The PSA-PBK Board of Trustees has established a means of designating certain individuals as honorary members. To guide the board in this process, the following policy was adopted:
To qualify for honorary membership, a person shall be elected by the board of trustees for sustained and outstanding contributions to the advancement of purposes for which the association stands.
Gerald J. Oppenheimer was awarded honorary membership in the Puget Sound Association of Phi Beta Kappa for his sustained and outstanding contributions to the advancement of the purposes for which the association stands.
Oppenheimer was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, in 1922, and emigrated to the United States in 1940. He attended the University of Washington, where he earned his B.A. and M.A. (philosophy, 1947). He was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa in 1946. He subsequently attended Harvard University, for graduate studies, and Columbia University, where he received his M.S.L.S. in librarianship.
His first job out of library school was at the Seattle Public Library. Subsequently he became the Fisheries-Oceanography librarian at the UW. In 1960 he took over the library of the Boeing Scientific Research Laboratories.
From 1963 until his retirement in 1987, he was the director of the UW Health Sciences Library. He was the founding president of the Association of Academic Health Sciences Library Directors, and also served on the board and executive committee of the Medical Library Association.
He was a long-term member of the PSA-PBK board of trustees, serving on the executive committee as the vice president, and most recently as the secretary. He also chairs the undergraduate scholarship committee and is a member of the membership and Stiefel graduate study award committees.
For 15 years, he served as the executive secretary of the Alpha of Washington Phi Beta Kappa chapter at the UW.
Over the years, Oppenheimer demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the core values of Phi Beta Kappa: knowledge, wisdom, intellectual honesty, broad interests, trust, integrity, and responsibility.
Vivian Chun is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle. She attended college many years later, when her son was also in college. She first attended Seattle Community College and then transferred to the University of Washington. There, in 1976, she was initiated into Beta Gamma Sigma, a business administration honorary society. In 1977, she served as interim chapter president. She was also initiated into Phi Beta Kappa in 1977.
Chun worked in the Seattle area in mortgages, personnel management, and banking information/marketing. She joined the board of trustees of the Puget Sound Association of Phi Beta Kappa in 1981 and has for many years been heavily involved, in particular, with the activities and high school outreach committees.
Chun has been a committee chair and served as secretary, and was PSA-PBK president from 1988 to 1989. She has consistently and effectively worked to strengthen the association and its programs. She remains a board member as of January 2013.
Myra Lupton served on the PSA-PBK board for over 40 years until her death in 2019. She demonstrated a strong commitment to academic excellence by actively supporting and participating in our scholarship and awards programs; successfully recruited new members for the association; and mentored many new board members.
In 1982-1983 Lupton served as the PSA-PBK president. She also served on many committees and was the secretary, as well as chair of the Pathfinder Award committee. She rarely missed a board meeting or PSA-PBK activity.
Lupton was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Washington in 1965, and taught English at Sammamish High School in the Bellevue School District for 31 years. She is fondly referred to as a "community activist" on Mercer Island, where she and her husband, Homer, lived for over 50 years and where, in 2003, she was honored as the Citizen of the Year.
Lupton was active in the League of Women Voters, and served on the board of the Mercer Island Youth and Family Services Foundation.
Stuart Prestrud lived in Seattle from his birth in 1919 until his death at the very end of 2011. He attended Queen Anne High School and the University of Washington, where he majored in history and was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa. He began his banking career in 1937, as a messenger boy in armored cars for Pacific National Bank. An unusually loyal and steadfast sort, he never changed banks, although, through mergers, Pacific National eventually became part of Wells Fargo. Prestrud still had a desk there in 2004. His career thus lasted two thirds of a century, during which he was vice president and senior trust officer. He also served as director of Pacific Coast Banking School.
Prestrud devoted much of his life to the public good, serving on numerous boards of directors, including those of the Museum of Flight, Seattle Opera, the Museum of History and Industry, the Ryan Hill Medical Foundation, and PSA-PBK. He put in a quarter century on the board of managers of the Norman Archibald Charitable Foundation, where he played an important role in the making of over a thousand charitable grants to worthy causes in the Puget Sound region.
He was president of the Puget Sound Association of Phi Beta Kappa from 1965 to 1966. He subsequently became treasurer, a position he held until 1972. He was then elected assistant treasurer, a position he held for 27 years. His advice to PSA-PBK was invaluable.
Victor Scheffer (B.A. 1930, M.S. 1932, Ph.D. 1936, all at the University of Washington, elected to Phi Beta Kappa 1931), who passed away in 2011 just shy of his 105th birthday, was probably the person with the longest history in Phi Beta Kappa. And that includes membership in PSA-PBK, for which he served as president in 1978 and 1979. He maintained an active involvement in Phi Beta Kappa through all those years, though his work often took him far from the Puget Sound area.
About his longevity Scheffer had a simple explanation, that "exercising my sense of wonder of the world has had an effect on my immune system." That sense of wonder drew him into a life as zoologist and naturalist whose books have influenced all of our attitudes toward wildlife. These include Seals, Sea Lions and Walruses (1959); Year of the Whale (1969); Voice for Wildlife (1974); A Biologist Looks at Religion (2000) and nine other books. He served in various federal agencies having to do with biology and the environment, and was chair of the Marine Mammals Commission from 1973 to 1976.
Ernie Stiefel (B.A. University of Washington, 1949, elected to Phi Beta Kappa 1949) joined the PSA-PBK board in 1965 and for many years, faithfully and effectively, served as the association's treasurer and, for the last few years, as assistant treasurer. He was also a member of the association's finance committee.
Stiefel's tenure was noted for the careful administration of the association's assets and the successful maintenance of the all-important scholarship fund, thus ensuring the continued support of undergraduate students at the University of Washington and the University of Puget Sound.
Stiefel, who passed away in 2010, had earlier been honored by having the association's Graduate Study Award named after him.