A new chapter of the world’s largest foreign language fraternity now calls SVSU home.
On Feb. 26, a private initiation ceremony was held in Founders Hall to welcome students and faculty members into a new chapter of the Spanish Honor Society.
The Spanish Honor Society, or Sigma Delta Pi, is the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society.
It was first established in 1919 at the University of California Berkeley and is the largest foreign language honor society in existence.
It is the only honor society devoted exclusively to students of Spanish in four-year colleges and universities.
“We’re founding it and initiating another chapter here on campus,” said Ricardo Pastor, professor of modern foreign languages.
Pastor led the ceremony last Sunday and is responsible for bringing the fraternity’s new chapter to SVSU. He said that a chapter of Sigma Delta Pi could encourage students to continue their studies in Spanish and to rise to the level of excellence that Sigma Delta Pi has come to admire in its members.
Spanish education senior Lauren Zion was one student initiated last Sunday.
She has been taking Spanish classes at SVSU since she was a freshman.
“Since Spanish is my major, I feel that being inducted reflects my studies very well,” Zion said.
Zion said she is glad that the opportunity to join such a prestigious honor society in her field of study was available.
The entire ceremony was conducted in Spanish, and some of the initiated members participated in the ceremony by reading poems and other works.
“It is a very formal ceremony,” Pastor said. The event was only open to those students and faculty who were eligible to be initiated into the honor society.
According to Pastor, there are many benefits to being a member of Sigma Delta Pi.
“Not only does the fraternity give tremendous prestige to the University, but employers will definitely pay attention to members who have this on their resumes,” Pastor said.
In terms of how the society will impact her future, Zion said she was optimistic that being a member would help her career.
“I think that as with most honors societies, I will benefit for being a part of it,” Zion said. “I hope to take advantage of scholarship opportunities, which are generally only available to inducted members. And if there are any professional development opportunities offered, I hope to attend those events too.”