Alpha Lambda Delta
Initiation Ritual


Pledge Service
When possible, the directions outlined below should be followed. Slight variations in the ceremony may be made and are acceptable as long as the total effect is dignified and impressive.
1. At one end of a semi-darkened room of suitable size, place a table covered with a white cloth.
2. Place the Insignia Cloth in the center with the insignia displayed to the front.
3. Place lighted candles on each side of the Insignia Cloth. (Lighted candles are optional. Please follow the guidelines of your institution’s fire code.)
4. Pledge ribbons may be placed on either side of the candles.
5. A sheet of paper for the pledges to sign should be at the front center of the table
The President of the chapter stands behind the table, in the center, with the Vice President and the Historian on the right and the Secretary, Treasurer, and Webmaster on the left. The Junior Advisor, if there is one, should stand between the Vice President and the Historian. The remaining active members should spread out in a semi-circle in front of the table. Their semi-circle should be large enough to accommodate later within it another semi-circle of pledges. Opposite the table there should be a large break in the actives semi-circle. The pledges will stand in this broken space when they are brought in for the ceremony. If there is no Senior Advisor, another Officer may be substituted. For example, the Webmaster may be used in this capacity.
Outside the room the pledges should be lined up alphabetically by the Senior Advisor and the Editor. The Senior Advisor followed by the Editor leads the pledges single file into the back of the room to the space provided by the break in the semi-circle of actives. With the assistance of the Editor, the Senior Advisor lines up the pledges in one row (or in several even rows, one behind the other, depending upon the size and shape of the room. If rows are used, generous space should be allowed between the pledges within each row.) The Senior Advisor stands to the right of the pledges and faces the table. The Editor stands to their left. The pledges, Senior Advisor and Editor remain in this formation until the President invites the pledges to sign their names.
Senior Advisor says:
President and members of Alpha Lambda Delta, I present to you for pledging these students who are eligible for membership in our society.
President says:
You have attained the high academic requirements of Alpha Lambda Delta and are thereby eligible to be pledged to this society.
Historian says:
Congratulations to you who are eligible to become members of national Alpha Lambda delta.
President says:
We honor you today with these ribbons of red, gold and white.
Vice President says:
The red represents the burning flame of knowledge.
Secretary says:
The white represents the search for truth.
Treasurer says:
The gold represents the strong base of honor.
President says:
These three colors symbolize the standards held by the members of Alpha Lambda Delta.
Do you as a pledge of Alpha Lambda Delta promise to uphold the standards of integrity and honor?
Do you pledge yourself to keep before you the ideal of true scholarship, to cherish the light of learning, and to pass your light undimmed to those who come after you?
The answer is "I do".
Pledges say:
I do.
President says:
Having accepted our purposes and ideals, will you please repeat after me our pledge?
The pledges repeat after the President in unison. The President says each phrase with them again:
I pledge my support to Alpha Lambda Delta . . .
And will endeavor to promote high standards of education . . .
To encourage academic attainment . . .
And to develop leadership among the students
Of the name of your institution.
When the President calls the name of the first pledge, the Senior Advisor escorts the pledge to the table. After the pledge signs the roster, the Senior Advisor presents a candle from the table.
The pledge lights it. The Senior Advisor pins a ribbon on the pledge and then leads the pledge to the side of the table near the Treasurer to start the semi-circle of pledges within the semi-circle of actives.
The President then calls the name of the second pledge who is escorted to the table by the Editor, signs the roster, receives the candle, lights it, has a ribbon pinned on by the Editor and is led to the side of the table near the Historian to start the other end of the pledges’ semi-circle within that of the actives. The Senior Advisor and Editor continue to take turns in escorting a pledge from alternate sides as each name is called. The semi-circle is gradually formed from the ends toward the middle.
After the last pledge has been escorted to the semi-circle, the Senior Advisor and Editor complete the semi-circle in the middle, opposite the table.
President says:
Keep the flame of scholarship of Alpha Lambda Delta. We congratulate you and welcome you into the bonds of Alpha Lambda Delta.
The Senior Advisor and the Editor lead the pledges in pairs from the room. The active members and then the Officers follow, also in pairs. The candles are extinguished outside of the room.
At a meeting sometime before the Pledging Ceremony or immediately following it or at another meeting sometime before the Initiation Ceremony, the high points of the national and local history and of the Constitution should be presented in an interesting fashion by the Officers. Consequently, the initiates will be prepared to know what they are accepting when they sign the Initiation Pledge.

Best wishes to you for an impressive ceremony!
Initiation Ceremony
Section I: The Set-up

• A table is set at one side of the room in which the initiation is held. Have a large enough table (or two tables end to end) in order to permit several to sign papers at one time, if necessary. The signing of five or six papers at one time, if the group is very large, saves members from standing too long at one time. Space should also be allowed on the table for ribbons on one side and certificates on the other. Ribbons should be in the form of a loop large enough to go over an initiate’s head. Insignia for those initiates who ordered them should be attached to the ribbons. A small label with the student’s name may also be attached to the ribbon so that at the end of the ceremony, the initiate can see whether the proper insignia has been received.
• A white tablecloth should cover the table upon which is placed the National Alpha Lambda Delta Insignia Cloth. The Insignia Cloth is placed across the center of the table with the insignia toward the initiates. A rostrum may be placed on the table with the Insignia cloth stretched across it and over the center of the table. A candle to help the readers may be placed on top of each side of the rostrum.
• Long tapers of the three colors - red, white and gold (or all white) in three candlesticks grouped on each side of the table, or in a pair of three-branched candelabra, should be placed on the table used.
• The group to be initiated is lined up alphabetically outside of the room.
• The President goes directly behind the table and is joined by the Second advisor on the right and the First advisor on the left.
• The lines form a semi-circle on either side with space for four persons between the beginning of the line and the Second advisor or First advisor. If there is no audience present, the lines may form a circle. If honorary members are to be initiated, they, in pairs, enter last in the lines.
• After the above persons are in place, other members who are present enter in pairs, divide into two lines and space themselves evenly, distributed behind the initiates.
• The circle may be closed if there is no audience.
• Each initiate before entering the room may be given a small white candle with holder or paper cuff.

