The first semester of a student’s first year is filled with excitement and firsts. If a student accomplishes a 3.5 GPA or better in that first semester, they’ve achieved something special. The new chapter of Alpha Lambda Delta First-Year Honor Society wants to make sure every student remembers if they reached this GPA. The society’s first induction ceremony for Mount Saint Mary’s new chapter occurred virtually on April 27, and 32 new outstanding students were inducted. As part of the inaugural group, their names will be included in a commemorative certificate from the national office. Because this was the first year, sophomores who achieved a 3.5 cumulative GPA were invited to become members as well.
“I joined ALD to further develop my leadership skills, build my strengths and to help make a difference in people’s lives through helping those in need,” says Amy Duarte, a first-year student majoring in pre-nursing. “As an active member, I look forward to making new connections and creating new meaningful friendships.”
Laura Nario ‘19, the Mount’s program coordinator for new student and family engagement, was automatically given honorary status of ALD as chapter advisor. During the ceremony, four other honorary members were announced: Ann McElaney-Johnson, PhD, Mount president; Linda McMurdock PhD, vice president for student affairs; Amanda Romero, PhD, dean of traditional undergraduate programs at the Doheny Campus; and Lacey Smith, dean of the Chalon Campus. These individuals were selected because of the impact they make on first-year student success.
During the ceremony, Johnson praised ALD, citing her previous involvement with the organization, telling attendees, “You’re the start of something very exciting, and there will be a history of students who are going to follow your footsteps as we go through and continue to grow this organization at the Mount.”
McMurdock also shared why she felt this ALD chapter would make for such a strong addition to the Mount. “As you know, we’re an institution founded by a religious women’s order,” she said. “These Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet who are committed to graduating students who are unstoppable leaders in thought and in service focused on the common good and issues of justice for all. That’s why I think this organization is a really nice complement to our work — it has very similar values and a professional network of colleagues and other students that can be a really great resource. There’s power in that kind of community across the country.”
Many Years, Many Schools
Alpha Lambda Delta, which has a long, rich history, is nearly a century old and has more than 300 member schools. The organization offers three scholarships, graduate fellowships, discounts, and a leadership certificate program, as well as yearly summits and a national conference.
Nario was thrilled with the ceremony. “Dr. McMurdock encouraged us to bring this organization to the Mount and felt it would be wonderful for our students. I think that this recognition is going to be something this group of students particularly looks back on with pride because of all of the challenges they’ve had as a result of the pandemic.”
Nario remembers firsthand how difficult the first semester can be. “I started college at the Doheny campus and it was so exciting, but at times it can be a lot to balance,” she says. “I really admire these students for this kind of achievement under these circumstances. They are incredibly deserving of this recognition.”