Alpha Mu Gamma is the first and largest national collegiate foreign language honor society of the United States. It was established on April 29, 1931 at Los Angeles City College by five members of the College foreign language faculty. These five members recognized the need for a society to honor achievement in all foreign languages at an early stage in the student’s career. More than 307 chapters exist in the United States, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. USF Saint Petersburg is the 350th chapter of Alpha Mu Gamma.
The name Alpha Mu Gamma is composed of the names of the initial Greek letters found in the phrase “Amphi Mouse Glosson*,” meaning, “For the Muse of Languages.” The motto of the Society is “Search with eyes aloft,” from Virgil’s “Aeneid,” Book VI. The original Latin version is “Alte vestiga oculis**.” The Greek translation is “Hypselois ophthalmois theoreite***.” The emblem is the Golden Bough, mentioned in Virgil’s “Aeneid,” Book VI, and is a golden olive branch.
Alpha Mu Gamma has as its primary purpose the honoring of students for outstanding achievement during their first year of foreign language study in college. However, students may be admitted at any stage in their college careers. Upon initiation a member receives a parchment certificate of membership and may wear the scroll-shaped gold key or pin.
Full Student Membership
A candidate for Full Student Membership of Alpha Mu Gamma, applying through a chapter, shall have completed one of the alternative language requirements:
He/she shall offer two final course grades of “A” in two college level courses (each at least 3 semester units) of the same foreign language or American sign language (ASL)
A candidate who is a native of non-English speaking country, may offer two final course grades of “A” in college level English or English as a Second Language (ESL).
A candidate shall also have attained a minimum accumulative Grade Point Average of “B” in a college level work. Each of the two college level courses of the target language must be at least three semester units.
Associate Membership in a chapter may be granted by the chapter to any student who has met part of the requirements for Full Membership and has expressed an interest in eventually becoming a Full Member. Upon the completion of all the requirements, such an Associate Member shall be eligible for Full Membership.
Honorary membership in a chapter is open to community and civic leaders recognized for their language ability, for their interest in the study and use of foreign languages, or for their demonstration of a sympathetic understanding of other peoples. It may also be granted to any person who has performed significant service to the chapter.
Faculty membership in a chapter is open to any faculty member of the foreign language department (or departments) of the institution where the chapter is situated. Please contact your chapter adviser.
The Society offers annually, on a competitive basis, to all students members of Alpha Mu Gamma who are planning continuing study of a foreign language the following scholarships:
1. Three Goddard, Indovina & Krakowski Scholarships for any foreign language study.
2. One Laval University Summer Tuition Scholarship plus AMG stipend for one month (July-August) of intensive French study in Quebec Canada.
3. One James Fonseca Scholarship for the study of Esperanto or Spanish.