RIC Freshmen Inducted Into The 3.5 Society

Ian Couto '16 and his father, Louis Couto.

Ian Couto '16 and his father, Louis Couto.


Beaming parents and elated grandparents along with academic deans and faculty surrounded Rhode Island freshmen who pledged to uphold the high academic standards achieved during their first college semester at this year’s induction ceremony for The 3.5 Society.

“I want to go to class everyday just because I want to learn,” RIC freshman Ian Couto said. “I feel that everything you learn in life has importance. College is a wonderful thing.”

Couto is one of 216 new members of The 3.5 Society, an honor society that recognizes the academic excellence of full-time freshmen who achieve a minimum grade point average of 3.50 in their first semester.

In keeping with the 3.5 theme, RIC holds The 3.5 Society annual induction on or as close to March 5 at 3:50 p.m. Members will be recognized with special honor cords at graduation.

In congratulating the society’s new members, RIC Vice President of Academic Affairs Ron Pitt said, “May you find in the years ahead the rewards of an educated person – imagination, adventure, humor, compassion and understanding.”

“In relating your education to the world in which you live, you can make a meaningful contribution to society,” he said.

Society inductees will become members of the local chapter of Alpha Lambda Delta, a national honor society that honors high academic achievement in the first year of college. Alpha Lambda Delta was established in 1924 to encourage a high standard of learning. There are over 260 chapters nationwide, and RIC will have the first chapter in Rhode Island.

Members remain in The 3.5 Society throughout their college career.

Couto, whose fall 2013 GPA was 3.84, credited the society as a motivator for staying focused on his goal of graduating college with honors.

“I really want to make my time here worthwhile and give it 110 percent,” he said. “I am learning how to talk with professors and how to interact with others professionally, which is a complex thing. What you say is very influential to others and when someone asks me about Rhode Island College, I want to express my pride about my school. I also want to make my school proud of me.”

Couto is majoring in speech, language and hearing science and Portuguese. His dream is to find a cure for autism. He plans to use his degree to work with autistic children who are unable to speak, like his younger brother, Travis.

Society President Victoria Parker '16 told new members that they now share in the college’s mission, which values academic excellence informed by cultural inquiry, civic engagement and co-curricular activity; respect for diversity and differences; and the promise of higher education: an open and inquiring mind.

Members pledged to accept the responsibility of supporting high standards of service, industry and integrity, promoting pride in Rhode Island College, endeavoring to maintain high scholarship and using their education for the benefit of their community and the world.