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Eta Sigma Delta: an Academic Honor Society that gives back
While no one needs an excuse to hand out free ice cream, when a group of students from César Ritz Colleges Switzerland decided to treat their fellow classmates and staff members to scoops of sprinkle-topped happiness, their motivation can be traced all the way back to 1978.
This was the year that a group of students from the the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics decided it was high time hospitality and tourism students get the same recognition as students in other fields. Honor societies were created to award students for their academic excellence, and while most disciplines had them, there was yet to be one for those studying to serve one of the world’s largest industries.
The students explored a variety of options that would highlight the value of hospitality students, awarding those whose academic achievements, meritorious service, and professionalism made them stand out. Their efforts led to the birth of the first chapter of Eta Sigma Delta (ESD) International Hospitality Management Society, an international honor society aiming to recognize the scholastic and professional achievements of students and alumni from institutions awarding degrees and diplomas in the field of hospitality, tourism, and culinary arts.
Forty-four years later, there are over 90 active Eta Sigma Delta chapters throughout the world. The growth of the society is largely due to the guidance and support of International CHRIE, as well as the dedication of both students and professionals in hospitality and tourism.
At César Ritz Colleges, the society is kept busy. From exclusive sessions with guest speakers, to field trips where they practice teambuilding and develop their leadership skills, members are encouraged to continually strive for excellence.
After interviewing members of ESD at César Ritz Colleges, Sara Caetano, Career and Internship Coach, found these students to be “the crème de la crème of hospitality, exhibiting a lot of professionalism. Overall, being a part of this society was a wonderful learning experience for the students. The objective was to prepare them for their professional endeavors in the future and it was very successful in doing so.”
This brings us back to the free ice cream which, let’s face it, you haven’t forgotten.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, members of Eta Sigma Delta from César Ritz Colleges decided to organize a service project to give back to the academic community. Inspired by the annual theme set by the society, “Shine Bright Like 75 Diamonds,” they knew they wanted to do something that would boost morale around campus and bring a ray of positivity into the day of staff and students alike.
They organized the event “Ice Cream for Positivity” to celebrate and express their gratitude for a community in which they were able to thrive, allowing them to achieve top academic performance. Another one of their goals was to put into practice the core values of the society - excellence, leadership, creativity, service, and ethics.
It was such a great success that the ESD committee is considering turning this event into a tradition!