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LSU Inducts Inaugural Class of Tau Sigma Honor Society

Society is the first of its kind in Louisiana to recognize transfer students’ academic achievements

Sigma Tau inductee
Darrell Ray, LSU assistant vice chancellor for Student Life, congratulates sophomore Veaceslau Fedorenco on being inducted into Tau Sigma Honor Society.

There are many pathways to becoming a student at LSU. While the most traditional is to enter college as a freshman just out of high school, there are a number of students who try out another university first and for one reason or another decide that LSU is the better place for them.

This past fall semester, 998 students transferred to LSU to complete their studies, and over the past four years – dating back to the fall 2006 semester – a total of 6,037 students have transferred to LSU. Starting this semester, there is a new opportunity available specifically for them.

On Sunday, Feb. 21, the first class of Tau Sigma National Honor Society was inducted on campus. The inaugural class, consisting of 47 high achieving transfer students, was welcomed by LSU Chancellor Michael Martin.

“We’re all glad that Tau Sigma is here on our campus and that each of you is willing to participate and be part of the inaugural group that we know will make this an outstanding organization for students,” Martin said. “We are always here to create new opportunities for our students and to make students feel that this is their university. It’s also special because this institution is committed to excellence, as is this organization, so it brings together the commitment of the university with the commitment of the individual students to have a truly excellent career here at LSU and to carry that out into the world.”

Tau Sigma is a national honor society designed specifically to recognize and promote the academic excellence and involvement of transfer students. The society’s arrival at LSU was initiated by First Year Experience, or FYE, in the LSU Division of Student Life. Founded in 1999 at Auburn University, the organization now has chapters at more than 60 universities across the United States. LSU is the first university in Louisiana to charter a chapter of Tau Sigma.

“A real emphasis of our recruiting and our commitment is to attract more transfer students and to attract more graduate students,” Martin said. “In doing so, I believe we contribute to the diversity and the feel of the university in ways different than we have in the past. We’re hoping that having Tau Sigma here sends the message to transfer students that there are many doors to LSU and many ladders to arrive here. You are part of the Tiger family, and we are very happy to have you here.”

Chancellor Mike Martin
LSU Chancellor Michael Martin welcomed the inaugural class of Tau Sigma to campus. Following the induction oath, Martin met with the transfer students and their parents, who attended the ceremony at the LSU Faculty Club.

Membership in Tau Sigma is by invitation only and is granted to students who have either completed at least two semesters at a prior institution and earned at least a 3.5 cumulative grade point average, or are in the top 20 percent of all incoming transfers after completing the first semester at LSU.

One of the students inducted was sophomore Allison Pogue of West Monroe, La., who began her college career at a university close to home. After a couple of years there, she decided that LSU was the better place for her.

“LSU offers so many more opportunities,” said Pogue, an interior design major. “I’m able to go on so many more study abroad trips that are specific to my major. It’s a really strong program; it’s ranked nationally. The faculty and staff are just absolutely amazing; they help you one-on-one. It’s definitely difficult and competitive, but once you get in, they push you really hard.”

The inaugural class of Tau Sigma was inducted by chapter advisor Randy Fontenot, LSU FYE program coordinator.

“On behalf of the LSU chapter, I congratulate you on having chosen to become members of Tau Sigma Honor Society,” he said. “May you prove to always represent yourselves and Louisiana State University as you have thus far.”

The inaugural class of Tau Sigma includes LSU students from across the state, country and world. The class includes students from states other than Louisiana such as Montana, Illinois and Tennessee and countries such as France, Sweden and Columbia.

Pogue said that a big reason why she wanted to join Tau Sigma is to be able to meet other students who had been through the same transfer process and experiences that she had.

“Most people here are incoming freshmen, and they start here since the beginning and being a transfer student, it’s hard,” she said. “You already know what college is like, but you don’t have your group here. That’s a big reason why I joined this group. These people are a lot like me, coming from other universities coming here.”

Sigma Tau inductees
The inaugural class of Tau Sigma consists of 47 high achieving transfer students from around the world. The class includes students from the United States, France, Sweden and Columbia.

Pogue said that the best advice that she could give someone coming to LSU for the first time, whether they are entering school as a freshman or transferring from another university, is to get involved early.

“My biggest challenge was that my first semester I didn’t get involved,” she said. “Coming from a smaller university to a larger one, it is harder to meet students, and I wish the first semester I was here, I would have joined at least one thing. I waited a year just to kind of get used to it, but my third semester, I was able to join a lot more organizations and really get involved. It’s been the best thing. I’ve met so many people. Just joining one organization can make you meet twice as many people as you’d imagine.”

Another consideration that students face when deciding to transfer is the process itself. LSU considers students for transfer who have previous college or university work from regionally accredited institutions if they have a 2.5 grade point average or better on all college work attempted and 30 college level hours, including a college-level course in English and in mathematics – above remedial. If students have less than 30 college level hours, they must meet the current freshman requirements along with maintaining at least a 2.5 on all college work. Applicants who have earned more than 60 semester hours of college-level work must be accepted by their intended senior college.

Many of the students agree that the transfer process isn’t a difficult one.

“I didn’t have any problems transferring,” said Johan Eriksson, a senior in civil engineering who transferred to LSU from Karlstad University in Sweden.

Pogue said that LSU makes transferring even easier by offering help throughout the process and by having everything needed available online.

“As long as you meet the requirements, it’s a really easy process,” she said. “The admissions office does a really good job of getting you through. There’s always someone there to talk to if you have questions about getting it done. Everything is available online, that’s another good thing about LSU. Through the PAWS account, you can access anything you need. They’re really good, technology-wise, about communicating with students.”

For more information on the transfer process at LSU, visit

Tau Sigma at LSU is just one of the many services that FYE provides for students. New programs are constantly being developed for new students, both freshmen and transfers. For more information on the services available, visit or e-mail For more information on Tau Sigma, visit

Ernie Ballard | Editor | Office of Communications & University Relations
February 2010