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Upsilon Of New York Chapter

Phi Beta Kappa

The installation of a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at Manhattan College in 1971 was an achievement of importance to the entire college. It became the first Christian Brothers college, and the sixth Catholic institution of higher education, to receive this imprimatur of excellence in the liberal arts. At the time it acquired the Upsilon of New York Chapter, Manhattan College was only the 200th college to achieve this recognition. Establishing a chapter was first proposed in 1936, but only became a realistic goal decades later, thanks the efforts of Brother Abdon Lewis Garavaglia, a professor of literature who had become a member of Phi Beta Kappa as an undergraduate at Catholic University. When Brother Garavaglia joined the Manhattan faculty in 1952, he was the first Phi Beta Kappa from Catholic University on the staff but he was soon joined by Brother Charles Reutemann in 1953 and Brother Luke Salm in 1955. In 1959, Brother Reutemann organized Manhattan's Phi Beta Kappa faculty members, comprising six brothers and two laymen,  to begin the arduous process of applying for a chapter of the oldest and most prestigious honor society in the United States. The process, which took over ten years, and entailed filing reports on academics and college life, culminated with an on-campus visit from representatives of the society in November 1968. The results were announced in August 1970, and the chapter's formal installation took place in a solemn ceremony on February 12, 1971.


Officers of Upsilon of New York Chapter 2006-2007

President: Jay Friedenberg

Vice-President: George Kirsch

Secretary-Treasurer: Michael Judge

Historian: Claire Nolte

Last updated by K. Balaj on 2/27/07