Thursday, October 30, 2014

Excellence in honor and service

Alpha Lambda Delta held its annual initiation ceremony to welcome freshmen to the honor society

invited — Each new member of ALD was personally invited to be a part of the honor society. Photo credit: Dale Carty II

Invited — Each new member of ALD was personally invited to be a part of the honor society. Photo credit: Dale Carty II

Alpha Lambda Delta (ALD) Honor Society initiates as well as friends and family members were welcomed to Towns Auditorium for the annual freshman initiation and reception Saturday, April 4.

Dr. Boyd Rist, Liberty University provost emeritus, was the guest speaker for the night and congratulated the students on their academic achievement. After Dr. Marilyn Gadomski, ALD Faculty Advisor, spoke about privilege and responsibility, the students were initiated and invited to attend the dessert reception in the hallway outside the room.

“Membership is by invitation only,” Gadomski said. “We gather people who … have qualified through the Registrar’s Office.”

According to ALD Administrative Advisor Bessie Grayson, the eligibility requirements include a GPA of 3.5 with no repeated or failed classes, enrollment in a four-year undergraduate program and a full course load each semester.

Emma Maurer, a freshman at Liberty and a new ALD member, said she worked hard in the fall in order to receive an invitation to become a member.

“I just happened upon the ALD page on Liberty’s website one day and saw the requirements and was determined to meet them this semester so I could be offered an invitation,” Maurer said. “When I knew my GPA was high enough, you could say I was twiddling my thumbs waiting for the invitation email, and finally it came through, and I accepted right away.”

ALD became a recognized society at Liberty in 1986. It is a national organization specifically for students who are in their first year of college.

“Alpha Lambda Delta is called a freshman honors society,” Gadomski said. “It’s a cross-disciplinary honors society for people in their first year in college and those people must have earned a 3.5 GPA. They then remain lifetime members. We honor those members that retain the 3.5 GPA through their entire years of college, but they remain members of ALD, whether or not they retain the 3.5 GPA.”

Though members do not need to keep their GPA above 3.5, Maurer said her new membership encouraged her to keep striving for her goal.

“(Being an ALD member) motivates me to always do my best and keep my grades up, even when things get really stressful and I feel like I want to give up,” Maurer said. “Also, it’s really nice to be able to have the recognition among your peers and to have somewhere to congregate with others who hold the same scholastic values as you (do).”

ALD is not only meant to reward students with above-average GPAs, it is also a service organization, according to Grayson.

“I haven’t been a member of ALD for very long, but I think the best thing about being a member is the opportunity to be involved in this community, and the membership will make my college degrees more appealing to potential employers,” Liberty freshman and new ALD member Jaymee Wagner said.

According to Grayson, ALD has held an initiation banquet almost every year since it came to Liberty, and they begin planning the next ceremony the day after one has concluded.

“What we do is we tweak everything,” Grayson said. “We find out what works and what does not work. We try to (finish the ceremony) by 8:30 p.m. We respect our students’ time. Some of their families come, and (the students) want to spend time with them, so we respect that as well. Yet, at the same time, we do want to give them something of distinction.”

ALD holds a variety of events throughout the year that are open to the public. To find out more, visit the Center for Academic Support and Advising Services (CASAS) website at liberty.edu/academics/casas.

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