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Cover for Sigma Delta Pi

Sigma Delta Pi

Rediscovering a Century, 1919-2019

Mark P. del Mastro


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On Friday evening, November 14, 1919, at the University of California, Berkeley, a charismatic and dynamic 18-year-old undergraduate Spanish major, Ruth Helen Barnes, hosted six other students at her residence to start what would eventually become the largest collegiate foreign language honor society in the U.S.: Sigma Delta Pi.

In 1995 and to commemorate the Society's 75th anniversary, T. Earle Hamilton, a past president of Sigma Delta Pi, authored the first account of this journey: Sigma Delta Pi: A Brief History, 1919-1994. Building upon Hamilton's seminal work, Mark P. Del Mastro's Rediscovering a Century, 1919-2019 takes a deeper dive into Sigma Delta Pi's history to uncover many forgotten stories, clarify long-held inaccuracies, reveal numerous rare photographs, and recount the last 25 years since the 1995 release of A Brief History. Del Mastro's centennial contribution will appeal to anyone interested in the tale of a young woman whose energy and vision formed a national academic enterprise in support of the Spanish language and Hispanic culture throughout the U.S.

Juan de La Cuesta-Hispanic Monographs, 9781588713483, 240pp.

Publication Date: April 28, 2020