OC history students among the best in the nation for 22 years running

History students at Oklahoma Christian University routinely rank among the best in the nation. That standard of excellence continues today as OC’s history honor society was recognized late last year as a Best Chapter in the nation for the 22nd year in a row.

OC’s chapter is a member of Phi Alpha Theta, an honor society for college history students and professors in the United States. The society hosts regional and national conferences in which more than 350,000 students from 860 chapters compete. The OC chapter, known as Tau Sigma, competed against other universities that had won five or more Best Chapter awards, and against schools that have up to 3,000 students. The latter category has more schools competing against each other than any other Phi Alpha Theta division.

Tau Sigma also placed second in the nation in the print category in the Gerald D. Nash History Journal Award competition. This was OC’s 25th volume of the Oklahoma Christian University Journal of Historical Studies. It won honorable mention in the online category, too.

The group’s academic sponsor, Distinguished Professor of History John Maple, humbly praised the students.

“As always, the students deserve the credit for placing so well in national competitions,” said Maple, who also serves chair of the department of history and political science.

OC’s chapter engages in a number of activities for which it was recognized as a best chapter. Students attend the Oklahoma regional conference every year, volunteer at OC's History Speaks events, host representatives from law schools, help run Oklahoma History Day for area high schools and organize visits to area museums. Maple also took five students to New Orleans to present at the Phi Alpha Theta National Conference Jan. 3-7. In addition, political science students at OC have won Outstanding Delegation at the Southwest Model Arab League competition for six years in a row. They defeated a number of larger universities such as Texas A&M University and Baylor University.

Tau Sigma’s journal would not have been possible without a donation from the offices of Risa Forrester, vice president of enrollment and marketing, and Scott LaMascus, vice president for academic affairs. 

The Best Chapter honor also comes with a $250 stipend. By winning so many times, OC’s history students have earned more than $5,500 to help fund library purchases at OC.