On April 26, 2017, eleven students in the Russian program at the University of Mississippi and a Visiting Assistant Professor of German Lauren Hansen, who studied Russian at the University of Illinois and continues studying Russian at Ole Miss, became members of the National Slavic Honor Society: Dobro Slovo.
The Gamma Omicron chapter of the National Slavic Honor Society – Dobro Slovo- was established on the University of Mississippi campus in 1990. Inductions are held annually, and the membership currently numbers over 200. As in all societies, the Letters DS, which are named Dobro Slovo, are only the first letters of the true name of the Society. This Society has the true name of “Dety Slavy,” meaning Children of Glory, which members become. During the induction ceremony of Dobro Slovo, each inductee is given a Key engraved with these letters as a reminder of the distinction they have attained. Also engraved on the Key is a Firebird. This image is a favorite one from Slavic folklore and serves to remind members of the traditions and culture which goes back to the very dawn of Slavic history. One corner of the Key is turned back to symbolize the manuscript folios that are turned over in a never-ceasing investigation of Slavic languages, literatures and cultures.
To become a member of Dobro Slovo, the student must have completed two years (or equivalent) of study of Slavic languages, literature, culture, or related subjects with a minimum average grade of 85% or its letter or point equivalent. The minimum overall academic average should be 80%.The student must indicate an active and continuing interest in Slavic languages, literature, culture or related fields of Slavic studies.
It has become a tradition that at Dobro Slovo induction ceremony, Dr. Donald L. Dyer, Professor of Russian and Linguistics and Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs, reads a text in Old Church Slavonic, students who become members of Dobro Slovo recite poetry, sing Russian popular songs or participate in prepared for this occasion theatrical performances. This year, as always, the induction ceremony was held in a very warm and pleasant atmosphere. The students were very happy to receive their membership diplomas, they recited poems by the famous Russian poets, such as Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov, Sergei Esenin, Evgeny Yevtushenko, and Marina Tsvetaeva and sang Russian famous songs. They also enjoyed to present a short theatrical performance of Kornei Chukovsky’s “Telephone”. Among the guests at the ceremony were first year students of the Russian program and native speakers of Russian, citizens of Oxford, MS.