The academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa — the oldest Greek-letter society in the United States — was founded at the College of William and Mary in Virginia in 1776.

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ID:	158638. John Heath, the creator and first president of Phi Betta Kappa.

Organized to encourage free intellectual discussion about all subjects, it began as a secret society complete with initiation rites and secret handshakes despite having a charter membership of just five students.

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