Founders’ Day Message from the President
One hundred and eighteen years ago, five women came together to start Alpha Sigma Alpha. When I think about our founders, I think about the courage they had to start something new and the tenacity and perseverance to stick with it when things got tough. I often think about what I would say to them if I had the opportunity. I would start with ‘thank you’. ‘Thank you for wanting to stay together within a sisterhood and choose the path to create a new sorority. I hope you are proud of the legacy you created and the women who continue to carry it forward. Because of your vision and commitment to each other, Alpha Sigma Alpha provides a safe space for women to continue to grow and develop as leaders and impact future generations.’
In 1999, I was a leadership consultant working in Virginia with our Lynchburg College Colony, now the Zeta Upsilon Chapter. I was asked by centennial convention chairman, Eleanor Borbas Williams, A, to help find the gravesite of Louise Cox Carper as part of a project to locate the graves of all five founders. I found her gravesite by going through old Lynchburg newspapers to find her obituary. She is buried in a small, unmarked family grave in Lynchburg, VA. When I found the location and stood looking at her headstone, I took the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to her. It was a moving experience for me. I am grateful every day for these women because Alpha Sigma Alpha has given me so much in terms of confidence, strength, growth and opportunities for development.
I think about, too, the impact my Epsilon Kappa Chapter founders have had on me. Had they not chosen to become a national sorority from a local one, I would not have become an Alpha Sigma Alpha. Those women are also an important part of my journey and I want to thank them as well. Change is never easy and making the decision to become a national sorority meant leaving some of their history and traditions behind and that took courage. These women fully embraced what it meant to be an Alpha Sigma Alpha and built a strong chapter on the campus of Millersville University. Their legacy continues to live on and I am proud to be an alumna of the Epsilon Kappa Chapter.
What would you say to Calva, Juliette, Mary, Louise and Virginia? What would you say to your chapter founders? I invite you to join the conversation and share your gratitude on social media using the hashtag #ASAfounders.
Happy Founders’ Day!
In Alpha Sigma Alpha,
Kelly McGinnis Beck, EK