Mar 2, 2010

English Honors Society inducts new members

by Sarah Stockslager

Liberty’s chapter of the International English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta held its inductions Friday evening in the Grand Lobby of DeMoss, welcoming 36 new members to the society.

Former Sigma Tau President Suzanne O’Dell addressed the inductees, sharing several lessons she learned while earning her English degree at Liberty.

“If I could be an 18-year-old college freshman again, I would, without hesitation, be an English major,” O’Dell said.

The managing editor and operations coordinator for the Web site, O’Dell encouraged the students to get to know their professors and love God with their minds by analyzing literature in a way that is pleasing to God.

“When you learn to love God with your mind, it is important because that (will be) the part of you that grapples with God the most,” O’Dell said.

Sigma Tau Delta’s current President Kellie Matthews opened and closed the inductions.

“I promise you, you’re going to have a blast. Sigma Tau has so much going on,” Matthews said. “We have so much fun.”

Sigma Tau’s other officers are Stephanie Corbin, Marybeth Millard, Melanie Daves, Alex Mateiciuc, Kira Mohler, Kati Overbey, Lizzie Yerke and Lauren Webster.

Sigma Tau’s faculty advisor Marybeth Davis says the society has been thriving at Liberty the past seven years, with 70 current members in addition to the 36 new inductees.

Sigma Tau promotes sincerity, truth and design.

The society combines academic events and informational sessions with fun get-togethers to help students to get to know each other.

“We encourage service most of all,” said Davis.

This semester’s service projects are a book drive and a baby bottle collection for the Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center, according to Davis.

One of the biggest benefits of being a member is “the camaraderie with fellow English majors and enthusiasts,” Davis said.

This camaraderie is fostered by monthly informational chapter meetings, parties, academic lectures and movie nights.

Sigma Tau members were treated to a movie night in January where they watched “A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.”

Sigma Tau also collaborates with the theater department to plan talks about the literary and drama aspects of the plays the Liberty theater department performs, according to Davis. Earlier this month, “Big River’s” director Chris Nelson and English professor Kyle Hammersmith hosted a “Big River” talk in the Lloyd theater. A “Scarlet Pimpernel” talk is planned for April.

The Sigma Tau Delta International Convention is held annually and will be located in St. Louis this year on March 17-20. A few Liberty students attended the convention last year in Minnesota, according to Davis.

Other future events are a game event in March, an Evening of Performance in Literature in March and a reading by published author Austin Carty in April, according to Davis.

To become a member, a student must have completed 12 hours in English courses including English 101 and 102 with at least a B in those courses and have a 3.25 GPA, according to Davis. There is also an application and a fee the student must pay.

English and non English majors alike can join the society. Members are not inducted until their junior or senior year.

The member must fulfill several requirements to maintain membership and good standing, including attending three events per semester, participating in two services per year, and contributing to one fundraiser per year, according to Davis.

Leadership positions are volunteer-based. Anyone interested in becoming an officer must nominate him or herself, according to Davis.

Contact Sarah Stockslager at

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