Getting involved on campus is part of the college experience. At William Jewell College (WJC), there are many organizations in which students can get involved, including honor societies. An honor society is a group of students who meet certain criteria and excel in a particular subject. Most honor societies have grade point average (GPA) and course requirements. In addition to being good résumé builders, some honor societies are active and provide students with a network of people who share similar interests.

Alpha Lambda Delta

Alpha Lambda Delta is an honor society for first-year students. Students are invited to join after their first year of college if they have at least a 3.5 GPA and completed more than 12 credit hours. The purpose of this organization is to motivate students to do well and recognize their role in society through a love for learning. The society was originally founded in the 1920s to celebrate the successes of first-year women but later became a coeducational organization.

Alpha Psi Omega

Alpha Psi Omega is an honor society for theater students. It is designed for students who excel in acting and production skills, and membership is open to any student actively involved in theater. Jewell’s chapter of Alpha Psi Omega has been around for over 60 years and sponsors lip sync battles and movie nights on campus.

Beta Beta Beta

Beta Beta Beta (TriBeta) is a biology honor society. This organization requires students to have completed three biology courses and to have a 3.0 GPA in biology. TriBeta members are able to apply for research grants to help fund their research.

“I became involved initially because they offer research grant opportunities but I have become an active member because of our great community. It is always a great time to find people that share your passion,” said Riley Adelmund, sophomore biology and psychology major and TriBeta member.  

TriBeta members are also able to attend the regional meeting every year. This spring, the meeting is being held at Jewell. All members who received grant money, including six Jewell students, will present at the meeting.  

TriBeta members Riley Aldemend and Johanna Alpert
Left to right: TriBeta members Riley Adelmund and Johanna Alpert at trunk-or-treat.

The TriBeta chapter at Jewell was inactive until last year when recent graduates Joe Gunn and Anavice Jimenez decided to revive the chapter. There are currently 35 members, who participate in various events hosted by the organization. Recently, TriBeta organized a lock-in in White Science Center and helped with the Student Athlete Advisory Committee trunk or treat.

“My favorite part of TriBeta is getting like-minded people together. We’ve all chosen biology or biochem as a major for a reason, and TriBeta provides a way to enjoy science outside of the classroom,” said Lauren Grubb, senior biology major and president of TriBeta.

Delta Mu Delta

Delta Mu Delta is an honor society for students majoring in business administration. This organization was founded in 1913 by a Harvard professor, and the chapter at Jewell was founded in 1970. The organization promotes higher education in the business field. Membership requirements include having completed half of the required courses for the business administration major and being in good academic standing.

Kappa Delta Pi

Kappa Delta Pi is an honor society for education students. This group promotes a community of diverse educators who strive for excellence in leadership and service. To gain membership students are required to be in the top 20 percent of the education major class and to have a 3.0 GPA or higher.

Kappa Mu Epsilon

Kappa Mu Epsilon is an honor society for students in mathematics. This organization encourages students to pursue further studies in mathematics. Members must have completed three mathematics courses and have a 3.0 GPA in all mathematics courses. This year, Jewell’s chapter of Kappa Mu Epsilon is trying to become more active. They are planning to hang up math jokes around campus during finals week to give students a chance to laugh between bouts of studying.

“In our meetings we provide a good variety of research presentations [from Jewell students and students and professors from other colleges] and fun games and snacks,” said Samantha Cobb, senior physics major and president of Kappa Mu Epsilon.

Lambda Pi Eta

Lambda Pi Eta is the honor society for communication studies. To become a member, a student must have a GPA of 3.25 and have completed 12 credit hours in communication. The mission of this group is to establish a close relationship between students and faculty in the department, as well as to promote graduate study in the field.

Mortar Board

Mortar Board is an honor society for seniors who demonstrate leadership, scholarship and service. The chapter at Jewell is active by holding monthly meeting and completing service projects. Members are selected from the top 35 percent of the senior class and are those students who demonstrate the three qualities of the society.  

Phi Alpha Theta

Phi Alpha Theta is a history honor society. The chapter at Jewell was founded in 1947 and membership requirements include 12 credit hours in history and a B+ average. The group aims to improve historical writing and inform its members about national and international affairs.

Phi Sigma Iota

Phi Sigma Iota is an international foreign language honor society. The chapter at Jewell promotes relationships with international students as well as knowledge of foreign languages and cultures. Membership is open to students with at least a 3.0 GPA who have completed at least one foreign language course at a third-year level and have achieved junior status.

Psi Chi

Psi Chi is an honor society for psychology students. Membership requirements include a declared psychology major, a class ranking in the top 35 percent, nine credit hours of psychology and a 3.0 GPA. The society’s mission is to promote excellence in scholarship and advancement in the science of psychology.

Sigma Pi Sigma

Sigma Pi Sigma is an honor society for physics students. Members must be in the upper third of their class, have completed three physics courses and meet the minimum requirements of the Jewell chapter. Honor, encouragement, service and fellowship are the four parts of the mission of Sigma Pi Sigma. Jewell’s chapter of Sigma Pi Sigma is active in the College’s community.

“My favorite part about [Sigma Pi Sigma] is our involvement in the Jewell community. I am proud to be a member because we welcome anyone, no matter the major, and we hold a lot of fun, interesting, informational events,” said Cobb, Sigma Pi Sigma secretary.

Sigma Pi Sigma offers scholarship opportunities to its members and hosts regional meetings where students can present their research. Jewell’s chapter of Sigma Pi Sigma also hosts educational events for the Jewell community. Every semester they host an event called Demos and Donuts during which they explain physics demos while students enjoy donuts.

“Previously we had an Oobleck event where we had a tub filled with Oobleck, which acts as both a solid or liquid, and let people jump in and run across it. This year, we want to have cider on the quad that is heated up using solar power,” said Cobb.

Sigma Tau Delta

Sigma Tau Delta is an honor society for students in English. Students are invited to join Sigma Tau Delta if they have completed two English courses beyond their first-year and have at least a 3.0 GPA.

“My favorite part of Sigma Tau Delta is the opportunity it gives the English Department to come together as friends and colleagues. We can celebrate the importance of the study of literature and the benefits that literature brings to our lives in personal and academic ways,” said Abigail Bland, senior English major and president of Sigma Tau Delta.

The group was revived at Jewell in 2001 and allows English majors and other students who like reading and writing to come together at conferences, provides them the chance to be published in the Sigma Tau Delta’s literary journal and provides research grants. Jewell’s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta has held a book drive in the past for Better World Books, a philanthropy that promotes literacy. This year they are also starting “Book Minute,” a short meeting twice a month for English majors to attend and talk about the books they are currently reading.

Theta Alpha Kappa

Theta Alpha Kappa is a religion honor society. A student at Jewell is invited to join Theta Alpha Kappa by religion department faculty if he or she has a 3.5 GPA in religion courses and has completed certain religion courses. Members are officially inducted in the spring of their junior year after the Theta Alpha Kappa conference where students present their research. 

Whether it is for the résumé builder, the research grant or the friendship of students with similar interests, honor societies are another way to get involved on campus.

Feature photo by Elizabeth Messina. In-text photo by Chandler Eaton. 

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