English honor society Sigma Tau Delta welcomes new members

Jazz music filtered through the DeMoss Grand Lobby as Sigma Tau Delta officers, along with faculty sponsor Dr. Marybeth Davis, finished preparations for the induction ceremony Thursday, Feb. 3.

After an opening prayer by Prof. Steve Bell, participants and guests were invited to partake in refreshments and socialize before the main event. Guest speaker Prof. Kris Schimmels shared her talk, “My love affair with words.”

“Even as I played Josie and the Pussycats with the other daycare divas, I loved words, and I liked to listen to the different sounds and the different Oklahoma accents that my friends had,” Schimmels said.

Schimmels guided the audience through her childhood as she told how words always had an impact on her life. Between 15 hour car rides to visit family, where her family took turns reciting poetry, and the punishment her father assigned when she said words he did not approve of, which she was copying from Shakespeare, Schimmels said she enjoyed learning new words and trying them out. She reminded the audience that Christ is the Word and as English majors, it was important for the students to spend time with the Word as well as words.

“Why do you study English? Why are you joining Sigma Tau Delta? What relationship do you have between words and the Word?” Schimmels asked.

She ended with a call to action from 1 Peter 3:15-16 and a challenge for the inductees to foster the discipline of English and exhibit high academics. After reciting the society’s pledge, approximately 20 English students crossed the room to receive their certificate as Sigma Tau Delta members.

Lizzie Yerke, president of the honor society, said that she joined the club because she loves English and enjoyed being with others who also loved English. For her, being a part of Sigma Tau Delta was more than something for her résumé but a community to be involved in.

The English Honor Society plans multiple events throughout each semester for members to be a part of, including parties to celebrate major holidays, movie nights and other fellowship events. The organization also sponsors lectures such as the Civil War Seminar, which is being held March 25 to 27.

“It’s more of an activity we do together,” Yerke said. “We have something in common, and it builds from there.”

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