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About Us

Our Vision: Transforming the World with Words

Sigma Tau Delta, International English Honor Society, was founded in 1924 at Dakota Wesleyan University. The Society strives to

  • Confer distinction for high achievement in English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies;
  • Provide, through its local chapters, cultural stimulation on college campuses and promote interest in literature and the English language in surrounding communities;
  • Foster all aspects of the discipline of English, including literature, language, and writing;
  • Promote exemplary character and good fellowship among its members;
  • Exhibit high standards of academic excellence; and
  • Serve society by fostering literacy.

With over 770 active chapters located in the United States and abroad, there are more than 1,400 Faculty Advisors, and approximately 7,500 members inducted annually.

Sigma Tau Delta also recognizes the accomplishments of professional writers who have contributed to the fields of language and literature.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

Throughout the nearly 100 years since Sigma Tau Delta was formed, our organization has taken pride in our currency with trends in language, literature, and society. We recognize that language—with its capacity to communicate the experiences of others, its power to inform and create empathy—has changed and will continue to change the world. But language must be reinforced by action, and our efforts as a Society must embrace and benefit an increasingly diverse population of learners and educators where everyone is valued and included.

Our mission statement promises to support opportunities for leadership, scholarship, and fellowship among our members, through a variety of programs and initiatives. Through our annual convention and its Common Reader and speakers, we have celebrated scholars and texts at the forefront of social justice movements and challenges to the canon and that address difficult and sensitive topics of equity and inclusion. Panels at regional and international events have focused on issues of race and racism, LGBTQIA+ identity, gender, and inclusivity. We have tailored awards, scholarships, and merchandise toward serving marginalized populations.

While we have embraced diversity among our membership at the student, faculty, and administrative levels, we must be more direct concerning our initiatives. Our Strategic Plan reflects Sigma Tau Delta’s commitment to increasing diversity in our disciplines, to fostering equity among our members and our Society, and to creating a culture of inclusivity that moves beyond our organization and into the broader world. We continually seek new ways to ensure that our members and their needs feel both represented and addressed. As a Society, we are committed to improving access to diverse authors and scholars and their works through local, regional, and international events, including at conventions and in webinars. Our continued outreach to colleges and universities should increase the ways in which underrepresented populations participate within the organization. And our administration should better represent the diverse populations we seek to enroll and engage.

As we enter our second century, Sigma Tau Delta recognizes that the path forward relies on every voice joining in our efforts toward “Transforming the World with Words.”

Our Sponsorships and Partners

NEHS logo

The Society is the proud sponsor of The National English Honor Society (NEHS). NEHS, a program of Sigma Tau Delta, serves students and faculty in secondary schools throughout the country and provides an outreach to thousands of students and faculty who share a commitment to excellence in English language arts.



ELA Honor SocietyIn September 2023, the National English Honor Society launched the English Language Arts Honor Society (ELA) for students in grades 6-9. The ELA Honor Society provides a home to middle school students and teachers and an experience that will foster creativity, engagement, and academic prowess.




Sigma Kappa Delta (SKD)

Sigma Tau Delta established Sigma Kappa Delta (SKD), the English Honor Society for two-year colleges. Sigma Kappa Delta has 126 chapters, and annually partners with Sigma Tau Delta to plan and promote the international convention.




Sigma Tau Delta, a certified member of the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS) since 1972, meets the strict guidelines for organizational excellence and scholastic eligibility required for continued membership in ACHS. ACHS is the only certifying agency for college and university honor societies.