2019 Annual Initiation Ceremony
The 2019 MSU Chapter 041 Annual Initiation Ceremony and Banquet was held on April 6, honoring 92 years at MSU. A total of 52 new members were initiated.
Anita Skeen is a professor in MSU’s Residential College in the Arts and Humanities (RCAH) and founder of the RCAH Center for Poetry. She began her teaching career at Bowling Green State University, where she received an MA in English literature in 1970 and an MFA in creative writing in 1971. She later taught in the MFA program at Wichita State University, where she received the Regents Award for Excellence in Teaching. She joined the MSU Department of English in 1990 and became a faculty member in the Residential College in Arts and Humanities in 2007, when she also became director of the RCAH Center for Poetry. She has directed the Creative Arts Program at Ghost Ranch for 32 years and the Fall Writing Festival for 16 years. She is the author of six volumes of poetry: Each Hand A Map (1986); Portraits (1990); Outside the Fold, Outside the Frame (1999); The Resurrection of the Animals (2002); Never the Whole Story (2011); When We Say Shelter (2007), with Oklahoma poet Jane Taylor; and The Unauthorized Audubon (2014), a collection of poems about imaginary birds accompanied by the linocuts of anthropologist/visual artist Laura B. DeLind. With Taylor, she co-edited the literary anthology Once Upon A Place: Writings from Ghost Ranch (2008).
She stepped down as director of the Poetry Center in 2018 but continues as editor of the Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize Series, an imprint of the Poetry Center, with two new volumes of poetry published annually by MSU Press. In 2015 she received a William J. Beale Outstanding Faculty Award from MSU. Skeen’s poetry, short fiction, and essays have appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies. She says her favorite poem is “A Simple Poem for Virginia Woolf,” by Bronwen Wallace.
In accordance with national standards for membership in Phi Kappa Phi, student candidates must have completed 24 semester hours, or the equivalent, at Michigan State University. Students are selected from the upper 10% of the senior class; the upper 7.5% of students with junior standing upon completion of 72 hours; and graduate or professional students who rank in the upper 10% of all enrolled graduate students at Michigan State University.
In addition to students, the Chapter is permitted to elect annually a small number of outstanding faculty, professional staff, and alumni chosen on the basis of academic record, professional achievements, and service to higher education. These persons are nominated by chapter members and, as with the student candidates, are discussed and voted on by the members. The Chapter is also permitted to nominate persons for distinguished and honorary memberships. These prestigious distinctions require the review and approval of the Society's national Board of Directors.