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Sample Rho Kappa Induction Ceremony

Materials Needed:

  • Three candles – colored white, green, gold, and blue. Music for processional and recessional marches
  • Certificates/membership cards with for all student inductees

Order of Proceedings

  1. Processional – officers lead candidates in
  2. Pledge of Allegiance – Select an officer to lead
  3. Welcome and Introductions – faculty sponsor or officer
  4. Guest Speaker
  5. Induction Ceremony

Introduction by RHO KAPPA President

Candidates, you are being presented for induction in RHO KAPPA, a society whose purpose is to honor excellence in the Social Studies. It is an honor to be selected for membership organization, and I congratulate each of you for attaining this distinction. Our name, RHO KAPPA, is taken from two words Semitic origin. RHO is derived from “resh” meaning “head” and KAPPA is derived from “kapf” which means “palm of the hand.” Both these terms symbolize our firm belief that knowledge without service is useless.

[If the school has named its chapter, an explanation of the name may be inserted here]

Each of you meets the requirements for membership, and this includes superior work in Social Studies classes and participation in school or community service. Your work demonstrates the qualities of industry, initiative, and reliability.

The principal purpose of RHO KAPPA is to stimulate a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of all the academic disciplines comprising the social studies curriculum. Thus, on this occasion it is appropriate to take a moment and reflect on the significance and contributions of the social studies in the development of the individual.

II. (First speaker approaches table and lights the white candle.)

The white candle represents veritas, or truth. According to Nadine Gordimer, South African author and Nobel Laureate, “The truth isn’t always beauty, but the hunger for it is.” In Social Studies we seek the truth. The truth we seek is untarnished by prejudice or bias. It is this search that leads to greater understanding of the world and humanity’s place in it.

(Second speaker approaches table and lights the green candle from the white candle.)

III. Second speaker - Officer

The green candle stands for scientia, or knowledge. The Greek philosopher and dramatist Euripides stated, “Who so neglects learning in his youth, loses the past and is dead for the future.” As a member of RHO KAPPA, you have the distinction of being one who seeks knowledge in your youth, and you are therefore building upon your understanding of the past in order to create a future of your own and that of the world in which we live.

(Third speaker approaches the table and lights the gold candle from the white candle.)

IV. Third speaker - Officer

The gold candle represents sapienta, or wisdom. As Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “It is the province of knowledge to speak, and itis the privilege of wisdom to listen.” Wisdom is the tool we use to discern what is true and how to value that truth.

(Fourth speaker approaches the table and lights the blue candle from the white candle.)

V. Fourth Speaker – Officer

The blue candle represents officium, or service. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others, “Indian political leader Mohandas Gandhi once said. True civic engagement in school or community service lies not within what you do, but why you do it.

6. President (or faculty sponsor) comes to the podium to address the candidates.

. . . . to the inductees:
You have now heard briefly the major characteristics of the RHOKAPPA scholar. Those of you, who agree that you will strive to fulfill these fundamental principles, please rise for your induction and recite the oath:

“I, (state your name), do promise to serve others, to search for truth, to utilize knowledge, and to seek wisdom through the pursuit of academic excellence in the Social Studies. I promise service to (name of high school) High School and to the community, for true scholars of the Social Studies lead by example.”

I now declare you members of RHO KAPPA. As your name is called, please come to the stage. Our principal and staff will present each of you with a membership certificate. [Our guests on the stage will also wish to congratulate you.]

7. Awarding of certificates by school Principal and social studies staff.

8. [Optional - RHO KAPPA Officer Spoken to the school Principal:

An honor society has little meaning without service. Please accept our promise to serve at your request, whatever the needs for our high school.

Spoken to the audience, guests and candidates:
Thank you for joining us today to honor these students and we wish toextend an invitation to each of you to join us for a reception to immediately follow in the school commons area.]

9. The Recessional . . . . . . . .

[NCSS wishes to thank Ft. Myers High School — the first established RHO KAPPA CHAPTER in Florida — for much of this sample ceremony]