Gerald J. Oppenheimer Undergraduate Scholarships
Thanks to your support of our program, we were able to maintain the amount of the five Gerald J. Oppenheimer Undergraduate Scholarships for the academic year 2016-17 at $2,000 each. An additional $400 is awarded to the Ellsworth C. Alvord Jr. Scholar, whose essay will have been judged to be the best. Students at the University of Washington and the University of Puget Sound who have a financial need and who have maintained a GPA of at least 3.8 are eligible.
Gerald J. Oppenheimer was a long-time board member who served as vice-president and secretary in his many years of service to the organization. He was a strong advocate for undergraduates of the University of Washington and the University of Puget Sound as chair of the undergraduate scholarship committee. He passed away in 2016.
C. Alvord Jr., a member of PSA-PBK, was an outstanding physician, scientist, philanthropist, and humanitarian who dedicated his life to medical research and support of the local arts and sciences. He passed away in 2010.
This year's scholarship recipients are Melanie Bussan (UPS, undeclared major), Halima Idris (UW, early childhood and family studies), Eunhye Kim (UW, finance), Matthew Moreno (UPS, mathematics and computer science), and Kylie Young (UPS, science, technology, and society; and anthropology). The scholarship committee, having judged that Bussan wrote the best essay, awarded her the additional $400 Ellsworth C. Alvord Jr. Scholarship.
Ernest R. Stiefel Graduate Study Award
The Ernest R. Stiefel Graduate Study Award is given to
graduate or professional students who are members of Phi
Beta Kappa chapters at the University of Puget Sound or
University of Washington and who will attend graduate or
professional school at either the University of Puget
Sound or the University of Washington.
The application deadline was June 30. One award will be made, in the amount of
Mr. Stiefel was a longtime member of the PSA-PBK
board of trustees, serving for many years as its treasurer
and assistant treasurer.
If you would like to make a donation to our scholarship
fund, please fill out and mail in our membership
and donation form (DOC). You may also donate
At the spring luncheon each year, the Puget Sound Chapter
of Phi Beta Kappa honors individuals (both adult and
youth), businesses, and institutions with the Pathfinder
Award. The award certificate reflects the imagery on the
distinguished Phi Beta Kappa key, a hand pointing to the
stars. It is given to those who “encourage others to seek
new worlds to discover, pathways to explore, and untouched
destinations to reach.” The people, businesses, and
institutions honored do something to broaden peoples'
interest in active intellectual accomplishment; they reach
beyond ordinary routine, beyond the regular requirement of
their lives and jobs, in order to break new intellectual
ground and/or inspire others to do so.
Awardees for 2016:
PAIGE EDMISTON, for the innovative Sidekick Collective, a non-profit she founded to recognize high school
students for their extraordinary efforts to make the world a better place and to provide seed money to carry their
efforts forward as young adults.
OCEAN GROUP at the Asian Counseling and Referral Service, for its programs to teach children of Pacific
Island heritage the languages, oral histories, dances, and songs of their ancestors, and helping them to gain confidence
in their intellectual abilities.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of their founding
by an act of Congress and in recognition of the valuable
support given by the National Endowment for the Humanities
and the National Endowment for the Arts to liberal arts
education, the Puget Sound Association of Phi Beta Kappa
established its PSA-PBK
Humanities Achievement Award. It is offered on a
non-monetary, non-periodic basis to individuals or
organizations whose contributions to the humanities or
arts are considered to be outstanding.
The two National Endowments are dedicated to supporting
research, education, preservation, and public programs in
the humanities and the arts. They provide grants for
high-quality projects to cultural institutions and
individual scholars, and provide opportunities for
This non-monetary, non-periodic award is bestowed on an
individual or organization who is judged to have
contributed outstanding work in the humanities or arts.
The Puget Sound Association of Phi Beta Kappa wishes to
recognize this person's or organization's contribution in
furthering its own goals of supporting liberal arts
The nominee's work will have been done in one of the
following fields: arts (visual and performing),
comparative religion, history, jurisprudence, languages
(ancient and modern), literature, philosophy, and elements
of humanistic work in the social sciences.
Our inaugural award was presented at our Spring 2015
Luncheon to SPEIGHT
JENKINS, for advancing
the cultural life of the Pacific Northwest through
education and performances of operas throughout his
career as the general director of the Seattle Opera.
Our second award was made to PROFESSOR RICHARD G. SALOMON of the Department of Asian Languages and Literature at the University of Washington, where he is William and Ruth Gerberding University Professor. The award was given primarily because of his co-directorship of the Early Buddhist Manuscript Project, a joint enterprise of the University of Washington and the British Library. The work involves the decipherment of Gandhari-language birch bark scrolls, the earliest Buddhist literature extant, dating from the first century BCE. (Gandhari is a variety of Sanskrit.) The results will shed light on the early history of Buddhist culture. Professor Salomon is also general editor of the UW Series on Gandhara Manuscripts. He is a past president of the American Oriental Society, the oldest U.S. learned society devoted to a particular field of scholarship, in the humanities or otherwise.
School Outreach Awards
Each spring we award a personally inscribed book to
outstanding graduating seniors in participating high
schools throughout the Puget Sound area. This is one way
we encourage and reward outstanding scholastic achievement
in the liberal arts and sciences. High school principals
and guidance counselors are asked to provide the name of
one graduating senior who exemplifies what Phi Beta Kappa
represents — a love of learning — as demonstrated by their
academic achievement as well as a record of service to
Among the books we have chosen in the past are Timothy
Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and
Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis; James
Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood;
Walter Isaacson's Einstein:
His Life and Universe; Gordon S. Wood's Empire
of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic;
and Daniel James Brown's The
Boys in the Boat.
Schools may select multiple award recipients. However, we
can only pay for the first book award per school.
Additional books, with the students' names inscribed on
the bookplates, may be ordered at a cost of $35 per book,
including shipping and handling. You can place your order
using the PayPal button below or by sending us a check.
If you would like additional information about the High
School Outreach Awards program or would like to volunteer
to present books at the schools' award ceremonies in May
and June, please e-mail [email protected]
or [email protected],
or call Linda Willenberg at (425) 641-1606.