Sigma Tau Delta is the International English Honor Society. A member of the Association of College Honor Societies, it was founded in 1924 at Dakota Wesleyan University as an outgrowth of the English Club. Judson Q. Owen, its sponsor and founder, established the purpose, insignia, and Greek letters of the society. The English words corresponding to the Greek letters are Sincerity, Truth, and Design, and the society’s colors are red and black. The purposes of the society are
- to confer distinction for high achievement in English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies;
- to promote interest in literature and the English language on local campuses and their surrounding communities; and
- to foster the discipline of English in all its aspects, including creative and critical writing.
There are over 525 chapters located in Canada, Europe, the Caribbean, and the United States. Some 225,000 members have been initiated over the years; among them have been such persons as Eudora Welty, James Dickey, Laurence Perrine, Howard Nemerov, Robert Bly, Frank Herbert, Walter J. Ong, Nikki Giovanni, and Stephen Spender. An international convention is held annually.
Eligibility for Sigma Tau Delta
A candidate for membership shall have a minimum of two college courses in English language or literature beyond the usual requirements in freshman English. The candidate shall have a minimum of a B or equivalent average in English and in general scholarship, shall rank at least in the highest thirty-five percent of his/her class, and shall have completed at least three semesters of college course work. (Local chapters may raise, but not lower, these criteria.) Full-time faculty members who sponsor a chapter are also eligible. (Specific details are listed in the society’s constitution.) In addition, non-sponsoring faculty members with a degree in English may be associate members.
Advantages of Membership
Membership in Sigma Tau Delta is an outward recognition of personal accomplishment. It also serves as an incentive for continued high scholarship. It provides opportunities for those interested in English language and literature to join with like-minded persons on the local, regional, national, and international levels. Members receive the Newsletter while they remain active in their local chapters. They also receive and have the opportunity to contribute to the award-winning literary publication, The Rectangle, and are eligible to compete for a number of prizes for excellent writing. Student members are also eligible to compete for several $1,000-$2,500 scholarships and awards.
Cost of Membership
Local chapter dues may vary, but each new member pays a one-time international initiation fee of $37 (which is paid for by our chapter). Each institution chartering a new chapter of Sigma Tau Delta pays a one-time fee of $50 (U.S.).
Local Chapter Information
Methodist University’s Alpha Epsilon Sigma Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta was founded on November 20, 1995, by student Lisa Rogers, with the support of Professor Robert S. Christian and a small group of English majors. Rogers became the chapter’s first president; she has been succeeded by Michael McDermott, Tricia Riordan, April Jackson, Jennifer Everett Jackson, Michael Molter, Anne Zahran, Benjamin Gray, Caroline Thomas, Celena Brock, Rebecca King, James Moran, and Jamie Mulkern.
- 1995: Aaron Czajka, Andrea Dennis, Michael McDermott*, Robert Brian O’Neal, Lisa Rogers*
- 1996: Teronda Barnes, Karen LeClaire Bouvier, Kellie Fernandez, Daryl Hales, Lane Hirschinger, Rhonda Johnson, Tricia Riordan*, Jennifer Rohrer-Walsh, Cari Steele, Barbie Ward, Jodie Young
- 1997: Alexandra Nulle Dummer, Jodi Mancastroppa, Sonya Sparks Murdock, Dr. Mary Wheeling
- 1998: Beth A. Headrick, April Jackson*, Michael C. Molter*, Jenny M. Rosser
- 1999: Sara Anderson, Irene Carlson*, Jennifer Everett Jackson*, Cynthia Hawkins, Caroline F. Kearns, Carolyn Nelson
- 2000 (Spr.): Cindy S. Bridges, Melanie Casey, Mary Kinney
- 2000 (Fall): Carole Blanc, Chadwick Huggins, Danielle Jones, Deborah Mellott
- 2001: Rachel Beaulieu, Dr. Robert Christian, Karen Dasher, Charles Heaton, Graciela Marroquin, Jennifer Schneider, Kimberley Ann Sobat, Ann White
- 2002: Victoria Page, Anne Zahran*
- 2003: Nadia Morgan, Sarah Salter
- 2007: Alyson Conyers, Christina Erben, Ashley Genova, Benjamin Gray*, Katherine Harbeson, Bridget Holcomb, Melinda Price, and Tenille Woodward
- 2008: Marcelina Balajadia, Tabitha Cable, Abigail Eileen Forster, Szmitry Kanunnikau, Ashley Miller, Bernadette Raby, Caroline Thomas*
- 2010: Samantha Arrington, Celena Brock*, Heather Eckhardt, Jessica Webster
- 2011: Jessie Heath, Rebecca King*, Dawn Sanderson, Candice Tynes
- 2012: Paul Stroebel, Jennifer Wood
- 2013: Candace Massengill, James Moran*, Renae Parker
- 2014: Andrea Davids, Pamela Ellis-Phipps, Miranda Friel, Olivia Grace, Chase McWhorter, Cheri Molter, Jamie Mulkern*
* – Served as chapter president