Living in Color: Sigma Tau Delta Induction 2007

by Christy Gazanian '07

What do bright carnations, a rainbow-colored caterpillar cake, and a children’s story about a little mouse named Fredrick all have in common? Besides the fact that they bring up the carefree memories of youth, they were all present on the evening of March 1 to inspire this year’s induction of more than 30 new members to Sigma Tau Delta, the Department of English's honor society.

Sigma Tau Delta, an International Honor Society that began in 1924, recognizes and distinguishes students and scholars in the linguistic and literary fields.

In 1994, James Hedges, Ph.D., chair of the Department of English at the time, founded APU’s local chapter, Alpha Epsilon Tau.

The current officers for Sigma Tau Delta chose the theme “Living in Color” as a way to incorporate the vivacity of life and color found in literature into a night to honor and recognize the new members of this academic society. This theme was present throughout the events of the evening including a melodious jazz band, an animated speaker, and the delicious caterpillar cake served after the ceremony.

The actual induction ceremony required that each of the inductees hold a candle and join in the declaration of the Sigma Tau Delta Pledge:

"I shall endeavor to advance the study of literary masterpieces, to encourage worthwhile reading, to promote the mastery of written expression, and to foster a spirit of fellowship among those who specialize in the study of the English language and literature, ever keeping in mind our international motto: Sincerity, Truth, Design."

After the pledge, the society honored an English faculty member and an outstanding student. The first award, the 2nd Annual Outstanding Member Award was given to senior Kate Rice ’07 for her exemplary participation in Sigma Tau Delta, and outstanding achievement in the Department of English. Emily Griesinger, Ph.D, professor of English, and eight-year advisor for the club, received the first ever Dr. James Hedges Faculty Excellence Award presented as a surprise by President Nick Johnson ’07 and the other officers.

Griesinger, who exemplifies academic excellence and dedication, shares that she is “excited by the opportunity to mentor young Christian scholars and encourage them to fall in love with literature, do lots of creative writing and critical research, and share the fruit of their labor with the APU community and the world.” She goes on to say the induction is special because “Sigma Tau Delta is a venue to celebrate academic achievement.”

Michael Bruner, associate professor of English and speaker for the night, shared that “the Sigma Tau Delta induction was a reminder of how talented the student body is and how thoughtful and engaged the students are in the world of reading, writing, and thinking. I was very impressed with the whole evening.”

“Faculty and students share a very significant bond," said Johnson. "We as students don’t exist without faculty, and faculty does not exist without the students. Faculty and students share a mentorship with one another – one is taught lessons of new thought, while the other lessons of wisdom.”

This exchange of learning proved itself evident in a room full of faculty and students who simply desire to live in the excitement, expression, and spontaneity of life – people who are living in color.