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Delta Omega


By Gerard J. Shorb, Johns Hopkins University

Part 6: Alpha Chapter Returns

In 1978 at The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, Dean Donald A. Henderson, Dean Emeritus Ernest Stebbins, Professors Raymond Seltser, David Levy, Alan Ross and Anna Baetjer petitioned Delta Omega to reactivate the Alpha Chapter. The National Council immediately approved the request at their October 17, 1978 meeting.51 Ernest Stebbins became Alpha Chapter's first president since Kenneth Maxcy in 1942. Stebbins, who was the national secretary in 1942 when the Alpha Chapter became inactive, was also an Honorary Member of the Society. He was instrumental in bringing Alpha Chapter back into the fold.

Alpha Chapter had some catching-up to do. A number of alumni, who were distinguished individuals in the field of public health, never had the chance to join Delta Omega while they were students at The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. Doctor Stebbins got special permission to elect these members into Alpha Chapter under a grandfather clause granted by the National Council. Along with the alumni members chosen, groups of students were elected and recognized at the commencement ceremonies.

The following year Alpha Chapter held a Delta Omega Student Research Day. At this function the Society recognized outstanding student papers based on original research. During the same year, they also sponsored a special induction ceremony and reunion dinner to induct newly elected members. Later, that year, they held a Delta Omega Lectureship. The speaker was former President of the American Public Health Association, June Jackson Christmas.52 These activities became regular events. In subsequent years speakers at Alpha Chapter events included Ernest Bueding, Haroutune K. Armenian and J. Michael McGinnis. Other highlights have been presentations of National Merit Awards to Hopkins faculty and alumni. These recipients have included Margaret Merrell, Myron Wegman and Donald A. Henderson. In 1982, the National Society elected former Associate Dean Edyth Schoenrich as the President of the National Society.

In a very short period of time, the Alpha group re-established itself as a vitalant chapter. Their success, however, has not come easily. It was due to the unfailing efforts of a number of dedicated individuals. These individuals include Ernest Stebbins, Donald A. Henderson, Anna Baetjer, John Hume, Allyn W. Kimball Jr., Keerti Shah, Arthur Bushel, Charlotte Ferencz, C. Alex Alexander, Lloyd Rozeboom, Morton Kramer, Cheryl Alexander, Richard Shieh, Sylvia Eggleston-Wehr, Edyth Schoenrich, Raymond Seltser, David Levy, Alan Ross, Marcia Pines and Elizabeth Fee to name only a few. Many of these individuals served as officers of the chapter, others contributed in other ways.