History of Pi Delta Phi

Pi Delta Phi was founded in 1906 as a departmental honor society at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1926, Pi Delta Phi declared itself the National French Honor Society and chartered the Beta Chapter at the University of Southern California. The society expanded slowly over the next fifteen years. Since the end of World War II, Pi Delta Phi has enjoyed phenomenal growth. At the present time, it numbers more than 300 chapters established at representative public and private colleges and universities in almost every state, as well as chapters in Paris and Aix-en-Provence. Pi Delta Phi was admitted into membership in the Association of College Honor Societies in 1967.

History of the Lambda Psi Chapter

In 1997, the Lambda Psi chapter of Pi Delta Phi was founded at Boston College, thanks to the initiative of Professors Ourida Mostefai and Rebecca Valette.  Since then, Pi Delta Phi has become very much an active part of the greater Boston College community. Over the past three years, the Lambda Psi chapter has grown to include many of the University's most promising undergraduate and graduate students. Faculty, librarians, administrators and alumni who have distinguished themselves through their scholarship and their love of French culture have also been accorded honorary membership.

The numerous activities of the Lambda Psi chapter have had as their goal to promote a greater awareness of French and francophone culture at Boston College. These activities include:

• The re-creation of the meditation labyrinth of the Chartres Cathedral in an outdoor space accessible to the Boston College community, and the production of a promotional brochure explaining the labyrinth.

• The exhibit of a French medieval manuscript at the Burns Library and the concomitant publication of the Reflections on the Connolly Book of Hours, with support from the Carroll Foundation for the Arts.

• The establishment of the Normand Cartier Award in memory of the eminent medievalist who spearheaded the growth of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.

• The exhibit of eighteenth-century European fans from the Hicks Collection at the McMullen Museum of Art (June to September 2000) and the sponsorship of an international symposium on the French fan commerce of the period, supported by the Fan Association of North America (FANA).

• A French Film Festival, supported by a grant from the French Cultural Services (FACSEA) and co-sponsored by the French Library and Cultural Center of Boston and the Maison Française of Boston College (January 27-31, 2002).

• A French Film Festival, supported by a grant from FACE (French American Cultural Exchange) and co-sponsored by the Maison Francaise and the Presidential Scholar Program of Boston College (February 2-19, 2006).