Friday, April 23, 2010

Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society

Today the History Department welcomed 15 new members into its Epsilon Phi chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honors Society.

Students of History, some majors and some not, gathered together with faculty members and parents to celebrate their academic success in the field. Dr. Perry Blatz officiated the induction ceremony with the helpful (and entertaining) assistance of Dr. Jotham Parsons.

(Dr. Perry Blatz talks a bit about the history of Phi Alpha Theta.)

(Dr. Jotham Parsons reads from the ceremonial book.)

The induction ceremony includes a rubber snake, but due to the sacred and confidential nature of said ceremony, details cannot be shared here. But trust us: it was pretty funny.

(Dr. Perry Blatz informs the new inductees of the importance of the rubber snake.)

The new inductees took an oath...

...and received certificates indicating their new membership.

Also part of the induction ceremony is the signing of the Chapter's book. Signatures date back to May 26, 1956.

The History Department also honored two outstanding students with the Joseph R. Morice Award, which honors a graduating senior for outstanding academic achievement within the major of History specifically and over the course of study at Duquesne University generally. Dr. Joseph R. Morice was a professor of History at Duquesne between 1948-1990 who was renowned for popular classes and rigorous grading. The Department of History presents this award in remembrance of Professor Morice and to recognize students majoring in History who have maintained an exceptional scholastic record throughout their undergraduate academic careers.

(Dr. Blatz shows a departmental photo from the 1960s and points out Dr. Morice, who stands in the back row of the picture.)

(Dr. Blatz announces the first of the Morice Award recipients.)

This year's recipients were Brigid Mannard and Tyler Esno. Both students received a framed certificate and a monetary award.

At the conclusion of the induction ceremony and Morice Award presentations, guests mingled and enjoyed refreshments.

(Dr. Blatz introduces himself to the parents of some of the new Phi Alpha Theta members.)

(Dr. Elaine Parsons congratulates a student on her success.)

(Morice Award recipient and new inductee Tyler Esno chats with Dr. Matthew Hyland.)

(Cody Rizzo and Cristiana Popescu enjoy some refreshments.)

Samuel Morrow's father, an alumnus of the History Department, came to the induction ceremony to celebrate his son's achievements, as well as to share his own memories of Dr. Morice and other members of the History Department during his years as a student here. It was an honor to see two generations of History Department students share in such a special moment.

And, of course, several new inductees took a moment to pose for a friendly photograph with Dr. Perry Blatz:

We congratulate our new inductees and wish them all the success in the future!