Sigma Phi Alpha, national dental hygiene honor society, became a reality after several years of committee action and planning. At the March 25, 1958 business meeting of the Dental Hygiene Education section of the American Association of Dental Schools (currently American Dental Education Association), the Constitution and Bylaws were adopted by unanimous vote of the delegates present. An election of Supreme Chapter officers followed. Those who served until March 1959 were:
These officers, as the Executive Committee of Sigma Phi Alpha, were empowered to seek the organization of Component Chapters in each of the school/course/department/curriculum in Dental/Oral Hygiene throughout the country Sigma Phi Alpha is composed of dental hygiene educators and graduates of accredited dental hygiene programs in the United States and Canada who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement. The purpose of Sigma Phi Alpha is to promote, recognize, and honor scholarship, leadership, and service among dental hygiene graduates. It is the vision of Sigma Phi Alpha to enhance the role of the dental hygiene profession in its provision of quality health care to the public.
The insignia of SPA is a gold key with the letters SPA.
In 1958, Patricia McCullough, University of Washington was appointed to design a key and seal for the Society.
What do these letters mean?
Sigma (Sophia) meaning Wisdom
Phi (Philanthropia) meaning Human Feeling and Action
Alpha (Arete) meaning valor and virtue, making up good character.