JACKSON, Tenn. – Nov. 8, 2013 – Thirteen Delta-Psi presidents spanning six decades recently gathered to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Union University’s Phi Alpha Theta chapter.
Founded in 1921, Phi Alpha Theta is a national history honor society with more than 350,000 members from about 900 chapters. Union’s Delta-Psi chapter, chartered on Oct. 17, 1953, is the oldest chapter in the state.
Stephen Carls, a university professor and the Delta-Psi adviser, said each decade of Delta-Psi’s existence was represented at the celebration by at least one chapter president, ranging from 1950’s president Bob Elliott to current president Gracie Wise.
Elliott, a Delta-Psi charter member, said former history professor Rosa Dyer Rutledge helped found the Delta-Psi chapter.
“It was because of her dedication, devotion and untiring efforts that Phi Alpha Theta is at Union University,” Elliott said. “We are indebted to her.”
Delta-Psi members have since participated in a variety of community service projects, presented papers at regional conferences and donated $2,750 in books to Union’s Emma Waters Summar Library. Delta-Psi members also have received Phi Alpha Theta’s Best Chapter Award for 11 consecutive years.
Jackson Mayor Jerry Gist and Madison County Mayor Jimmy Harris presented an anniversary proclamation at the celebration to Wise and Jeffrey Lewoczko, last year’s president.
Union President David S. Dockery also was awarded an honorary Phi Alpha Theta membership.
“Phi Alpha Theta is greatly appreciative of Dr. Dockery’s scholarly contributions to the recording of history, as well as his support of the Delta-Psi chapter,” said Graydon Tunstall, the executive director of Phi Alpha Theta.
In addition to numerous historical preservation efforts, Dockery has written books, chapters and articles about topics such as the early Christian church and the Southern Baptist Convention.
By Beth Knoll