In 1986, Valparaiso University established a new chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the National English Honor Society. The purposes of the Society are (a) to confer distinction for high achievement in English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies, (b) to promote interest in literature and the English language on local campuses and their surrounding communities, and (c) to foster the discipline of English in all its aspects, including creative and critical writing.
According to Sigma Tau Delta's national organization, "Sigma Tau Delta's central purpose is to confer distinctionupon students of the English language and literature inundergraduate, graduate, and professional studies. SigmaTau Delta also recognizes the accomplishments ofprofessional writers who have contributed to the fields of language and literature.As one of the largest organizations of the Association of College Honor Societies, Sigma Tau Delta has over 600 active chapters, more than 900 faculty sponsors, and inducts approximately 7,000 members annually. Our members have the opportunity to be recognized for their outstandingachievements, enrich their education, help them make careerhoices, and advance their careers."
Valparaiso University's chapter of Sigma Tau Delta intitiates students who have shown excellence in their upper division English courses and are ranked high in their class during the spring semester every year. All students eligible for membership are sent an invitation to join Sigma Tau Delta and are invited to attend meetings.
Membership includes the opportunity for scholarships and publication.
In recent years, Sigma Tau Delta has hosted a weeks of literary and cultural events based on the 1960s and the 1940s. Sigma Tau Delta has also hosted in-service events on preparation for graduate school and for the job market.
The English Department sponsors a student chapter of the National Council of Teachers of English. This organization is open to students who are considering teaching English at any level, from junior high school through college. The chapter sponsors lectures and workshops on subjects of interest to future English teachers.