The following information outlines the preparation for initiating new members. This information is designed to assist chapter advisors and officers in planning. Chapters are encouraged to adapt it for their own chapter.
3 Months (or more) before Initiation
ALD Chapter officers and advisors meet to plan:
- Initiation date/time/place (Note: Many on-campus facilities book up to a year in advance; get your space reserved as early as possible.)
- Amount of local dues
- After-ceremony reception (if desired)
- Identify a speaker (if desired)
- Possible Honorary Members
- Arrange for a photographer (if desired)
- Method of getting information to prospective members (letter home, information sessions, MyHonorSociety (MHS), personal email, etc.)
- Method of collecting membership dues from eligible members. MHS takes care of this for all schools who use it.
- For chapters using MHS, please notify your IT department of the start date for sending the email invitation. Reference the IT Guide for other useful information to ensure student emails do not end up in spam folders.
- Set deadline for membership acceptances and dues payments (4 weeks before initiation – members should have at least one month to accept invitation).
- Communicate with National Office for the timely ordering of membership certificates and pins (we need two weeks to process and ship your membership order). Again, MHS takes care of this for all schools who use it.
Reserve space with appropriate campus office. This includes the induction ceremony space, after-ceremony reception space, and any information session spaces needed.
Request list of eligible students (full-time with 3.5 or better grade point average) from Registrar or appropriate office. See Working with Your Registrar for tips.
Send invitations to prospective members
- Order Alpha Lambda Delta brochure, available free from the National Office. Be sure to allow 2 weeks for shipping.
- Include: offer of membership, qualifications of membership, history/information about ALD, chapter’s programs, membership dues (national and local), instructions for those who accept membership (forms and payment method), time/place of information session (if planned), time/place of initiation ceremony/reception.
- Use ALD or school letterhead to add credibility.
- If desired, plan an event in which current members assist in sending invitations to prospective members (and letters to parents).
- Send a save-the-date message to schools, departments, and university administration.
Select and Invite Honorary Members
- Provide them a description of Alpha Lambda Delta programs, activities, and purposes.
- Inform them of planned initiation ceremony date, time, and place.
- Request indication of their interest in becoming honorary members.
1 Month before Initiation
- Assign responsibilities to officers, advisors, other speakers for ceremony (if needed)
- Responsibilities include: line up/direct initiates, read names of initiates during ceremony (or have them say their own names), distribute certificates, distribute insignia pins, read citations for honorary members
- Decide order and procedure of ceremony according to ALD Ritual
- Prepare script/cue cards for ceremony
Host Information Session
- Give information to prospective members about: history/purpose of ALD, benefits of ALD, previous and upcoming programs, dues, deadline to accept membership, time/place of initiation/reception
Confirm space reservation with appropriate person.
Send invitations to initiation ceremony (if desired) to appropriate persons (i.e., parents and family of initiates, faculty, and administrators). Students who accept membership can also be told to invite family and friends to ceremony. Ask students and chapter officers to invite a faculty member who has made an impact on their college learning experience. These faculty members should be treated as honored guests. The more people that attend the induction ceremony, the better-known Alpha Lambda Delta will be. It is helpful to include a mechanism for students to RSVP so you have an idea of how many will be in attendance.
Send reminders of date, time, location, and special instructions for initiation ceremony.
Plan reception or banquet following ceremony, if desired.
3 Weeks before Initiation
Chapters that choose not to use the MyHonorSociety system for invitations may submit their membership lists to the National Office through the ALD Membership Order Form. To ensure timely delivery, please submit the order at least two weeks prior to your initiation date. Please include full names and email addresses for the students. Be sure to include on the list any honorary members you’ve chosen.
For chapters using MHS, you need to manually add Honorary Members by the general student acceptance deadline.
Purchase necessary supplies for ceremony (candles, ribbons, decorations, white cloth, insignia cloth, signature sheets, pens, etc.).
2 Weeks before Initiations
Confirm reservations for initiation ceremony space and food (if necessary)
Confirm attendance of Honorary Members, guest speakers, etc.
Day of Initiation
Assemble all necessary materials for ceremony (i.e. insignia cloth, candles, matches, signature sheets, pens, citations for honorary initiates, certificates, and jewelry)
Arrange materials on initiation table, as outlined in ALD Rituals
Distribute cue cards/script to appropriate officers
Assemble initiates and line up according to entry order list
Escort guests to initiation ceremony room
- Conduct initiation ceremony according to Ritual
- Invite initiates and guests to reception or banquet
- Hold reception or banquet for initiates if planned
Plan initiation ceremonies to be as dignified and effective as possible. Use the ALD Rituals to guide your ceremony. Variations in the ceremony are acceptable as long as the total effect is dignified and impressive. All passages in capital letter must be used.
Take Pictures! Cell phones these days come with great cameras built in, so be sure to take lots of pictures, and assign to an officer the task of posting online and tagging @nationalald.
Have fun! This is a serious occasion, but it should also be fun and memorable. If you’re enjoying yourself, so will the members!
Distribution of Certiﬁcates and Pins to Students Not Attending the Ceremony
Rarely does a chapter conduct an initiation where every initiate can attend the ceremony. This leaves the chapter oﬃcers and advisors with the task of distributing the certiﬁcates and pins to the new members. The simplest way to handle this task is to notify students via e-mail of a campus location (usually your oﬃce) where the certiﬁcates and pins can be picked up during normal business hours, or specific hours you designate. Alternately, you can arrange for chapter oﬃcers to assist you in mailing the remaining certiﬁcates to students who were not in attendance at the ceremony. You might also bring them to meetings and events, and encourage new members not only to attend, but to pick up their certificate as well.
Executive Director's New Member Email
The Executive Director sends an email to all new initiates the day after the ceremony, welcoming them to the ALD family. The email contains the advisor’s name and email address, and tells students to contact their advisor to pick up initiation material if they were unable to attend. If you have a few “open hours” or times set aside for pick-up, email email@example.com and we’ll include the information in the welcome email.