Honor society inducts 18 members

Michael C. Lewis

Eighteen inductees of the Alpha Kappa Mu honors society accepted the charge “to rise above mediocrity” and provide leadership as they joined a community of scholars.

Dressed in their best, more than 200 students, family and faculty filled the Mbari Mbayo Lecture Hall in Oscar Ritchie last night during the 24th annual Alpha Kappa Mu induction ceremony.

Alpha Kappa Mu is a national scholastic honor society established predominately for black students. Undergraduate members must maintain a 3.3 GPA in order to be inducted while graduate students must maintain at least a 3.7 GPA.

“We must let our young know we care about what they do,” said Francis Dorsey, Pan-African Studies professor and event coordinator. “If we don’t let them know, who is going to let them know? Tonight is our chance to honor these students for their academic excellence.”

Alpha Kappa Mu, the “Mu Mu chapter” as it is commonly called, was established 25 years ago at Kent State, which was a predominately white institution at the time. The organization was created to honor the academics of black students. Ten other schools in Ohio followed suit.

Inductee LeRoy Rowser said he feels honored and privileged to be a part of such a historic organization.

“Now that I’m a member of such a prestigious organization, I feel it’s my responsibility to continue my education and give back what I can,” said Rowser, graduate student in liberal studies.

The ceremony’s keynote speaker, Pan-African Studies associate professor and honorary inductee, Christopher T. William, praised the inductees for their patience, intellect and tenacity.

“The accolade you received is a testament to your commitment and dedication, and for all the midnight oil you burned,” Williams said. “Your understanding of the world, and your position in it is now evident.”

Williams challenged the inductees to “pass the torch to illuminate the world,” and he gave them some advice as they go to face the world: “Life is gift, treasure it. Life is a treasure, adore it.”

The evening also included presentations of the Hulda Smith-Graham Academic Excellence Awards to freshmen for maintaining a 3.0 GPA or better.

“It is an inspiration to see freshmen accomplish academic excellence,” said E. Timothy Moore, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Contact ethnic affairs reporter Michael C. Lewis at [email protected].