Member Profile: Christopher Kopacz
A six-year member of PBKACA who recently joined the Association’s Executive Board, Chris Kopacz remembers when he first learned of Phi Beta Kappa during his junior year of high school. While his class studied the writings of an early American Phi Bete, his English teacher, Arlene Watson, passed around her own key and explained to the class what Phi Beta Kappa is.
“Ms. Watson was the most well rounded and best educated person I knew at the time,” says Chris. “While she taught English, she was able to help with my calculus homework. She really inspired me to excel and work hard to qualify for Phi Beta Kappa in college.”
And excel he did. Chris received his key at Loyola University Chicago before graduating as a history and political science double major in 2002. He continued his education at DePaul University’s College of Law and now works for the Office of the State Appellate Defender representing indigent persons on appeal in criminal cases. Outside of the law, Chris is a news and politics junkie. He has been glued to cable news and his New York Times for the past two years watching the presidential election coverage and the leadership transition. (His favored candidate won and provided him with many good quotes for his email signatures.)
Growing up in Chicago’s South Side in the shadow of old Comiskey Park, Chris is a loyal White Sox fan, even though he now lives on Chicago’s North Side with his wife, Anne Divita Kopacz.
Chris and Anne met at Loyola during their freshman year and dated for seven years before they married in 2006. Anne also received her PBK key from Loyola and served as PBKACA secretary for three years and as a board member for an additional two years.
Chris, like Anne, volunteered with PBKACA since graduation. He is now the chair of the communications committee, sending the association’s e-mail updates as well as helping to write and edit this newsletter. Chris says, “I enjoy meeting and working with all the accomplished Phi Betes and continuing to help promote the value of liberal arts education.”