Our History

Origins of Sigma Kappa Delta

by Dr. Don Perkins

Alpha Chapter Cottey College


Founded on April 21, 1996, Sigma Kappa Delta () has its origins in Sigma Tau Delta (), the national English honor society for four-year colleges and universities. Many English instructors in the growing two-year college system had been members of during college and were interested in offering the same opportunity to two-year college students. For years before s founding, the national headquarters of had received calls from instructors asking about possible membership for two-year college students. Few two-year college students qualified for membership because membership in that organization is limited to majors in English related fields.

Dr. William Johnson, Executive Director of Sigma Tau Delta and Professor of English at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, suggested a new national English honor society designed especially for two-year college students under the direction of Sigma Tau Delta; s Board graciously agreed. Thus, Sigma Kappa Delta was founded when Dr. Johnson invited four two-year college instructors to meet April 18-21, 1996, at the Chicago Allerton Hotel on the Miracle Mile. Attending the first meeting were Professor Mirtica Winston of Coffeyville Community College, Coffeyville, Kansas; Dr. Steven Culbertson of Owens Community College, Toledo, Ohio; Dr. Susan LeJeune of Louisiana State University, Eunice, Louisiana; Dr. Don Perkins of Cottey College, Nevada, Missouri.These dedicated recruits met for long hours with Dr. Johnson and national president Dr. Elaine Hughes of the University of Montevallo, Montevallo, Alabama. Over the course of several meetings, the group selected the name of the new organization, designed a key and logo, chose organization colors of green and gold,drew up a constitution, planned a recruitment campaign, and elected officers: Dr.LeJeune, National President; Professor Winston, Vice President; Dr. Culbertson, Secretary/Historian; and Dr. Perkins, Executive Secretary (now called Executive Director). Dr. Perkinss home base, Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri, was chosen as the site of the new national headquarters. Sigma Tau Delta generously funded this founding meeting and invited the new organization to participate in s annual national convent