Honor Society

History of the Association

The French Honor Society, Pi Delta Phi, was founded at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1906. After twenty years as a local chapter, Pi Delta Phi declared itself the National French Honor Society and chartered the Beta Chapter at the University of Southern California in 1925.

The Society expanded slowly during the next fifteen years. Since the end of World War II, Pi Delta Phi has enjoyed phenomenal growth. At the present time, it numbers more than 320 chapters established at public and private colleges and universities in almost every state, as well as chapters in Paris.

The Society was admitted to membership in the Association of College Honor Societies in 1967, and its official publication of Pi Delta Phi is the Newsletter.

Purpose

The purpose of Pi Delta Phi is threefold:

  • To recognize outstanding scholarship in the French language and its literature;
  • To increase the knowledge and appreciation of Americans for the cultural contributions of the French-speaking world; and
  • To stimulate and encourage French and Francophone cultural activities.

Membership

Regular members include graduate and undergraduate students who are nominated in recognition of their academic achievement in at least one semester of upper division French, with a minimum GPA of 3.00 in French.

New members are inducted at the end of each Spring Semester during the annual initiation ceremony of the Villanova Chapter Kappa Nu. Each inductee receives the official key and a certificate indicating life membership in the organization

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The Villanova Chapter Kappa Nu

The Villanova Chapter Kappa Nu was created in 1990. During the past two decades it has been coordinated by Dr. Waggaman with the help of various student presidents and officers. Over the years, the members of the Chapter have had the opportunity to enjoy listening to interesting lectures by guests speakers.

They have also been engaged in many French cultural activities such as visits to art exhibits at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Collection. Members have attended performances of plays, musicals, operas as well as concerts of both classical and popular music not to mention dining from crepes and bistro style dishes to an occasional haute cuisine experience along with a lesson in dining etiquette at the Restaurant School of Philadelphia.

The yearly induction ceremony has both a serious and festive component. It is always accompanied by an academic guest speaker, a local professional or a creative performer. It concludes with a reception featuring a buffet of a variety of French delicacies served amidst cordial conversation.

In the year 2006, Kappa Nu celebrated the centennial of Pi Delta Phi by organizing a meeting on campus with the French community living on the Main Line. Members had the opportunity to interact with the local French population.

We look forward to the ongoing dynamic participation of new members as the Society continues its service to American students and French culture! 

For more information on how to be part of the French Honor Society, please contact Dr. Beatrice Waggaman, coordinator of Chapter Kappa Nu: Beatrice.waggaman@villanova.edu

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