The formation of a nursing honor society at California State University, Sacramento and the possible formation of a new chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, National Honor Society of Nursing, had been discussed by the Division Chair, Mary Goldberg and the nursing faculty for several years in the late 1970's. The faculty had observed the high grade point averages, motivation, and professional commitment of the Sacramento State students, as well as the number of nursing students graduating with honors. It was the consensus of the faculty that a method of recognizing those outstanding students should be developed.
In fall, 1977, Chair Goldberg gave approval for the formation of an honor society. The result was that in spring, 1978, three faculty members were selected to organize a Steering Committee in this endeavor. Members of the Steering Committee included Division Chair: Mary Goldberg; Faculty: Katherine Jones, Kathleen Jarvis, and Kathleen May; Students: Jean Anderson, Pete Higginbotham, and Pamela Taylor; Alumnus/Community: Maggie Hansma; Alumnus/Faculty: Bonnie Rudolph. The committee appointed officers who then sought and received approval for the organization from the university administration. Criteria for membership were also developed and letters of application were sent to alumni and community persons recommended by the Division faculty and Steering Committee.
The first annual induction ceremony for 24 new members was held on June 7, 1978 at the Woodlake Inn. Following this event, a business meeting was held to nominate officers and plan for the coming year. Over the summer, the officers and Steering Committee members refined the chapter bylaws. The first year of the Honor Society was successful in establishing a chapter newsletter and completing a chapter application for submission to National.
The second annual induction ceremony was held on April 26, 1979 at the Sacramento Inn. A total of 46 new members were inducted into the chapter that evening. Changes in the organization of the Sacramento State campus and Division of Nursing coupled with pressures for curriculum revision caused the officers to withdraw their charter application from National until the situation stabilized.
The third annual induction ceremony was held June 4, 1980 and saw the induction of 17 new members. The officers and Steering Committee again wrote the application for charter membership over the summer and submitted it to National in September of that year. The National site visitor, Helen Ference, arrived in April 1981 to meet with alumni, faculty, and community members as well as adminstrators and students before National would grant the charter.
Mission Accomplished - Chapter Established
The Zeta Eta Chapter of STTI was successfully chartered on April 20, 1982 at the Division of Nursing at Sacramento State. The fourth annual induction ceremony recognized new and sustaining members in the Zeta Eta Charter, including:
N. Jean Anderson, Patricia Atkins, Marilyn Baker, Deanna Balantac, Kathleen Bell, Marueen Betz, Carol Birch, Mollyn Bohnen, Jo Ann Booth, Elizabeth Borland, Kathy Bowden, Gina Bowerman, Kathleen Bowles, Mary Braham, Marylou Brewer, Celia Buckley, Diane Bush, Laureen Campana, Nancy Carle, Billie Case, Gail Chase, Betty Clark, Mary Jane Coombs, Mariann Cosby, Katherine Craddock, Connie Crippen, Carlynn Damm, Linda Davis-Alldritt, Margaret deDries, Delores Dickey, Catherine Donovan, Karen Douglass, Glen Doyle, Thomas Drake, Priscilla Dwyer, Diane Emmons, Jodee Enzminger, Jane Frederic, Elinor Fretz, Naomi Garrison, Patricia Garrison, Susan Gaston, Lorrie Gaylen-Urmanita, Nancy Giachino, Cheryl Goldenberg, Carl Gookins, Charleen Gorrell, Jean Grandi, Rhoberta Haley, Ruth Hammargren, Margaret Hansma, Jean Harlow, Susan Harris, Mary Hatfield, Carol Higashi, Pete Higginbotham, Eleanor Hoffman, Suzette Honea, Marilyn Hopkins, Susan Hutson, Linda Hutton, Kathleen Jarvis, Kristin Johnson, Roberta Johnson, Shelley Jones, Barbara Juzek, Laura Klaisle, Karen Kouretas, Jean Langhi, Patricia Lee, Sharon Leidy, Christine Lima, Diane Lopes, Laura Lorbeer, Regina Luscutoff, Kathryn MacWilliams, Susan Marty, Donna Mason, Elizabeth Matthews, Deborah McCartney, Emily McGraw, Judy Messer, Vicki Meyer, Mary Moore, Patricia Morris, Susan Morris, Brenda Nakayama, M.J. Nealon, Sheila Neroda, Douglas Newport, Londa Olson-Kingsbury, Robert O'Malley, Linda Owens, Randi Paris-Salb, Annette Patch, Deborah Patitucci, Carla Perlite, Nancy Peterson, Dorothy Pethel, Sister Dilecta Pierini, Wendy Pollock, Juanita Ponton, Jamie Pullos, Frances Ratcliff, Christine Reynolds, Susan Rooney, Kathleen Rose, Constance Roth, Cathy Ruebusch, Joanne Sahl, Michelle Sanoja, Lorna Schumann, Nancy Schwartz, Joyce Shigkawa, Ann Siebers, Mary Simmons, Sandra Sluka, Sandra Small, Valerie Smith, Ellen Sockolov, Jeffrey Souza, Denalee Standart, LInda Stone, Lois Strong-Tavaillie, Delight Stuhlert, Michelle Sturges, Shirely Sugiyama, Mary Summers, Suzy Swarm, Mark Switters, Pamela Taylor, Shirely Toy, Nancy Trogdon, Carolyn VanCouwenberghe, Carole VanNess, Nancy Walsma, Marilyn Ward, Nancy Ward, Karen Webb, Brenda Wentz, Stacey Williams, Tammy Wood;
and transfer members: Phyllis Foster, Martha Gill, Betty Jo Jones, Vera Koehler, Robyn Nelson, Goldie Niehaus, Jayne Rogers, Phyllis Semas, Nancy Thomson, Louise Timmer, Annita Watson, Mabel Weaver.
Today, Zeta Eta has several hundred active members and continues to induct deserving student and community candidates into membership at its biannual induction ceremonies. The Chapter celebrated the 30th anniversary of its charter in 2012 and became a Chapter-at-large in partnership with the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis in 2013.
-adapted from a history written by founding member, Dr. Kathleen Jarvis