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Phi Alpha Theta



Phi Alpha Theta > Delta-Psi Chapter History

The Delta-Psi Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society is the oldest chapter in the state of Tennessee. It was chartered in October, 1953, under the leadership of Professor Rosa D. Rutledge, and became the 119th chapter in the society. The installing officers were from Mississippi State College for Women (known since 1974 as Mississippi University for Women) in Columbus, Mississippi. From that time to now, the Delta-Psi Chapter has initiated over 400 members. Union's chapter has had Dr. Stephen Carls as its faculty advisor since the fall of 1983, and has inducted more than 225 new members during his tenure. The Delta-Psi Chapter celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2003 by hosting the Tennessee Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference. The chapter also hosted the Tennessee regional conference in 1991. In November, 2008, the chapter held a special reception at Union's Homecoming to celebrate its 55th birthday. In the spring of 2013, State Senator Lowe Finney presented the chapter with a framed copy of Senate Joint Resolution No. 143 in which the Tennessee state legislature offered it's congratulations on the chapter's 60th anniversary.

Delta-Psi chapter members regularly present papers at Phi Alpha Theta regional conferences, and through the years they have travelled to locations in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Illinois to do so. Union students and/or faculty have attended more than 20 regional conferences since 1989, and the Delta-Psi Chapter has had student presenters at virtually all of them. At least 15 Union student paper presenters have won prizes at regional conferences during the past two decades. The Delta-Psi Chapter has also participated in several Phi Alpha Theta biennial conventions, including New Orleans (2004), Philadelphia (2006), Albuquerque (2008), San Diego (2010), and Orlando (2012). Seven Union students delivered papers at the convention in Albuquerque, another six in San Diego, and seven more in Orlando.

Following graduation, numerous Delta-Psi members have gone on to highly rewarding careers. Some have become presidents, vice presidents, or deans at colleges and universities. One was named a USA Today All-American high school history teacher, and others have had notable success as high school administrators or history teachers. Many have earned advanced degrees at graduate schools or seminaries and established themselves as well-respected university professors or pastors, while a number of others have become accomplished lawyers.


Charter members of the Delta-Psi Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta stand with the installing officers from Mississippi State College for Women at the chartering ceremony in October, 1953. They are: (front row, left to right) Dr. George Mason, Mrs. Ajax, Mrs. O. C. Skipper, Miss Patricia Hardy, Dr. O. C. Skipper; Mrs. Rosa D. Rutledge, Mrs. Mallie Newsom, and Mrs. Bettye B. Walker; (second row, left to right) Dr. R. H. Ward, T. W. Davis, Orville I. Wilson, Charles P. Curier, Jr., George M. Horton, and Roy G. Elliott.