Chapter Constitution

Adopted at the March 8, 2012 chapter meeting.

Article I
Alpha of Colorado is a constituent member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, an unincorporated organization, or its successor-in-interest.  Alpha of Colorado Chapter was established in 1904 at the University of Colorado Boulder, and acts in accordance with the rules, policies and expectations of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. (

Article II
The purpose of Alpha of Colorado Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa is to acknowledge, celebrate, and advocate outstanding academic performance in the liberal arts and sciences on the part of students of the University of Colorado at Boulder, and to foster interest and excellence in the liberal arts among all students at our campus and among our faculty and community.

Article III

A. Membership in Alpha of Colorado shall consist of members from among

  1. Members in course, elected by members of this Chapter and duly initiated.  Criteria for invitation to join Alpha of Colorado are to be described in the Bylaws of this Chapter.  Graduate students meeting the criteria described in our Bylaws may be elected as members in course.
  2. Members of our Boulder campus faculty, administration, and staff, as well as local community residents, duly initiated into other chapters of Phi Beta Kappa who become active in Alpha of Colorado.
  3. Students enrolled at the Boulder campus, including graduate students, previously initiated into this or other chapters of Phi Beta Kappa.
  4. Honorary members, duly elected under the terms described in the Bylaws.
  5. All the above are to be known as ‘Members’ of Alpha of Colorado, and may participate and vote in all Chapter activities.
  6. Active members are those attending Chapter meetings and other events.

B. Any member of this Chapter, having failed to live up to the expectation of high moral character expected of our members, may be expelled from Alpha Chapter after having been given due notice and an opportunity to be heard.  A four-fifths vote of Chapter members at a general or special election is required for such expulsion.  A report of members expelled shall be sent to the Secretary of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

C. A list of names invited to join Alpha of Colorado shall be maintained in the records of the general meeting at which this list is approved, but not in the minutes of that or any other meeting.   A list of members accepting our invitation to join Alpha of Colorado Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and duly initiated shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting  following each initiation.  The names of those initiated into Alpha of Colorado shall be promptly submitted to the Secretary of the Society.

D. One initiation ceremony is to be held each regular semester.  This shall be a public event at a convenient time and place, conducted with high dignity and formality.  At each initiation, prospective members in course are to be told of the history and context of the Society and Alpha Chapter, to follow the enrollment procedures expected of new members, and  may receive their Certificate of Membership in Alpha of Colorado Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

Article IV
The Bylaws of this Chapter shall provide for the election of officers, the criteria for invitations to become members in course or honorary members, the schedule and conduct of meetings, and other matters that may be deemed proper.  Those Bylaws shall contain nothing inconsistent with this Constitution or with the Constitution and Bylaws of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

Article V
A. Since the financial support of Alpha of Colorado derives largely from returns on the endowed bequest of Katherine Bruderlin Crisp, officers and members of this Chapter are enjoined to make prudent use of this bequest, such that the future finances of the chapter remain secure.  Priority in the disbursement of funds shall be given to the support of students of the liberal arts.

B. Alpha of Colorado may charge reasonable annual dues of its members, with the amount and terms determined as described in the Bylaws.

C. Alpha Chapter is organized and is to be operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 501(c)3.

D. No part of the net earnings of Alpha Chapter shall inure to the benefit of or be distributable to its officers, members, or other private persons, except that the Chapter shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set therein and to provide for academic scholarships or fellowships.  No substantial part of the activities of the chapter shall be the carrying out of propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation; the Chapter shall not participate in or intervene in any political campaign.  Notwithstanding any other provision herein, the Chapter shall not carry out any activities not permitted to be carried out by an organization exempt from federal income tax under IRC 501(c)3 or by an organization contributions to which are tax deductible under IRC 170(c)(2), 2055(a)(2), or 2522(a)(2).

E. Upon the dissolution of Alpha of Colorado Chapter, after paying or making provision for the payment of all of the lawful debts and liabilities of the Chapter, the assets shall be distributed to one or more of the following categories of recipients, as the membership of the Chapter shall determine:

  1. Any nonprofit organization which may have been created to succeed the Chapter, as long as such organization shall qualify under IRC 501(c)3 and as Section D above.
  2. A nonprofit organization having aims and objectives similar to those of this chapter, as long as such organization qualify as described in IRC 501(c)3 and as Section D above.
  3. The Phi Beta Kappa Society.

Article VI
Alpha of Colorado shall generally send one or more members to the Triennial Council of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, where they are enjoined to maintain the high academic standards of this Chapter and the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

Article VII
This Constitution may only be amended by members of this Alpha of Colorado Chapter, by a three quarters secret vote of members attending a regular or special meeting.