Feb 5, 2008

English Honor Society welcomes new members

by Jennifer Schmidt
Braving an icy night, students and faculty alike ventured out to Sigma Tau Delta’s (STD) annual induction ceremony held in the Grand Lobby of DeMoss on Friday. The English honor society’s president, Suzanne Edwards, kicked off the event, which included information about STD, an original reading by Dr. Karen Swallow Prior, and the official induction of 26 new student members and one faculty member, Ms. Marybeth Davis. Dr. Prior, who is currently writing a book entitled “How Literature Helped Save My Soul,” treated audience members to a reading of the first chapter, which describes her experiences growing up in a Christian household where book reading was held on par with church attendance. Prior described reading as the “source of one of the world’s greatest joys,” and further stated her belief that “books should be promiscuously read.” John Milton’s “Aeropagetica” was the featured work of Prior’s first chapter, of which she said, “I felt vindication as a Christian because of Milton, and I felt liberated.” Tinged with humor and naked honesty, Prior’s work extols listeners to commit themselves “to truth rather than comfort.” As the ceremony progressed, new members were charged to uphold the national standards of the honor society and to personally commit to the ideals of literature and charity, while also promoting the three values of STD: sincerity, truth and design. “It’s a more concentrated community where people who have the same interests are doing the same thing at the same time. It works out well,” graduating senior and new member Ryan Knight said. Carolyn Towles, a faculty advisor for STD since 2002, said, “It forms community and provides a way for English majors to branch out,” noting the many activities the society hosts every semester, including hikes, service projects and movie nights. STD has existed at Liberty for more than 20 years and currently has around 50 active members. Contact Jennifer Schmidt at jschmidt@liberty.edu.
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