The National Slavic Honor Society
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Dobro Slovo was originally founded as a local Slavic Honorary Society on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley on October 29, 1926. In 1963, with the help and encouragement of the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL), Dobro Slovo became the National Slavic Honor Society.
The National Slavic Honor Society was patterned after existing honorary organizations in other fields. Since 1963, Dobro Slovo has steadily grown to be an internationally recognized academic Honor Society with a distinguished membership. From 1971 to 2020, Dr. Sanford Couch of Arizona State University served as National Executive Secretary, steadily guiding the society and raising its national profile before retiring in 2020. Currently there are over 130 local chapters with a total membership of 6,200.
Dobro Slovo serves as a means for the recognition of academic excellence in the study of Slavic languages, literature, history and culture. The Society serves as an incentive for scholarly interest in Slavic life and culture.
The Dobro Slovo Key and Honor Cord: The name of the society is represented by the two glagolitic letters, Dobro (on the upper left corner of the key), which means "beautiful," and Slovo (on the lower right corner), which means "word." The firebird (zharptitsa), a well-known figure from Slavic folk tales, appears on the upper right corner of the key, representing the ancient roots of Slavic culture. The lower left corner of the key, designed to look like a page about to be turned, represents the ongoing search through books and manuscripts in pursuit of greater understanding Slavic Language, Literature, and Culture. The Key of the Society is as representative of academic excellence in Slavic studies as the Phi Beta Kappa is for academic studies as a whole.
In addition to the Dobro Slovo Key and Certificate, inductees receive an Honor Cord, made up of with tassels on either end to be worn with commencement robes. The cords’ colors of black and gold are long standing historical symbols in Slavic folklore. The black represents hard work, struggle, and sacrifice, while the gold reward, rebirth, and valor.
There are three classes of membership: student, faculty, and honorary. Members may be chosen from both undergraduate and graduate students and from the faculty of the local institution. All members must be inducted by an existing chapter. Institutions wishing to start a chapter should apply to open a chapter first and then may nominate new members.
Qualifications for student membership are:
The Chapter Faculty Advisor is responsible for determining the eligibility of all candidates.