Since 1921, Phi Alpha Theta, the national History Honor Society, has contributed significantly to the intellectual community of the history profession. Marquette is no exception. The Alpha Delta chapter initiates roughly fifty new members each year. Membership is open to graduate and undergraduate students who excel in the study of history and is contingent upon maintaining a B average in history courses. Once inducted members are honored at an annual ceremony which features a lecture by a distinguished historian. This year, the induction ceremony featured Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the Smithsonian’s Museum of African-American History. This event, as with many other Phi Alpha Theta events, allowed Marquette's faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students, to become acquainted with each other outside of the classroom. Phi Alpha Theta members are distinguished by the red and gray honor cords which they proudly wear at graduation.
Marquette's Phi Alpha Theta organization has been privileged to have two faculty members, Frank Klement and Carla Hay, who have served as the national president of the organization. Currently, the campus organization is under the supervision of Dr. Lezlie Knox, who brings with her much enthusiasm and ingenuity.
Induction Dinner, 2006
On behalf of Marquette’s Alpha Delta Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, welcome everyone. Mr. Bunch, Dr. Frey, Dr. Wake, Dean McKinney, faculty, initiates and guests: we are honored to have you with us tonight to celebrate the initiation of new members. The initiation banquet is always our largest event of the year, so it is a good time to update everyone on what our chapter has been doing and what we have planned.
This past January, thanks to the generosity of Dr. James Frey, I was able to travel to Philadelphia to attend the Phi Alpha Theta National Convention. The convention provided an excellent opportunity to evaluate our chapter in comparison with other Phi Alpha Theta chapters across the United States. Happily, I am able to say that we compare very well. Our chapter enjoys a large membership, and in a just a few moments, we will add 33 new members to our ranks. We are also a very active chapter. Among the events that we have organized, this past fall, we held our annual and always informative forum for students interested in graduate and law school. In November, we offered a relaxing evening for students, right before final exams, as we enjoyed bagels and coffee, and listed to Dr. Thomas Jablonsky’s musings on the history of student life at Marquette. We also co-sponsored several events with the history department this past semester, including a well-attended trip to Chicago that focused on Chinese history, with visits to the Chicago Art Institute and Chinatown.
This spring will be equally busy for us, as we already have a number of events planned. We are hoping to supply a contingent of students to the Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference in Michigan in March. In April, we will be co-sponsoring what promises to be a thought-provoking presentation by Richard Kay, one of the prosecutors in the My-Lai Massacre trial. And of course, we will be holding our annual spring picnic and very popular scavenger hunt before the end of the semester. The details of these up-coming events are listed in the back of your programs.
I have enjoyed working on all of the events that we have held so far, and I am looking forward to the up-coming ones. Dr. Knox, our faculty advisor, has made my job as chapter president far easier and more enjoyable, and I very much appreciate all the time and effort that she puts into our chapter.
I have benefited greatly from the opportunities for leadership, and from the interaction with students and professors of history, that my involvement with Phi Alpha Theta has provided, and so I encourage all of our members, and especially our new initiates, to become involved in Phi Alpha Theta, both at Marquette and on a national level, and to enjoy everything that we have to offer.
Thank you again for coming this evening.