Delta Phi Alpha

The Preamble
"The National German Honor Society, Delta Phi Alpha, seeks to recognize excellence in the study of German and to provide an incentive for higher scholarship. The society aims to promote the study of the German language, literature and civilization and endeavors to emphasize those aspects of German life and culture which are of universal value and which contribute to man's eternal search for peace and truth."

In February 1928, 21 Wofford students under the guidance of the late Dr. James A. "Graveyard" Chiles met in Old Main and founded a German Club they named Deutscher Verein.; The next year, John Olin Eidson '29 and members of the Wofford group began contacting German clubs on other campuses. This led to the formation of Delta Phi Alpha, the National Honorary German Society, in May of 1929. Wofford thus claimed the distinction of being the home, or Alpha chapter, of the society, and Dr. Chiles was made its president, a position he occupied for the remainder of his active career.

Dr. Chiles was internationally acclaimed for his textbooks, which were considered to be among the best for teaching German to native English speakers. His book, German Composition and Conversation, was widely used by the British and American forces in World War II for German language instruction. Dr. Chiles suddenly died in at the age of 74 in 1951, but his legacy still remains with the national honorary society that he founded. Delta Phi Alpha now has over 31,000 living members in the United States.


  • A minimum of two years of college or university German or their equivalent with the attainment of sophomore standing and an official registration in an advanced course or its equivalent or corresponding advanced placement.
  • A minimum average standing of B+ or its equivalent in all German courses taken.
  • A minimum of B- or its equivalent in all courses of study at the college and university level.
  • Indication of continued interest in the study of German language and literature.

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Kirsten Krick-Aigner