The Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association of Greater Austin

What is "Greater Austin"?

The Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association of Greater Austin Geographic Area welcomes members from not only from the City of Austin itself but also from cities in the Austin area of Central Texas.

Based on the National Phi Beta Kappa records, the Greater Austin area includes the following cities:

Cedar Park
Del Valle
Horseshoe Bend
Lago Vista

Liberty Hill
Marble Falls
Round Rock
San Marcos

PBKAAGA is a member of the Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce whose "mission is to promote a positive growing business community."

We hope that Phi Beta Kappans from across the region will wish to join and participate in our programs.

What Inspired Our Website?  Austin, City of the Violet Crown

In surviving fragment 64, the Greek lyric poet Pindar wrote of Athens:
"City of Light, with your violet crown, beloved of poets, you are the bulwark of Greece."

The dry and dusty climate of Attica make makes sunrises and sunsets display a band of violet and purple that extends 10-20 degrees above the horizon. This atmospheric phenomenon is often referred to as the "Belt of Venus."

O. Henry is credited with making the comparison of Austin to Athens based upon this effect. He observed not only a meteorological affinity, however, but also a cultural one. In Chapter 2 of his short story "Tictoca: The Great French Detective, In Austin," published on October 27, 1894, he writes:

"The drawing-rooms of the most magnificent
residences in Austin are ablaze of lights.
Carriages line the streets in front, and from
gate to doorway is spread a velvet carpet,
on which the delicate feet of the guests
may tread. The occasion is the entrée
into society of one of the fairest buds
in the City of the Violet Crown."

As a seat of learning and government, the connection of Austin to Athens seems appropriate. For us, it echoes the roots of Phi Beta Kappa itself, whose 3 Greek letters ΦBK stand for our motto: "Love of learning is the guide of life."

   photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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