BYU’s President Kevin J Worthen received an honorary membership into the BYU Spanish honors society Delta Sigma Pi on Oct. 15, 2015.
While Worthen doesn’t speak fluent Spanish, he was honored as one who honors and respects the language and culture. Brian Price, a professor in the Spanish department, was given the honors of presenting Worthen with his honorary membership in Delta Sigma Pi.
Price read aloud the ritual in Spanish and inducted Worthen into the society.
“President Worthen, the Hispanic Sigma Delta Pi is pleased and honored to receive an honorary member so distinguished as you,” Price said.
Price then said his membership in the society is an implicit promise that he will help them in society. Following the ritual remarks, Price presented Worthen with a flower and a certificate, symbolizing his membership. Worthen signed the register and was applauded with welcome into the Delta Sigma Pi society.
Worthen remained to give a few remarks, insisting he was not going to be speaking much Spanish. He began with his experience as a full-time missionary leading up to the time in which he served as a mission president in Chile.
Two co-presidents of Delta Sigma Pi, Kjerstie Olson and Faith Sutherlin, came to the front to conduct the induction ceremony at the conclusion of Worthen’s remarks.
The rest of the students proceeded to join the society. The students conducting the ceremony said that 19 students would be inducted into Delta Sigma Pi. Kjerstie Olson, also speaking in Spanish, explained to those in attendance just what their membership in the society means.
“You have a living interest in the beautiful language of Spanish, we trust in you to grow that interest and the study of the Spanish letters in our alma mater,” Olson said, “Our society is known around the world as Sigma Delta Pi.”
Olson explained that Delta Sigma Pi are the first three letters in the greek word: Spanías Didagéi Proágomen. Which means “Let’s go forth”.
She further mentioned that these words call them to press forward under the inspiration of the labors of the Spanish culture. Their society is represented by the colors red and gold and the red carnation flower. Together this insignia is a miniature of the code of castilla.
She invited all the students up to the front where they were each presented with their own candle, carnation and certificate. Each student signed the register and was welcomed into the society with a round of applause.
Olson explained that the candle symbolically says, “If you light me I live, if you don’t, I die.” As a member, they have a responsibility to use and grow their knowledge.
The meeting finished and the members of the society then shared in cultural food and music.