24. Phi Beta Delta: Dignified Means

An early piece of Phi Beta Delta literature stated its purposes as including, "...a scholarly and dignified means through its rituals and ceremonies to appropriately recognize achievement and excellence." Thinking about that, we might recall times when the desire to recognize was great but the means were rather, well, insufficient. It is always good to say thank you and to express appreciation, but sometimes it isn't done as well as it could be done. The intention is fine but the execution is limited.

Phi Beta Delta takes proper recognition very seriously. After all, it is a part of our heritage and our modes of recognition can be traced back to the establishment of Phi Beta Kappa at William and Mary College in the eighteenth century. So we like to see ceremonial done well. If it isn't done well, one can hardly ask for another try!

Just calling someone to the podium and handing them a plaque is not a fitting way to express thanks for what may well be years of service and thousands of hours of volunteer labor. A major reason for Phi Beta Delta's foundation was to see that recognition was done in a "scholarly and dignified" way. The words are well chosen, and ours should be too when we seek to honor.

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