By Amber Evans

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Left to right: Gianna Sanders, Jessica Landers, Marissa Liguori, Annabelle Forrester, Valerie Coleman, Dr. Jonathan Good, Addyson Huneke. Photo: Ken Wheeler.

On March 25, a group of scholarly Reinhardt students were inducted into the Reinhardt University chapter of Phi Alpha Theta and will go on to be involved in this prestigious academic honors society.

Annabelle Forrester, Addyson Huneke, Jessica Landers, Marissa Liguori and Gianna Sanders were all inducted into the Reinhardt Alpha Mu Beta chapter of Phi Alpha Theta. They will join the ranks of nearly 400,000 students across 970 chapters in the United States. Founded in 1921, this academic honors society is specifically for the history discipline. The induction of these students means that they have achieved at least a 3.1 GPA in four or more history courses along with a 3.0 cumulative GPA overall.

“It was very satisfying to be inducted into Phi Alpha Theta after years of hard work in the history department,” said Forrester. “Being recognized for achievements is always nice, and it is especially so when you are surrounded by your favorite mentors. Dr. Good explained the history of the society and presented us with our honor cords and certificates. While the ceremony was small due to COVID restrictions, it still felt like a significant accomplishment.”

The Phi Alpha Theta induction is an eventful and academically charged occasion that occurs every spring. Dr. Jonathan Good, history professor and founder of Reinhardt University’s PAT chapter in 2005, lead the event with the assistance of faculty and staff members.

“It features a fun ritual with characters representing six different ‘ages’ in the past, an explanation of the esoteric symbolism of the society, the presentation of certificates and honor cords to the new members, and a guest speaker who will talk about some interesting historical topic.”

This year’s speaker at the induction was Valerie Coleman, curator of the Noble Hill Wheeler Memorial center in Cassville, Georgia. Coleman enlightened her fellow scholars as she spoke of the rich history surrounding the center which is home to the restored Rosenwald School built as the first school for black children in the Bartow County School System with the surrounding property serving as a heritage museum of black culture in the area during the 1800s.

Reinhardt’s Alpha Mu Beta students will participate in the Phi Alpha Theta Georgia Regional Conference, which Reinhardt University has hosted twice. This provides the chance for students to share their research papers and receive feedback from other professors, along with listening to plenary speakers.