Section II: The Presentation
The First advisor says:
Alpha Lambda Delta is a national society for freshmen which honors high academic achievement in the first year of college. The purpose of the organization as stated in the Constitution is to encourage superior academic achievement among students in their first year in institutions of higher education, to promote intelligent living and a continued high standard of learning, and to assist students in recognizing and developing meaningful goals for their roles in society.
Alpha Lambda Delta was founded as an honor society in 1924 at the University of Illinois by the Dean of Women, Maria Leonard.
It soon became a national organization as chapters were established at Purdue University in 1926 and at Depauw University in 1927. Growth of the society has continued until now there are insert current number of chapters chapters.
These candidates who are now presented for initiation have attained the high standard required by National Alpha Lambda Delta and are worthy to be recognized by both their college and this organization for their notable achievement in scholarship.
Madam or Mister President, I have the honor to present to you these candidates for initiation into National Alpha Lambda Delta.
Section III: The Instruction
The President says:
Members of Alpha Lambda Delta, we are here to inform the new initiates concerning our organization and to ask them to take with us the pledge to make the best possible use of our education.
The initials of our name stand for the Greek words: Allelois Lampadia Diadusousin which stands for the motto "we shall pass our torches on, one to another."
The insignia of Alpha Lambda Delta represents a lighted candle. The golden base of our candle signifies honesty and integrity, which are the foundation on which we build; the shaft of our candle signifies strength and courage; and the light of our candle signifies truth and wisdom -- which can dispel ignorance and superstition, and give us the insight to live well in our time.
For chapters not using the Pledge Service, the Officers read the following:
The Vice President says:
The red represents the burning flame of knowledge.
The Secretary says:
The white represents the search for truth.
The Treasurer says:
The gold represents the strong base of honor.
The President says:
These, our three colors, symbolize the standards held by the members of Alpha Lambda Delta.
The First advisor says:
Your education is the means by which you learn to recognize the wonders of science, to appreciate the beauty of great literature and art, to use well our own language, to learn the lessons of past history, to speak and read the languages of other peoples, to study the social and political forces of our world, and to discuss the thought and the philosophy of other ages. Through these means you can evaluate the forces and standards of your generation and learn to live significantly.
Section IV: The Pledge
The President says (and the new initiates repeat):
Please say after me:

I accept membership . . .
Into National Alpha Lambda Delta . . .
Understanding that in doing so . . .
I assume the responsibility. . .
Of continuing to maintain . . .
Its standards of service . . .
Of diligence....
And of integrity .
I pledge to promote high scholarship. . .
And to use my education . . .
For the benefit of my community . . .
My nation . . .
And the world in which we live.
Section V: The Initiation of Active Members
The President says:
As I call your names will you please come and sign the chapter roll.
Initiates are called to the table in alphabetical order.
After each initiate signs the paper, Second Advisor places the ribbon over the student’s head, and extends congratulations. The First Advisor gives each initiate a certificate.
In a large group, several may sign at the same time. Each individual’s name may be called by the President in alphabetical order so that students will alternate in moving to and from the table in opposite sides.
The President says:
You have now recorded your initiation into the name of institution chapter of Alpha Lambda Delta on the day of the month day of month, year.
Section VI: The Initiation of Honorary Members
The President calls the names of honorary initiates, one at a time. As the name is called, each initiate is escorted to the table by the First Advisor or an Officer who stands behind the table while each citation is read. The Second Advisor reads the citation, patterned on that used for honorary degrees.
When all the citations have been read, the President says:
In recognition of your academic achievements, personal accomplishments, and your interest in the academic attainments of students, we confer upon you honorary membership in Alpha Lambda Delta. Your charge is to continue to support and encourage the ideals and high standards of this society - knowledge, wisdom and understanding. Please sign the chapter roll as evidence of your acceptance.
After each Honorary Member signs the roll, Second Advisor shakes the initiate’s hand and presents insignia. First advisor presents the certificate.

Section VII: The Candle Ceremony (optional)
After lighting the President’s candle and those of the Second Advisor and First Advisor, the President says:
We now light our candles at the Alpha Lambda Delta flame for you in token of your membership in this society.
Second Advisor lights the candles of the initiate and of the member nearest on the right. The First Advisor does the same, on the left. The initiates pass their lights until the semi-circle (or circle) of light is completed. The members pass their lights to one another in a similar fashion. If this is done, please follow the regulations of your institution and the laws of the state concerning open flames in public areas.

Section VIII: The Admonition
The Second Advisor says:
On behalf of institution, I wish to express our pride in your achievement and our congratulations to you. May you find in the years ahead the rewards of the educated person - imagination, adventure, humor, compassion and understanding. May you have tolerance in your dealings with all persons, generosity in giving to those in need, and insight into the feelings of others. In relating your education to the world in which you live, you can make a meaningful contribution to society.
Note: The installation of new Officers may follow or the ceremony may close with the singing of the Alma Mater by the group or individual or it may close with a prayer or a poem.
At the close of the ceremony, the following recessional is optional: The President goes around to the front of the table and goes down the center of the room through the circle and out. The Second Advisor and First Advisor (and new Officers, if they have been installed) go around their side of the table and follow the President out in pairs. The candles are extinguished outside the room.