A Brief History...


Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society (La Sociedad Nacional Honoraria Hispánica) was established on November 14, 1919 at the University of California in Berkeley. Its insignia is the royal seal of Fernando and Isabel, representing Castille, León and Aragón. The Society's colors are red and gold and its flower is the red carnation.

With the guidance of such notable Hispanists as S. Griswold Morley, Elijah C. Hills, Rudolph Schevill, Leavitt O. Wright, William Berrien, John D. Fitz-Gerald, Tomás Navarro Tomás, José Martel, Archer M. Huntington, John T. Reid, Stuart M. Gross, James O. Swain, F. Dewey Amner, Carl A. Tyre, T. Earle Hamilton, Dolores Brown, Richard E. Chandler and John H. LaPrade, the Society has expanded its activities and now has over 490 chapters. Almost all state universities have chapters and the few that do not are now considering the founding of one.

In order to serve its many chapters most efficiently, the Society has a National President, an Executive Secretary-Treasurer, and five Regional Vice Presidents. All but the Executive Secretary-Treasurer are nominated and elected by the active chapter members, and the President appoints a director for each state. The Society is governed by an Executive Council consisting of the seven aforementioned officials, the Immediate Past President, and the President Emeritus. The sponsor of the chapter, preferably chosen by the student members, but sometimes appointed by the department head, is of the utmost importance, for his/her wisdom, imagination and dedication largely determine the success of the local branch of the Society. Dr. John C. Akers, Associate Professor of Foreign Languages, is the sponsor the the Gamma Xi chapter at Wofford.

Above: Dr. Jhon C. Akers


Records show that Wofford's Chapter, Gamma Xi, was active in 1952 when two honorary members were inducted, Dr. Lewis P. Jones, Kenan Professor of History Emeritus, and the late Prof. John Salmon. Five students were inducted as new members at that meeting of the chapter.

The Wofford chapter has been recognized for the third consecutive year, as Capitulo de Honor y Merito. Only ten colleges and universities nationally have received this designation as a “Chapter of Honor and Merit.”