Louisiana Tech History Honor Society named Best Chapter again

Sep 21, 2009 | General News

Louisiana Tech’s Lambda-Rho Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta has again been named best chapter in the national history honor society’s annual competition.

The chapter received the Nels A. Cleven Award for 2009 for colleges and universities with 10,000 to 15,000 students. The Cleven Award is awarded to chapters that have been recognized five or more times as the best.

“The competition is much more intense than for our regular award,” said Dr. Graydon A. “Jack” Tunstall. “It is a significant distinction, considering the tremendous time and effort required to maintain a chapter of this caliber.”

During the 2008-2009 school year, the Lambda-Rho Chapter members organized public programs on history topics, held a book sale, presented a research conference paper as a joint project with students from Grambling State University, held a spring awards banquet, and served as judges for social science fairs at area schools.

“The student leadership we see in Phi Alpha Theta is a great source of pride to Louisiana Tech,” said Dr. Stephen Webre, chair of Tech’s history department and co-adviser to the student organization.

“This kind of leadership is a tradition at Tech. In fact, this is Lambda-Rho Chapter’s 24th best chapter award and its sixth Nels Cleven recognition since the award was created in 2004. That’s six out of six, if anyone’s counting.”

Phi Alpha Theta, founded in 1921, is the country’s oldest and largest disciplinary honor society. More than 800 chapters exist at college and universities across the United States. Membership is open to students who have outstanding academic records with a minimum number of hours in history.

The best chapter award comes with a $250 prize, which is used to purchase books for the institution’s libraries, according to Dr. V. Elaine Thompson, assistant history professor and one of the faculty advisers to the Lambda-Rho Chapter. Lambda-Rho has purchased a total of $6,000 in books for Prescott Memorial Library.

Brandy M. Blanchard, of Shreveport, a graduate student in history, was the 2008-2009 chapter president. Dr. Roshunda Belton served as liaison for faculty and student members at Grambling State University.


Written by Beth Christian