The newest members of Alpha Lambda Delta were inducted into the honor society on Monday, February 29 in the Student Union Ballroom.
Alpha Lambda Delta inducts first-year students who demonstrate strong academic achievement during their first semester on campus. All of the inductees have GPAs of 3.75 or above. Alpha Lambda Delta was originally founded in 1924 at the University of Illinois as an honor society for young women. In 1959, UMass Amherst started its own chapter, which became co-ed in 1975, according to the chapter's historian Kate Barvick '18.
Co-President Eliza Morog '17 congratulated the inductees on their academic achievement. She encouraged the new members to participate, collaborate, and share their ideas with the group. "Alpha Lambda Delta can serve as a vehicle to get you where you want to go," she said.
Volunteer service and scholarship are central to the society's purpose. Vice presidents Chanel Connor '18 and Ryan Christensen '18 spoke to the inductees about the importance of community service. On April 9, members of the group will help with the UMass 5K Dash and Dine, a road race that raises money for the Amherst Survival Center.
Faculty advisor Susan Whitbourne, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Director of the Office of National Scholarship Advisement (ONSA) outlined future opportunities for the high-achieving students, including the Truman, Boren, Fulbright, Marshall and Rhodes scholarships. Whitbourne explained that ONSA advises students who want to learn about and apply for these prestigious national and international scholarships. UMass Amherst has a strong record of success, she added. UMass students have won $3.2 million in awards since 1999, and the university was recently named a "top-producing Fulbright institution" by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Guest speaker Donna Bitzer '74, a former president of Alpha Lambda Delta at UMass Amherst, encouraged students to avail themselves to all the opportunities that the society offers. Bitzer described her experiences in Alpha Lambda Delta as a stepping stone into her professional life. Despite numerous edits and changes to her resume over the years, she said she has always left a line for Alpha Lambda Delta. "Membership and participation can be a part of your wildly successful career," she said.
The inductees were presented with certificates before reciting the Alpha Lambda Delta pledge in unison:
"I pledge myself to accept membership in Alpha Lambda Delta with the understanding that in doing so I accept the responsibility of maintaining its standards of Service, of Industry and of Integrity. I shall do all in my power to maintain high scholarship throughout my life and to use my education always, for the benefit of the Community, my Nation, and the World in which we live. In this spirit I accept the membership into Alpha Lambda Delta."