Seven seniors inducted into prestigious Phi Beta Kappa

Six Marietta students standing in front of McDonough steps

Seven Marietta College seniors were inducted into the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa society, which was established in 1860 at the College, during a ceremony that was held in the Betty Cleland Room on Monday, April 29.

The inductees, who will graduate May 5 during Marietta College’s 182nd Commencement ceremony, were Tristan Bailey (Massillon, Ohio), Lauren DeLong (Lowell, Ohio), David Erzen (Bethel Park, Pennsylvania), Shannon Garrison (West Salem, Ohio), Makenzie McAfee (Findlay, Ohio), Rylie Wahl (Grove City, Ohio) and Xuan Zhu (Shandong Province, China).

Bailey, a graduate of Fairless High School, said it is an honor to be a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

“The importance of a liberal arts education has been stressed to me constantly over these past four years, and because of it I’ve tried my best to make the most of what Marietta College has to offer,” said Bailey, who will earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering. “It feels good to know that I’m being recognized as a hard-working student with a well-rounded education. I’m excited to join a group full of such successful people, and I hope I can live up to that standard after my graduation.” 

DeLong, a graduate of Marietta High School, will complete a 10-week internship at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, this summer.

“I am honored to be selected for membership in this prestigious organization,” said DeLong, who will earn a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry.

Erzen, a graduate of Bethel Park High School, also emphasized the importance of joining an honorary that celebrates the liberal arts.

“During my college selection process, I knew I wanted to attend an institution where I could cultivate in-depth knowledge within my discipline and expand my breadth of knowledge across other disciplines too,” said Erzen, who will earn a Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics. “With the opportunities available at Marietta College, I feel like I am not only ready for the world of work after graduation, but whatever else life may throw my way as well.”

Garrison, a graduate of Northwestern High School, said Marietta College has helped her to expand both her breadth and depth of knowledge.

“I am so very thankful for the education that I have received in my four years at Marietta College,” said Garrison, who will earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science. “I am grateful for the ways I have both grown and been challenged. I truly have learned to think critically, and I know the skills I have gained here will carry with me through any stage of my life.”

McAfee said she knew she wanted to be in Phi Beta Kappa since her freshman year.

“Being inducted into Phi Beta Kappa is a tremendous honor. I remember Dr. (Katy) McDaniel coming in to talk to our FYS class, my freshman year, about the requirements of Phi Beta Kappa and I knew I wanted to be a part of it,” said McAfee, who will earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. “I planned my schedule throughout the last four years, and kept my GPA up, in order to become a member. It’s a great sense of accomplishment, knowing that my hard work paid off and that I get to be a part of a great organization that so many amazing people are a part of as well.”

Wahl, who graduated from Bishop Ready High School, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies in December. She was not able to attend the induction ceremony.

Zhu will earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics.

“I am deeply indebted to ESL professors, (Leeann) Price and (Janie) Reese-Miller, for helping me transition into the American university life, and Physics professors, Dr. (Craig) Howald, Dr. (Dennis) Kuhl, Dr. (Ann) Bragg, and Dr. (Cavendish) McKay, for showing me the mysterious and interesting physics world,” Zhu said. “Without their help, I would not have this academic achievement.”