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Department of

Languages and Literatures

Gamma Kappa Alpha: Italian Honor Society

The National Italian Honor Society, Gamma Kappa Alpha, is a society formed to acknowledge superior scholastic performance in the field of Italian language, literature and culture, and is open to membership at institutions of higher learning in the United States and Canada.

The society encourages college students to acquire a greater interest in, and a deeper understanding of, Italian culture, art and history. The organization recognizes outstanding undergraduate scholarship in the field of Italian by awarding annually the Gamma Kappa Alpha Award for Scholarship.

Membership

New members are inducted each spring. Applications for membership, accompanied by a check made payable to "USD" in the amount of $30, must be submitted to Dr. Di Martino, the Director of the Italian Program and Chapter Academic Advisor. The application fee guarantees membership for life.

Eligibility

To be eligible to join, a student must

  • be working toward a major in Italian Studies or a minor in Italian
  • be a junior or senior class with at least a 3.5 GPA in Italian
  • have completed at least three upper-division courses in Italian (candidates who have completed only two may be considered if they are currently enrolled in an upper-division Italian course).

Initiation

An induction ceremony is conducted each spring. New members receive a certificate and an honors cord to be worn at commencement. One part of the ceremony is recitation of the society's oath:

We, the members of Gamma Kappa Alpha, the National Italian Honor Society, pledge to uphold and further the Italian language and culture. The initials signify "Knowledge and Virtue", two attributes that we will strive to maintain throughout our lives. We pledge to stay true to our dreams and never stray from our beliefs, and to carry forth the traditions that have made Italians great.

Benefits of Membership

  • The connections you make as a GKA will last a lifetime.
  • A competitive annual essay contest is available to seniors who are majoring in Italian Studies or minoring in Italian. The essay must be written in Italian, focused on some aspect of Italian literature, civilization, or linguistics, and be 8-10 pages in length (minimum 2000 words; maximum 2500 words). The essays are vetted by a faculty committee and the committee will select one to send into the national organization. There is no fee to enter the contest; however, the finalist must provide an official transcript from each university or college attended and three unofficial copies of each. The finalist must also provide a curriculum vita.
  • Lectures on a broad range of topics are offered on campus at least once each semester.