Magazine On-line [summer 2009]
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Around the Campus

National German Honor Society chapter established at Transylvania

German Honor society inductees
French and German professor Rick Weber, far left, and part-time instructor Holger Lenz, fourth from left, back, join founding members of Transy’s chapter of Delta Phi Alpha, the German Honor Society, at the induction ceremony. Front row, from left, Mallory Harlow, Felicia Feldkamp, Claire Jeran, Stephanie Bunch, Ellen Carlson; back row, Weber, Brandon Cook, Michael Creed, Lenz, Patrick Spencer. Missing was Rachel Triplett.

When senior Felicia Feldkamp learned that Transylvania had approved a new German studies major, she immediately set out to help bring to campus a chapter of Delta Phi Alpha, the National German Honor Society.

Thanks in no small part to Feldkamp’s initiative and persistence, Transy’s Sigma Iota chapter of Delta Phi Alpha was approved by the national office in January. The chapter held its first induction ceremony in April, and Feldkamp was a proud member of the group of nine German studies majors and minors making up the founding members.

“I was so happy when I found out we were going to get a chapter, but I was worried we wouldn’t be able to get it started before I graduated,” said Feldkamp, who received her B.A. degree with a double major in biology and German studies on May 23. “I was glad for myself and the other seniors that we were able to be inducted.”

Feldkamp visited the Delta Phi Alpha Web site and talked with German and French professor Rick Weber about applying for a chapter. With Weber’s assistance, she completed the application form and wrote a cover letter explaining Transy’s qualifications.

“It was Felicia’s initiative that got the ball rolling on our chapter,” Weber said. “Now that we have it, I am so pleased with everything it offers our students. Besides validating our German studies program and the accomplishments of our majors and minors, this honor society provides national opportunities for grants, scholarships, and informal contacts with programs at other colleges.”

Delta Phi Alpha was founded at Wofford College in 1927 and includes chapters at 236 American colleges and universities. Its goals are to recognize excellence in German studies, provide incentive for higher scholarship, and promote the study of German language, literature, and civilization.

For Feldkamp, who plans to enter dental school, seeing Sigma Iota born was a perfect capstone to her German studies experience at Transy, one that was motivated by her family’s German roots.

“My family on both sides comes from Germany,” she said. “I’d like to teach my kids someday a little bit of German. I’ve also kept in contact with the German family that hosted me during my study abroad semester in Regensburg, who actually offered to let me come back and live with them after I graduated. I do want to visit them and see parts of Germany I didn’t see before.”

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