Gamma Kappa Alpha

Italian Honor Society
Knowledge and Virtue


Important Messages:

Below you will find an important message from Dr. Maria Rosaria Vitti-Alexander and Scholarship information:


 Dear Colleagues:

            I am pleased to report that the Gamma Kappa Alhpa National Italian Honor Society has two new chapters:

            Arcadia University

            Rider University

I’d like to remind the chapter advisors to order the honor cords to accompany the certificates of recognition for our students.  The honor cords are to be worn by inductees at the graduation ceremony. The one-time membership fee for each new member is now $30, of which $26 is sent to the national office and $4 remains with the local chapter for GKA activities. The increase in the induction fee is due to the increased cost of the honor cords.

May I ask each on of you to contact an institution you know that does not have a GKA Chapter. I am including a flyer for you to distribute for this purpose. There are still many places that do not have a GKA Chapter, and our goal is that all the American Institutions that offer Italian become affiliated with the GKA.  After all, this is the ONLY National Italian Honor Society, so why shouldn’t every institution belong!

            For the induction into Gamma Kappa Alpha in 2012, I am asking to please send me only ONE request for GKA membership certificates per year.  We need to keep mailing expenses down. Please be advised that I will be charging a $10 fee for any additional mailing for certificates and honor cords. Last spring, there were numerous requests for additional mailings which were all done at the expense of the GKA Society. I also have to remind colleagues that I will not mail out ANY certificates and chords without a check accompanying the request.  To receive prompt attention and the requested certificates, YOU MUST HAVE a check made out to the GKA National Italian Honor Society; otherwise the materials requested will not be mailed.

            I would like to ask the Advisors not to mail me students’ personal checks.  There have been a few “returned checks for insufficient funds.”  Needless to say the Association has lost money in some cases.  Ask the students to write you a check or give you cash; then write the National Association a check for the total number of certificates requested.  A personal check from a colleague is fine; there is no need to have the University issue a payment check to the GKA.

            Many Chapter Advisors have requested additional copies of the GKA Award for scholarship guidelines.   I am enclosing a copy for each of you along with this letter.

            Regrettably, a few institutions that held an induction mailed me neither the names of the inducted students nor news on their ceremony, nor any of the activities held during the 2011 academic year.  In writing this Newsletter, I had to leave out these institutions.

            Please mail in information on your induction ceremony, on students, and on the activities of your Italian area.  It is nice to share experiences with colleagues, and many times we can always learn from what others are doing.  Thank you for your cooperation.  I am also including the Oath of out Society.  I have my students recite it after me before they officially accept the GKA certificate and chord.  It makes the ceremony more formal, it is yours to use if you want to incorporate it into your ceremony.

Best of luck and warm wishes for the remainder of the academic year.



Maria Rosaria Vitti-Alexander

Nazareth College of Rochester




Gamma Kappa Alpha Award Scholarship


I.                   Name of Award: Gamma Kappa Alpha Award for Scholarship.

II.                Purpose: To recognize outstanding undergraduate scholarship in the field of Italian literature, civilization or linguistics.

III.             Amount of Award: One $500 award yearly, contingent on availability of funds and subject to approval by the Board of Directors.

IV.             Administration of Award: An Award Committee will be appointed by the President of the Society.  Three members, one of whom will be designated as “chair,” will serve at the pleasure of the President.  Upon receiving nominations, the Chair will contact members of the committee to review each nomination package.  The chair will report to the President the committee’s recommendation.  The President will then notify the Secretary-Treasurer, who will make out a check in the sum of $500, drawn from the Society’s funds.  The award may not be given if the committee is unable to make a recommendation to the President.

V.                Eligibility: Undergraduate students attending an institution with a GKA chapter.  Students must be seniors completing a major, minor, or concentration in Italian literature, civilization, or linguistics, and must meet eligibility requirements for induction into GKA.

VI.             Nomination: Eligible students will be invited to the Chapter Academic Advisor to submit an essay in the field of Italian literature, civilization, or linguistics to a nominating committee comprised of the Chapter Academic Advisor and at least one other member of the home institution.  No more than five faculty members may be invited by the Chapter Academic Advisor to serve on the nominating committee.  After evaluating the essay(s), the committee will recommend no more than one candidate for the award.

VII.          Deadlines: Chapter Academic Advisor will send nomination packages to the Chair of the Award Committee by April 13, 2012.  The Chair will notify the President, as soon as feasible, of the committee’s decision.  The president will notify the Secretary-Treasurer, who will send the check.

VIII.       Nomination Package: The Chapter Academic Advisor is responsible for assembling a nomination package for each student.  The nomination package consists of four copies of each of the following items:

1)      Curriculum vitae

2)      Transcripts of all colleges attended (if more than one).  Only one set of transcripts needs to be official.  The other tree sets may be copies.

3)      A letter of nomination and recommendation written by the Academic Advisor and signed by all members of the Nominating Committee and the department Chair.

4)      The entered essay.

Please pay attention to the following:

  1. Essays must be written in Italian
  2. Essays must consist of a minimum of two thousand (2000) words to a maximum of two thousand five hundred (2500) words, i.e. eight (8) to ten (10) pages, type-written or computer generated.
  3. We are offering one (1) award, in the amount of five hundred (500) dollars.