The Beginning of Delta Psi Chapter


In the fall of 1977, Dr. Marion McKenna, Dean of Nursing at the University of Kentucky, along with two faculty members met with Ms. Jean McKinley, First Vice President of Sigma Theta Tau, to initiate plans for establishing a chapter of the national honor society in nursing. Jean McKinley was then employed at the Veterans' Administration Hospital in Lexington. With her encouragement, a group of nine University of Kentucky faculty members met as a steering committee to form our Honor Society in Nursing on November 28, 1977. The purpose was to recognize excellence in nursing and eventually, to petition a charter from Sigma Theta Tau, the  National Honor Society for Nurses.  Evelyn Geller was elected Chair of the Steering Committee and bylaws were drafted.

The Induction ceremony for 221 candidates into the newly formed University of Kentucky College of Nursing Honor Society was held on May 7, 1978 at the Student Center Ballroom with Dean McKenna presiding.  Jean McKinley presented the inspiring keynote address: Why an Honor Society in Nursing?  The entire event is captured on video cassette for posterity.

Ms. Ann Bovier from Sigma Theta Tau National, made an evaluation visit to our honor society on May 7-8, 1979. The Honor Society Newsletter began publishing in September, 1978. A sum of $500.00 was distributed in support of the research in nursing.

Pre-Induction Dinner
Jean McKinley, Marion McKenna, Gretchen LaGodna

In December, 1979, President LaGodna was notified from National Headquarters that the Charter would be named Delta Psi.  The official chartering ceremony of Delta Psi was scheduled on April 26, 1980.  

In July 1979, then President Gretchen LaGodna received word that our application for membership would be recommended for approval by the National Council of Sigma Theta Tau.  Dean Marion McKenna and Ms. Kay Robinson represented the Honor Society at the Sigma Theta Tau Biennial Convention in Seattle, Washington. The University of Kentucky College of Nursing Honor Society was approved for chartering. 


Jean McKinley                 Pre-Induction Dinner 
Induction Ceremony         M. Lyster, J. Morris, G. Carpenter

Along with the presentation of the charter, the induction of members and installation of officers followed. Ms. Jean McKinley, former Vice President of Sigma Theta Tau, presided as the Installing Officer for the 276 charter and transfer members. After the installation, a reception and luncheon was held at the Lafayette Club.  The installation marked the accomplishment of many years of hard work.