History honor society celebrates 60th anniversary

On Oct. 30, the Delta-Psi chapter of Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society celebrated its 60th anniversary at Union.

“Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society is the largest single-discipline honor society in the country,” said Stephen Carls, university professor and History Department chairman. “Its origins go back to 1921 on the campus of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.”

The chapter was chartered on Union’s campus on Oct. 17, 1953, and was the 119th chapter of the society and the first chapter to be established in Tennessee.

To celebrate the milestone, the society held a luncheon in the Chapman Dining Hall.

Carls has served Union’s chapter as faculty adviser since 1983 and is the national vice president of the organization, preparing to assume the position as president of the organization in January 2014.

Thirty-six people attended the luncheon, including “13 chapter presidents ranging from the 1950s to the present,” said Carls. Other notable attendees included Jackson Mayor Jerry Gist, Madison County Mayor Jimmy Harris, National Phi Alpha Theta Executive Director Graydon Tunstall, Union University President David Dockery, Union Vice Presidents Gene Fant and Carla Sanderson, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences John Netland, and the society’s charter member Dr. R.G. “Bob” Elliot, Carls said.

At the event, Phi Alpha Theta gave Dockery an honorary membership into the society, Carls said.

“This was a complete surprise to him,” Carls added.

Gracie Wise, senior history and English double major, and 2013-2014 chapter president, received a joint proclamation of congratulations from the two mayors.

Dr. Tunstall presented the chapter’s 11th straight Best Chapter Award to Wise and 2012-2013 President Jeffrey Lewoczko.


About Bethany Radcliff 17 Articles
Bethany Radcliff is the assistant editor for the Life section of the Cardinal & Cream. Bethany is a sophomore English major with a minor in photojournalism and plans to graduate in 2016. When she is not in school, Bethany spends her time in Dallas, Texas, with her parents, twin sister and cat.