New honor society tips hat to talented freshmen

Kylie Croley

For the first time in Washburn University’s history, a freshmen honor society was established to recognize those first-year students who demonstrate academic excellence and a commitment to their education. The induction ceremony will take place on Friday, Sept. 14 where the new members will be sworn into the Top Hat Chapter of Alpha Lambda Delta.

Alpha Lambda Delta, also known as the Top Hat Honor Society, began meeting Feb. 6, inviting approximately 60 Washburn freshmen to the student organization. Those who chose to accept the invitation will serve in the society until the spring 2008 semester when a new group of incoming freshmen will be selected and inducted into the society.

“We knew there were some freshmen honor societies at the national and international level and we saw it appropriate to recognize those freshmen who excel academically,” said Denise Ottinger, vice president of student life. “I think it will be a great way for the students to get involved and network with other freshmen.”

The society elected its officers at its Feb. 20 meeting and the results are as follows: David Reed, president; Angel Romero, vice president; Jenna Seematter, secretary; Jenna Ronnebaum, treasurer; Kelsey Thomsen, historian; Kylie Gilstrap, editor; and Josh Maples, webmaster.

“As officers, we hope to establish a foundation for the organization in the future,” said Romero. “We want to help the incoming freshmen become more involved in the Washburn community, through both academic and extracurricular activities.”

The purpose of Alpha Lambda Delta is “to encourage superior academic achievement among students in their first year in institutions of higher education, to promote intelligent living and a continued standard of learning, and to assist women and men in recognizing and developing meaningful goals for their roles in society.”

Ottinger also said she is hoping the Top Hat Honor Society will be able to cooperatively work with Mortar Board, Washburn’s national senior honor society, through social and community activities.

Editor’s note: In the interest of full disclosure, Kylie Gilstrap will be inducted into the Top Hat Honor Society in September and is an elected officer.