Emory S. Bogardus founded the University of Southern California Department of Sociology in 1915. At the time, nationally, there were only about 100 colleges and universities offering sociology courses. Bogardus was a prolific scholar, writing foundational works in the fields of social psychology, public opinion, politics, and social theory. Some of his most influential works helped to found the scholarly study of immigration, and race/ethnicity, as indicated in the titles of three of his many books: Immigration and Race Attitudes(1928), The Mexican in the United States (1934), A Forty Year Racial Distance Study (1967). These works anticipated the continuing strengths of the USC sociology department in the study of social inequality and immigration, nearly a century later.
Besides being an important researcher, Emory Bogardus was an institution-builder. In 1929, he helped to found The Pacific Sociological Association (originally called the Pacific Southwest Sociological Society and then a year later in 1930 the Pacific Sociological Society). He served as the Association’s first President. Bogardus also founded Alpha Kappa Delta, the sociology honor society in 1920. The name, Alpha Kappa Delta, was chosen because the letters represent the first letters of the three classical Greek words that embody the function of the society. They are: anthrôpos, meaning mankind; katamanthanô, meaning to examine closely or acquire knowledge, and; diakoneô meaning to do service. Four years later, in 1924, the United Chapters of Alpha Kappa Delta were formed. The charter members included the University of Southern California, represented by Dr. Bogardus, Wisconsin, Northwestern, and the University of Kansas.
The University of Southern California department of sociology proudly names its colloquium series after our founder, Emory S. Bogardus.