Sigma Theta Tau International, now known as Sigma, is the honor society of nursing and has more than 135,000 members worldwide. The society was founded as Sigma Theta Tau in 1922 by six nursing students at Indiana University. From those six founding members, our organization has grown to more than 135,000 active members, in more than 540 chapters, in over 100 countries around the world. Sigma also collaborates with several global organizations to improve the health of the world’s people, including representation at the United Nations. This offers members the opportunity to extend their reach outside of their own communities.
Sigma members are leaders at all levels of the healthcare industry. The society only extends membership to students in baccalaureate or graduate level programs who have demonstrated superior academic achievement, academic integrity, and professional leadership potential and to nurse leader candidates exhibiting exceptional achievements in nursing. Our membership includes top-notch nursing executives, clinicians, educators, researchers, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and others.
The Beta Delta at-Large Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau has a long history tied into the history of nursing in Oklahoma. Beta Delta first began in 1930 as a social organization known as the Delta Alpha Sorority and in 1936 became a honor society for nursing at the University of Oklahoma (OU). Between 1965 and 1970, Delta Alpha entered into negotiations with Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing to become a chapter. After five long years, Delta Alpha became the 50th chapter of Sigma and was called the Beta Delta chapter. In 1982, Central State University (now known as the University of Central Oklahoma) and Oklahoma Baptist University joined with OU to become the first at-Large chapter under Sigma. In 1999, the chapter further expanded to include Oklahoma City University and Southern Nazarene University. In 2007, Southwestern Oklahoma State University and in 2020, Northwestern Oklahoma State University joined Beta Delta at-Large. Today the chapter has over 600 active members throughout the state.
Beta Delta at-Large offers scholarships each fall and spring semester to students in both undergraduate and graduate programs. In the spring semester, the Francene Weatherby Memorial Scholarship is given to a graduate student (see below). In addition, each fall and spring the chapter offers research and evidence-based practice grants to graduate students and nurses.
Each year we select Leadership Interns from our member schools. This gives new members the opportunity to learn more about Sigma, how the chapter functions and to come together to work on philanthropy. Look for email announcements to apply.
For more information about Sigma, visit their website: https://www.sigmanursing.org/
With a career spanning more than 40 years, Francene helped educate and mold generations of nurses.
Beginning in Sault Sainte Marie, MI at Lake Superior State University (formerly College) as a fledging professor, she retired from the University of Oklahoma in 2016 holding a PhD and achieving the role of Assistant Dean. Francene was never content to simply “do her job”. In addition to teaching, she actively participated in and led many professional organizations such as the Oklahoma Board of Nursing, President of the Oklahoma Nurses Association (ONA), the Oklahoma League of Nursing, and chair of Sigma Theta Tau Beta Delta at-Large Chapter to name just a few. Dr. Weatherby was a published author and even helped develop legislation. Her expertise has been shared both in the US and abroad. The many contributions Francene made to the nursing profession have been formally recognized time and time again – her latest being the Florence Nightingale award awarded by ONA in 2018. Her family and friends have honored her work as a long time Beta Delta member and educator by establishing this endowment fund.
- Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Alva, OK
- Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, OK
- Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma City, OK
- Southern Nazarene University, Bethany, OK
- Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Weatherford, OK
- University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK
- University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK