Alpha Epsilon Delta
Ritual of Initiation


The Ritual of Initiation formally symbolizes the honor of becoming a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta and the traditions associated with being part of our Society. This ritual can be adapted to individualize your expression of recognizing the achievement of new members joining the Society. You may wish to celebrate this occasion with a meal/food event and include a speaker(s).
The ceremony can be effectively conducted in conjunction with the suggested positioning below of officers—candidates, members and guests—in an arrangement that represents the hexagonal symbol of the AED Society.
The ritual skit requires 9 persons in the following roles:
Warden—addresses candidates, introduces parts (wreath, skull, etc.), and interacts with Sponsor
Sponsor—leads candidates into room, seats them, and interacts with Warden
President—addresses candidates
Vice President
Chapter Advisor

The Ceremony
The Sponsor presents the candidates for initiation at the door of the initiation room. The warden stands in the room on the opposite side of the door. When the candidates are ready, the Sponsor raps on the door, and the Warden addresses them.
Who comes here?
Specify Number Neophytes seeking the guiding light for their future life.
Have they earned the honor they seek and have they been duly elected to receive the guiding light?
They have.
Are they fully aware of the importance of the step they are about to take?
They are.
Proceed then to lead them toward the light as revealed by Alpha Epsilon Delta.
Sponsor then conducts the candidates to their seats. As soon as the candidates are seated, the Warden addresses them, pointing out parts of the crest.
Behold you Neophytes, the crest of Alpha Epsilon Delta! Regard it as I indicate the symbols and their significance. The Skull—Symbol of Death
The Book—Symbol of Knowledge
The Wreath—Symbol of Reward
The Esquire’s Helmet—Symbol of Arms
The Norman Shield—Symbol of Consecration
The Caduceus—Symbol of Medicine
Regard the Crest—Mark well its devices. Heed now the words of your officers.
The ceremony proceeds with the President speaking.
I am stationed under the skull. The skull represents our greatest enemy—death. More especially death is an enemy to us, because we have chosen to fight death not only for ourselves, but also for others. Ours is indeed a sacred trust, and as we advance through the years, we are enjoined by that grim specter of the death’s head never to relax our vigilance, though it means death itself for us.
Our vigilance teaches us respect for our enemy, and it is our intent to teach those less familiar with death that same respect, for respect means caution, and those who are cautious are wise, and those who are wise run the hazard more safely. We teach by example, and expect no greater reward than that our final fight with death shall be more meaningful.
I am stationed under the skull.
I am stationed under the book. The book represents our greatest temporal ally against our enemy, for it is by means of books that knowledge is wrested from death and by our forebears’ fight is preserved for us. Not only do we gain knowledge from books, but we also gain inspiration to follow and glorify in our forebears’ example. Listen as the book speaks: ‘Behold, I am diligence and character. Mark you well my words, O Neophytes! Without me you are but little. All that you do is in vain. Your endeavor shall come to naught, and whatever you say becomes as dust, scattered by the wind. Without me, carelessness, idleness and disrepute shall follow you, for I am diligence and character.’ Thus speaks the book.
Yet, while relying much on books, we realize that however wise our forebears were, they were human and therefore possessed of the same weaknesses and subject to the same human errors as we, so we do not totally rely upon books. Neither do we rely too much upon our own writings, but attempt to instruct and guide our followers, rather than blind them with doctrine and dogma.
I am stationed under the book.
I am stationed under the wreath. The wreath is our one temporal reward for our ceaseless endeavors to ease the pain and still the cry of humankind. Those who wear the wreath garner the respect of society.
Those who allow the wreath to fall from its rightful position above the helmet shall be damned, for the wearer of the wreath labors under a grave responsibility. Upon that wreath lies the respect and love of humankind, which has accumulated for centuries. Those who disgrace the wreath are damned by colleagues, society, and their God—for the respect of all rests upon each.
Take good heed to your character, O Neophytes, for it lies within the soul of humanity. Character is the emblem of nature in its highest form—the mark of disposition, force, and personality. These are qualities not obtained in a day, but gathered through the years.
I am stationed under the wreath.
I am stationed under the esquire’s helmet. The esquire’s helmet indicates that we are not unarmed in our fight against the skull. Our armor is the result of experimentation, often at great cost, and it is constantly proving itself. The closed visor indicates not blindness, but preparedness to do battle with the skull at all times.
You have already been shown the foundation of diligence and character. Now you must build. The two builders of our profession are research and technique, which are part of the armor. Research is that untiring devotion to detail in problem solving. Remember research as one of the pillars of the profession. Technique must go hand-in-hand with research. You must become master of your habits; whether it be in the laboratory or examining room, your whole being must be certain and reliable. With technique comes confidence and assurance, and with those attributes come the privilege of serving humanity to the best of your ability.
I am stationed under the esquire’s helmet.
I am stationed under the shield. This is a Norman shield, and therefore consecrated. The holy shield is the bearer of the charge and my duty is to see that no unsightly charge is blazoned thereon. The shield bears one charge on the honor point—a holy Greek Cross. The shield bears inspection by all who wear it through the ages. Blots upon the surface of the shield must be vindicated and honorably erased.
I am stationed under the shield.
I am stationed under the caduceus. The caduceus extends from the fess-point to the middle-base and is the staff of Mercury, messenger of the gods. Like Mercury, it is my privilege to convey messages. The caduceus expresses a yet more profound meaning. It signifies truth, speed, accuracy, leadership, and service—unselfish and devoted—to humankind. Think not, O Neophytes, that you may attain such a state so easily. Go and seek the way to service and turn not aside for splendor or riches, but always remember our mission in life—to better the human condition.
I am stationed under the caduceus.
I am stationed under the Crest. This Crest represents my office. I am the bonds of the ring and the lifeblood of the organization. My mature opinion and experienced guidance are offered when needed, but are not intended to interfere or oppose. I harmonize the components of the Crest. I keep the motto of our society, ‘Truth I Pursue’, foremost in the mind of each member, so that it can become part of the caregiver’s spirit.
I am stationed under the Crest.
The President rises and reads the following to the candidates:
Fellow students, it becomes my honor and pleasure to receive you as members in Alpha Epsilon Delta. This Society attempts to inculcate in the mind of the prehealth professional student those motives, attributes, and ideals, which make healthcare a most honorable profession. It also provides recognition and reward for meritorious accomplishment, worthy character, and desirable personality.
Your high scholastic standing has commended you to our consideration for membership in this Society, but scholarship alone is only one of the important qualifications essential to success in the field of healthcare. You should also possess those qualities that collectively constitute the necessary character to pursue the healthcare profession. Purity of life and thought and love of truth are not only a moral responsibility, but a practical necessity.
We congratulate you on all of your accomplishments, and will expect an equally commendable record for your future collegiate and professional career. We are glad to have you as a member and we invite you to become involved in the activities, the pleasure, and the responsibility that the Society offers.
Medicine, like science, had its beginning with primitive people. They gained knowledge and applied it to the human body. Truth comes only through knowledge. Many years of progress have afforded a partial appreciation and mastery of the living universe. However, the goal has not been attained, for only in the God of the Universe is the heart of truth. There remains—LIFE—the nature of which has not been solved. As apostles of science, we can better appreciate the beauties, ideals, principles, and mysteries associated with the study of the human body. We must learn more. Knowledge is fundamental to understanding the human body in health and disease. The application of this knowledge is essential to the delivery of effective healthcare. If we are to succeed, we must personally adopt the motto of the society—Truth I Pursue.
The Warden addresses the candidates.
Neophytes will please rise.
The President then addresses the candidates:
Are you willing to accept the responsibility of membership in this Society? If so, please signify by responding, ‘yes’.
Upon receiving a favorable reply, the President responds:
Please repeat the following pledge after me, giving your name at the appropriate place:
‘I, (your name), pledge myself to support the principles of Alpha Epsilon Delta and promise to conduct myself to the best of my ability in the pursuit of truth’.
The President then instructs the candidates:
Please come forward as your name is called and sign the Chapter Roll Book. The officers and members can now rise and form a line to welcome each new member after the initiate has signed the roll.
The Secretary can call each name and after the new member has signed the Chapter Roll Book, the initiate proceeds along the line to be greeted by officers and other members.