Taylor Meade of Wise, Virginia, a senior geography major, was selected for membership in Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most widely known academic honor society. He joins a select and prestigious group — only about 10 percent of U.S. colleges have Phi Beta Kappa chapters, and only about 10 percent of students at those institutions are offered membership.

Meade credits his academic success to the figures in his life who encouraged the values of self-motivation, honesty, and steadfast quest of knowledge, including his uncle, Sterling Gilliam, a language teacher and world traveler; Bob Oliver, Virginia Tech professor of urban geography; and Simon Reeve, British author and traveling host for the BBC.

“I was honored when I found out about my selection into Phi Beta Kappa. Influential Americans like Theodore Roosevelt, George H.W. Bush, and Francis Coppola are members, and I hope to have a positive impact on people around me like these men,” said Meade. “After graduation, I hope to continue my pursuit of knowledge of the world around me by traveling, studying geography at the master’s level, and working in the shipping, intelligence, or humanitarian fields.”