turn to be recognized.

2024 Phi Beta Kappa Inductees


  • Lyla Blanchard
  • Jimmy Knudson
  • Sofi Juarez Mora


  • Payton Bivens
  • Jane Bodor
  • Kolin Cook
  • Tom Covington
  • Cara DeLacluyse
  • Ava Evans
  • Ali Henes
  • Aarushi Gandhi
  • Ella Glass
  • Brooks Jordan
  • Andrew Kennedy
  • Jenny Le
  • Abigail O’Donnell
  • Isa Redinger
  • Madelyne Reifsteck
  • Kayla Rendon-Torres
  • Arik Suez
  • Alexis Vargas
  • Thomas White
  • Daisy Wischmeyer