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About Us/History

History of Alpha Chapter

Honor societies exist for many fields of study, to recognize those who excel in scholarly efforts and service.  The creation of an honor society to recognize scholarship in the field of literacy was recommended by an advisory committee to the Board of Directors of the International Reading Association in 1984.  Following an intensive investigation, the Board recommended that the establishment of an honor society be placed on the agenda of the 1985 Delegate Assembly. The proposal was approved, and the initial meeting of the Executive Council for Alpha Upsilon Alpha was held in May of 1985.

Nearly a year later, the Executive Council approved the first chapters, in April of 1986. The chapter at the University of Northern Iowa has the distinction of receiving the first charter in the world and is therefore designated the Alpha Chapter of Alpha Upsilon Alpha.

Alpha Chapter has not been content merely to honor its initiates.  We have a heritage of collaboration:

  • producing literacy brochures given to all new mothers at Cedar Valley hospitals
  • reading manuscripts before members submit them to professional journals
  • reviewing documents that members complete for Master Teacher status
  • celebrating members’ books and journal articles
  • swapping ideas at bimonthly Books’n’Brunch events
  • mentoring members of UNI’s Student Reading Association

Now, what can you contribute?  And what can we do for you?


Why Alpha Upsilon Alpha?

     The name of the Society---Alpha Upsilon Alpha---is derived from the intital letters of three Greek words:

                                Anagnosis, Reading

                                Upotrophia, Scholarship

                                Archon,      Leadership

     The motto of the Society is in Latin---Lege, sapere aude---meaning, "Read, dare to be wise."