Washington College English Honor Society resumes operation on campus 

By Ketia Kamali 

Elm Staff Writer 

The English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta, is returning to full operation at Washington College after not having an induction since the spring of 2019. 

This pause in functioning occurred because of the COVID-19 pandemic and other related issues. The induction ceremony will be held on Wednesday, May 3 at 4:30 p.m. at the Rose O’Neill Literary House.  

Acting English Department Chair Dr. Elizabeth O’Connor described the society as one which students that have demonstrated academic excellence in the study of English are invited to join. 

The international English honor society was founded in 1942 at Dakota Wesleyan University. According to Dr. O’Connor, the society was introduced to the campus by a fellow faculty member who no longer works at the College.  

“The Alpha Mu Nu chapter of Sigma Tau Delta was started by Dr. Knight in the 2004-2005 academic year. The first induction ceremony was in April 2005,” Dr. O’Connor said.  

Junior Delaney Runge said she learned about the honor society from different sources. 

“I learned about STD from two places. First was the school’s website which lists all honor societies at Washington College,” Runge said. “I…knew as an English major, I would try to join. The second was my roommate, Grace. She learned about it and discussed it with me, as well. We are both English majors, so we hoped to be able to join together.”  

According to Dr. O’Connor, there is no current application process for the society. 

“The advisor — for this induction cycle, it was me — looks at the grades and classes taken by all English majors and our three minors in English; creative writing; and journalism, editing, and publishing,” Dr. O’Connor said. 

Additionally, students selected to be inducted must be in the top 20 percent of their class, have a GPA of at least 3.5, and have credits from three or more upper level — 300 or 400 —English courses. 

The soon-to-be members of the society were invited to join because they met the standards required. 

“I got an email from Dr. O’Connor letting me know I had been chosen to join, as well as the induction date,” Runge said.  

According to Dr. O’Connor, the chapter was not entirely inactive, and the graduating classes of the last few years were honored with cords. 

“Due to COVID-19 and a host of related issues, we did not have an official induction since April 2019 and, as a result, did not have students for an active chapter,” Dr. O’Connor said. “We are inducting many juniors this spring and hope to have an active chapter beginning in the fall semester.” 

Associate Professor of English Dr. Katie Charles will assume the role of advisor in the fall, according to Dr. O’Connor. At that time, the chapter will hold elections for executive board positions and plan events for the academic year. 

“I am thrilled that we can again get together to celebrate these students and their love of all things literary,” Dr. O’Connor said. 

According to Dr. O’Connor, the chapter used to hold an annual book drive, which is an event they are considering in their planning process. According to previous Elm coverage, in 2014, STD also provided a film series to enhance readings for the classes that the members were taking.  

Students who want to get more information about the organization can contact Dr. O’Connor by email at eoconnor2@washcoll.edu, or Dr. Charles by email at kcharles2@washcoll.edu. More information regarding both STD and other honor societies on campus can be found on the Washington College website. 

Photo Caption: Inductees into the Alpha Mu Nu chapter of Sigma Tau Delta will receive embossed pins upon their induction this year. 

Photo by Sophie Foster 

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