They say an old adage — a true one — has finally made its way, very recently, from the stone halls of Dakota Wesleyan University, where Sigma Tau Delta was founded in 1925, to the local chapter, here, at Wilkes University. The adage goes: “ya don’t gotta be an English major, to get in STD.”
It’s true! For undergraduates, at least. Sigma Tau Delta, less commonly referred to as STD, is the International English Honor Society, a by-invitation organization for students enrolled at a four-year college or university.
Candidates for undergraduate membership must have completed a minimum of two college courses in English language or literature beyond the usual requirements in freshman English. The candidate must have a minimum of a B or equivalent average in English and in general scholarship, must rank* at least in the highest thirty-five percent of his/her class, and must have completed at least three semesters or five quarters of college course work. (Local chapters may raise, but not lower, these criteria.) Candidates for undergraduate membership need not be majoring or minoring in the discipline of English. *This requirement may also be interpreted as "have an overall B average in general scholarship" (e.g., 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale).1
Candidates for graduate membership who did not hold undergraduate membership must be enrolled in a graduate program in English or one of its specializations, have completed six semester hours of graduate work or the equivalent, and have a minimum grade point average of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale.1
As a member, you’ll enjoy several benefits1:
- "outward recognition of personal accomplishment”
- “eligibility to apply for a variety of Sigma Tau Delta scholarships valued at up to $5,000 each” and more!
- opportunities to submit works for publication in The Sigma Tau Delta Rectangle and The Sigma Tau Delta Review (which new members will [also] receive following the submission of “a one-time international induction fee of $40 for a lifetime membership”).
- opportunities to submit articles to Sigma Tau Delta’s online publications, The Sigma Tau
- Delta Newsletter and WORDY by Nature, the official Sigma Tau Delta blog
- eligibility to compete for officer positions and take part in community service projects at many campus chapters. Members may [also] compete for student leadership positions at the regional and Society levels.
Truly, what we value here at our local chapter of Sigma Tau Delta at Wilkes University is “Lifetime Affiliation and Fellowship.” Networking among STD members - or “Sigma Tau Deltans” - provides a great opportunity to carry on lengthy literary dialogues via email but, even more so, to maintain lasting friendships.
And, to conclude, a refrain of Mildred Knebel’s aptly named “The Sigma Tau Delta Song” :
Come, let us sing the praises/
Of one whose fair name we share/ Sigma Tau Delta, we covet/
A place in thy ranks so fair/
And we who would merit this honor/
Must pledge our allegiance fine/
To the motto of Sigma Tau Delta, Sincerity, Truth, Design.2
Suddenly, the hour and fifteen minute English class doesn’t seem so long.
- For more information on joining your local chapter at Wilkes University, contact: Erin Michael.
- For general information on membership go to www.english.org.
- “About Membership.” Sigma Tau Delta. International English Honor Society, n.d. Web 17 Nov. 2014.
- Knebel, Mildred. The Sigma Tau Delta Song. Mildred Knebel, n.d. Sigma Tau Delta Dakota Wesleyan University. Web. 19 Nov. 2014.
- “Membership Benefits.” Sigma Tau Delta. International English Honor Society, n.d. Web 17 Nov. 2014.