What is it?
Established in 1924, Sigma Tau Delta is the national English honor society. Chartered in 1925, our English Department’s chapter — Eta Alpha — is one of the oldest in the country. In fact, Georgetown College sent one of the original thirty-one delegates to the first national convention of “Sigma Tau Delta, Professional English Fraternity,” and in the first years of Sigma Tau Delta’s life, a Georgetown College professor, Myron McCurry, served on the national organization’s five-person Administrative Council as editor-in-chief.
What is its mission?
Since its foundation, the society has aimed to “promote the mastery of written expression, encourage worthwhile reading, and foster a spirit of fellowship among those specializing in the English language and literature … Sigma Tau Delta seeks to stimulate a desire on the part of its members to express life in terms of truth and beauty and to gain a first hand acquaintance of the chief literary masterpieces of our language … by providing the reward of membership and congenial association with persons of like aspirations.”
What activities are offered to members?
There are monthly meetings where members collectively plan out the activities. Most of our events involve open readings and discussions of poetry, plays and short fiction, including original works written by students. Some of the events we hold and attend are Shake n’ Bake, CincyShake plays, poetry readings, and literature-themed holiday parties.
Shake n’ Bake is when members gather to bake desserts, eat, read a Shakespeare play, and have light, informal conversation about the work together. CincyShake is when members travel to the Cincinnati Theater Company to watch their performances.
Together, we informally study literature and, through that study,we like to stimulate literary composition. Our members have completed an anthology of Valentine’s Day poetry and collaboratively written two full-length novels for NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month (the second inspired in equal parts by Sir Philip Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella and gothic novels).
How do you get involved?
All students are invited to attend meetings and participate in activities, though official membership in the Eta Alpha chapter is limited to those who meet the national organization’s membership criteria. Georgetown College’s Sigma Tau Delta faculty advisor is Dr. Holly Barbaccia. Even if you don’t meet the criteria yet, you, as a lover of literature, can still come to meetings and events. Anyone interested in participating or becoming an official member should contact Dr. Barbaccia in her office (Pawling 116) or call her at (502) 863-8126. You can also follow our chapter on Facebook and Twitter.