Kappa Tau Alpha Ritual for the Initiation of Members

The chapter adviser, who is the local member of the National Council of the society, shall stand and face the candidates. The adviser shall deliver the charge and require the pledge in the following words:

Candidates for admission into Kappa Tau Alpha:

As a member of the National Council of the society, I have been charged with the duty of administering to you the pledge of Kappa Tau Alpha.

This society was founded at the University of Missouri in 1910 by a group of honor men and women who sought to form a bond of union among students of unusual achievement in the leading schools and departments of journalism and communication. They believed that their own devotion to high standards of scholarship and professional conduct would be strengthened by union with students in other institutions who might join them in such ideals.

As you become a member of Kappa Tau Alpha, you should keep in mind the basic aim of a fellowship with a high level of professional and scholarship aspiration and achievement.

The Greek letters Kappa Tau Alpha (pronounced krah-TAY-say toe ah-lay-THEZ) mean The Truth Will Prevail. Also, these same Greek letters suggest three English words "knowledge, truth, accuracy” which indicate the purpose of our society. The qualities these words name must be correlated: Knowledge is power, but unless our knowledge is devoted to the communication of truth, its function for the work of the journalist will never be achieved. nor is truth, for the great journalist a mere philosophical idea; it is truth refined by accuracy.

Our emblem is the key, oldest symbol of knowledge, and the quill upon this key symbolizes our method of communicating this knowledge to the people. Our colors are light blue, signifying truth; and gold, emblematic of worth and high standards.

Student initiates will now stand and raise their right hands and repeat after me the following pledge:

I promise to be faithful by word and deed to these cardinal precepts of journalism and mass communication:

Standards of education in our fields must continually be raised. Study and learning are a lifelong obligation upon us all.

Industry and alertness are the marks of our calling.

The price of the effectiveness of the media is our continuous effort to improve them.

I dedicate myself to the highest ideals of journalism and mass communication in whatever medium I may work; to liberty of communication; to honesty in news, in comment and in advertising; to fairness to all persons and all groups; to skill and artistry in presentation; to accuracy; to truth.

Honorary initiates shall now be asked to stand.

Adviser: Do you renew your allegiance to the principles in the pledge you have just heard?

Among the several shorter forms recommended by advisers is this:

I do solemnly promise to be faithful to these cardinal precepts of journalism and mass communications:

Standards of education in our fields must continually be raised.

study and learning are a lifelong obligation.

Industry and alertness are the marks of our calling.

We must continually strive to improve the media.

I dedicate myself to the highest ideals of journalism and communication; to liberty of communication; to honesty; to fairness to all; to skill and artistry; to accuracy; to truth.

On the other hand, the adviser might read the entire pledge and then request the initiates to say "I agree" if they are in accordance with these principles. Some advisers read the first portion of the longer pledge and then ask the students to repeat the part beginning with "I dedicate...."

Each adviser has the right to make adjustments considered most appropriate for his or her group of initiates, such as those involving "journalism" or "mass communication(s)." Changes should not, of course, depart from the cardinal principles of Kappa Tau Alpha as set forth in the original pledge.