Butler University will open a chapter of the French National Honor Society, Pi Delta Phi, Friday at the University Club at Atherton Union.
Founded in 1906, Pi Delta Phi has over 330 undergraduate and graduate chapters in the United States and France.
According to the Pi Delta Phi website, pideltaphi.org, the purpose of the society is to recognize outstanding scholarship in the French language and its literatures, to increase the knowledge and appreciation of Americans for the cultural contributions of the French-speaking world and to stimulate and encourage French and francophone cultural activities.
Associate professor of French Eloise Sureau-Hale, who helped bring the organization to campus, said it was important for French students to actually have a French honor society on campus.
Butler’s French Department is the second largest language department with 35-40 students majoring in French along with just as many minors.
The organization has a lot to offer students, senior French and music double major Adam Weaver said.
“It’s a well established organization,” he said. “It has a lot of resources available.”
Sureau-Hale, a member of Pi Delta Phi since graduate school, is confident in the benefits the honor society provides students.
“It looks good on a résumé, and it’s wonderful for summer scholarships,” she said.
To join, students must pay a $30 lifetime membership fee and follow requirements set forth by the organization. The requirements include a sophomore class standing, a 3.0 GPA in French, a 2.8 overall GPA and at least one French course at the 300-level.
Sureau-Hale said one of the most important things Pi Delta Phi is known for is their generous summer study abroad scholarships.
“Most Butler French majors and minors study abroad,” Sureau-Hale said. “The society gives pretty good summer scholarships you can apply for, in addition to study abroad.”
Some are already thinking about taking advantage of those opportunities.
“I’ll definitely be applying for scholarships through Pi Delta Phi,” sophomore French and organizational communications major Katie Youngen said. “I’d also like to apply for some of the summer study abroad sessions they offer.”
Another benefit of membership is networking, something of interest to students like Weaver, who are about to graduate and start job searching.
After graduation, he said he plans to look for jobs in France as a teaching assistant and said membership in Pi Delta Phi will be a great help.
“I would go into a school and help students learn English,” Weaver said. “It helps me understand their confusion with my language and improve my French as well.”
Sureau-Hale said she agrees with the networking aspect of the organization.
“If you’re looking for a job, you can tap into their members and contact them to help,” she said. “It’s a great networking system.”
She said membership makes students more attractive to potential employers.
“It shows them that not only have you studied the language, but you’re good enough to be in an honor society,” Sureau-Hale said.
There are currently 11 students signed up to be initiated at the ceremony, along with four professors set to become honorary members.
Sureau-Hale said there has been a great level of interest in the program, especially considering that it’s been relatively short notice and that many students are currently abroad. She said she anticipates an even higher level of interest in the coming years.