Ritual for Induction
President: Though each of us has been born with different abilities, and as unique as we are, we all have been called to go outside of ourselves and use those talents given us. Our responses to the call will be different—we must give according to what we have been given.
Today we have come together to recognize certain individuals with greater commitments. The members whom we honor tonight have demonstrated that they are capable of great academic accomplishment and thus also of hard work. To them more has been given; of them, much more is expected. The excellent person is distinguished by the acceptance of greater personal demands. These individuals recognize the great challenge which is theirs: the world of service to others is now in their hands.
Secretary: I present to you the candidates seeking admission to Delta Epsilon Sigma.
President: Have they fulfilled the requirements for membership?
Secretary: They have. Our choice has been guided by the purposes of the Society and a sincere desire to obtain the best possible membership of persons devoted to scholastic achievement and to the corresponding responsibility of service to others
The honors we bestow here include a recognition of and respect for cognitive achievement pursued and cultivated within a moral context. True understanding is dependent upon our grasp of reality in the various ways we grasp and live that reality upon which we depend to learn and know. At the same time, all our understanding depends upon our free choice to pay attention to reality and our free commitment to pursue truth as something good. Persons perfect themselves morally when they love and pursue truth. Unfortunately persons may also do evil and fail themselves in rejecting or distorting truth. The acts of understanding can be commanded for good or bad. It is in our hands to choose to want to know no matter the difficulties; it is in our hands to want to know this or that. The will to apply one’s understanding to the act of knowing truth is never morally neutral. The good students here are good not only for what they know but also because they love to know. A real student is more than curious. Studiosity, devotion to truth makes the student. Again, the honors we bestow on these students here include our recognition of the respect these students have for cognitive achievement pursued and cultivated within a moral context.
President: We are fortunate enough to live in a democratic society. But we are alerted by such students of democracy as Aristotle and Alexis de Tocqueville, that a democracy is a delicate form to maintain. As Tocqueville cautions us, although there may be equality, there may be no excellence. In a democracy, we are warned, while everyone may have an equal chance, it may mean that the equal chance is an equal chance for mediocrity. Tocqueville tells us that for our kind of society to thrive, it is necessary that some members of the community “stand out,” be excellent, and be recognized and honored for their excellence.
That is why it is fitting that there be a national association of persons who have a record of outstanding academic accomplishment, a society of those who have promoted the intellectual life. Membership in Delta Epsilon Sigma will be, after all, at one and the same time, a distinction earned by past achievements and a stimulus to further intellectual inquiry.
The officers and members of the Alpha Nu chapter of Delta Epsilon Sigma, after due consideration and deliberation, are convinced that you, the candidates, fulfill the requirements for membership in this national association of men and women whose motto, signified by the letters Delta, Epsilon, and Sigma, stands for the phrase: "It is the mission of a wise person to set things in order."
Wisdom is a crowning of knowledge. One who is wise is one who can discriminate between the true and the merely apparent, the beautiful and the unseemly, between what is good and what is evil, and what is outstanding from what is merely nice. The wise person can use this appreciation, along with the humility born of it, to go forward to accept the trust and the tasks that this ability imposes.
We now ask you to affirm the principles for which Delta Epsilon Sigma stands.
Secretary: One who loves wisdom knows that it can be gained only through long and persevering labor. Do you seek wisdom through such labor?
Candidates: We do.
Secretary: One who truly loves wisdom desires that all share in the gifts that wisdom brings. Do you seek to use wisdom for the service of all people?
Candidates: We do.
Secretary: One who loves wisdom acknowledges the need to be humble before truth, the need to cooperate with others to attain it, and gratitude to God for our abilities, our commitment and our success. Do you acknowledge our dependence and gratitude in the love of learning and knowledge?
Candidates: We do.
President: We now welcome you into this Society of distinguished students, graduates, and faculty who have enjoyed the privileges and accepted the challenges offered to them. We feel confident that you, too, by your influence, service and example will help to effect a synthesis of faith, goodness, and learning. With these certificates we signify that you are duly enrolled as members of Delta Epsilon Sigma.
The seal of this Society bears the Greek Letters, Chi Rho, the first two letters in the word Christ, and a lamp which reminds us of the light which shines in the darkness of an unbelieving world.
The candidates will now come forward as their names are called to receive their certificates of membership.