Message from the President

On this 112th Founders’ Day, we pause to reflect upon the five women who made Alpha Sigma Alpha a reality – Calva, Mary, Louise, Juliette and Virginia. They hold their distinctive place in sorority history and represent the first in a long line of continuous relationships perpetuated to the current day. In a sense, our Founders introduced us to Alpha Sigma Alpha, and we continue that introduction through membership recruitment today.

In March 2013, I had the opportunity to conduct my first Skype, or video conference, session with the Delta Sigma Chapter at Saginaw Valley State University, MI. Delta Sigma Chapter provided the most applicants to the Alpha Sigma Alpha Hermes Society in December 2012, and therefore they were awarded a Skype “date” with me. We talked, I played presidential show and tell, and reflected about the start of my Sorority experience as an undergraduate member leading up to the present day as national president. The women then introduced their new big and little sister pairs to me. Each big sister proudly introduced her little sister to me via Skype. There was excitement, laughter and so much pride. I found myself thinking, what a great introduction to sorority for these new women. From the very start, they have had a chance to see the big picture of sorority, a vision for the future, much like the Founders had. Each big sister is a modern day founder because they are maintaining that unbroken line of sisterhood that carries us to the present day.

Each of us, then, had an experience with a founder – the founder of our Sorority experience. Every member in every chapter has a founder, or maybe multiple founders, of her experience. Founders’ Day is a great day to thank “your founders.” I don’t think that Calva, Mary, Louise, Juliette and Virginia will mind sharing the celebration as it venerates their legacy and promotes each member’s ability to positively influence another.

Who are your founders? Who are the individuals who founded your sorority experience? Upon a little reflection, I’ve identified my five “founders”:

Thank you Peggy for calling me on bid day and offering me an invitation to Beta Kappa Chapter. Many people ask me “why Alpha Sigma Alpha” in terms of the reason I joined – and I always tell them that “I joined because Peggy Petrey asked me to join.” I have enjoyed the benefits and relationships from our Sorority for the past 25 years. My life would not be the same without Alpha Sigma Alpha in it. Peggy, you are my founder.

Thank you Tara for serving as the Beta Kappa Chapter Advisor as I navigated my way from new member to chapter president. Each meeting that we had made me a better student, member and leader. Each chapter and executive board meeting you attended made Beta Kappa a better and stronger chapter. Our sorority experience would not be complete without you as a part of it. Tara, you are my founder.

Thank you Phyllis for serving as the Beta Kappa housemother . The two years that I lived in the chapter house under your guidance were an integral part of my undergraduate experience. You kept order and made such delicacies such as taco pie and lemon bars.I enjoyed our conversations over tea in your suite and that you always seemed to know the right thing to say at the right time, even if it was a bit colorful. I celebrate you and your life (Oct. 16, 1924-March 4, 2013). Phyllis, you are my founder.

Thank you Jim for being an accessible and approachable director of student activities at Western Illinois University. My student leadership experience was better just because you were a part of it. I appreciated your willingness to help me grow as a leader and an individual. Jim, you are my founder.

Thank you Diane for being a wise and compassionate national president. You assisted me immensely during my term as chapter president and gave me that first big picture understanding of the Sorority. Your enthusiasm for the Sorority influenced me into being an active alumna and traveling as a leadership consultant. Today, I model parts of my presidential style after you. Diane, you are my founder.

Founders’ Day isn’t just a part of our past – it is a vibrant part of our present day and each of us has the potential to be a founder. Think it over – who are your founders? Take this year’s Founders’ Day, Nov. 15, as the perfect day to acknowledge each of them.

Thank you Delta Sigma for the inspiring this issues’ message. Today, you are my founders too.

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