The Harry Potter books and movies use the sorting hat to induct students into different houses. International business honor society Beta Gamma Sigma, on the other hand, uses a “tapping” system.
Two weeks ago, St. Thomas faculty, who are Beta Gamma Sigma members, “tapped” 57 St. Thomas juniors and 26 seniors by visiting their business classes to announce the selected students’ names. The faculty members, dressed in robes and stoles, also handed the students a certificate and recited society information.
Only the top 10 percent of undergraduate business majors and the top 20 percent of graduate business students are selected.
When Michael Garrison, associate dean for faculty and scholarship, came into junior Nicki Wenberg’s operations management class and announced her name, she said she felt “very honored.”
“Being a member in this international honor society is the highest recognition a business student anywhere in the world can receive,” Wenberg said. “Being invited to join gives me pride in my academic record and in my university.”
St. Thomas opened a Beta Gamma Sigma chapter in December 2010 after the university received AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) accreditation. The top five percent of all business schools in the world are AACSB accredited.
Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs Georgia Fisher is the official adviser of the St. Thomas chapter. She has received a lot of positive feedback from people who witnessed the tapping ceremonies, making her even more honored to be as involved as she is in St. Thomas’ chapter.
“Being able to recognize the students, give something to the students for what they achieved, that’s what I enjoy most,” Fisher said. “The ceremony for the parents and students… it’s emotional. It just makes me so proud to be apart of this program.”
Junior Eyo Ekpo said he felt fortunate to be selected this semester.
“I took it as a great honor to be inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma. Being an honor society as it is, I knew what it meant to be invited and what possibilities it could reveal in the future for me,” Ekpo said.
Seth Treptow, the communications director for Beta Gamma Sigma, said the society has established 516 collegiate chapters at business schools accredited by AACSB International. Chapters can be found on six continents, and members reside in more than 160 countries and territories around the globe. Last year, Beta Gamma Sigma inducted 24,552 new members into the society.
The ceremony will be held May 18 in the OEC auditorium and is open to the family members and friends of the inductees. Tapped students attend if they wish to accept the invitation and pay a $65 fee.
Geena Maharaj can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.