September 28, 2009

Collegiate Perspective

Each month, we'll be having our collegiate and alumane blog writers post about their Alpha Phi experiences. Want to write for the Alpha Phi blog? E-mail

Kimberly Riha (Iowa-Delta Epsilon)
Collegiate Blogger

It is easy to see the strength of a friendship in the fun times like planning a philanthropy event, giggling together at a sisterhood event, or getting dressed for formal. Those have been some of my favorite times at Alpha Phi but I think the real test of a friendship is who is still by your side when everything is going wrong.

I lost my grandfather in late August and had a really hard time dealing. I found out on the second day of class very early in the morning. I went upstairs to tell my roommate, and I have never felt as much support as I did at that time. She hugged me and let me cry all over her pillows. I skipped four classes and she skipped as well in order to take me out to lunch instead.

When I got back from the funeral there was a card from all of my roommates on my bed just to say that they had been thinking of me. This small gesture meant so much to me, and it reminded me that Alpha Phi is a connection that goes much deeper than simply having fun together at a social event. Alpha Phi is a group of women with big and caring hearts that will take care of a sister in need. I know that in the future my sisters and I will experience other difficulties and hardships, but I also know that we can always depend on each other, no matter how much distance separates us.

September 21, 2009

Lifetime of Leadership

Each month, we'll have a graduate of ELI share her experiences. Want to write for the Alpha Phi blog?

Noel Miller (Theta Sigma-Southern Utah)
2009 ELI graduate

Attending ELI this past summer was one of the best experiences of my life. ELI stands for Emerging Leaders Institute, and not only did I meet 50 other girls from around North America, I was taught information that will stay with me for a life time. We went over everything from how to remember names to our values in Alpha Phi.

As the school year has started, and my chapter just finished recruitment I realize how much more I actually know now because of that experience. When I look back on ELI I hope to teach my chapter how wonderful Alpha Phi really is, and how many doors it has opened up for me.

I try to share my experience by example. That one week in July has forever changed who I am as a person. I learned so much about my values and the values of Alpha Phi. I believe I carry myself differently, that I posses more leadership qualities. and that I am able to one day become a leader of the Theta Sigma chapter. I hope that the girls from my chapter see and believe that my experience has made me who I am.

September 17, 2009

Inside Story

Kacey Albertine (Beta - Northwestern)
Alpha Phi Intern, Marketing and PR

The following quotes are excerpts from recent conversations that I have had with various friends:

“Wait, is it really September?”
“I can’t believe that we are seniors already!”
“Is summer actually over?”

For several Septembers now, I have, without fail, taken part in these exact same cliché exchanges (with the exception of the word “seniors” being replaced with the appropriate year) for the entirety of the month. Although we all welcome the weather, food, and fashion of autumn, we are hesitant to move on with it and leave behind those precious summer months.

Why do we mourn our summer experience when we can instead take summer with us as we march into September with enthusiasm?

I say this as I am finishing my last week as a Public Relations/Communications intern at the Alpha Phi International Office. This experience, along with my other summer internship, has gotten me excited to embark on my last year of college. Sure, I am nervous to begin my hunt for jobs in the “real world” for 2010 and beyond, but I welcome September because it asks me to start fresh. I may even secretly dub it “Fresh-tember,” as nerdy as that may be.

One of the most incredible experiences for me here at the Executive Office was interviewing Carol Reed. Carol is an Alpha Phi alumna who is the Marketing Manager at Lange Productions, a company that creates patient education materials for women, especially patients with breast cancer. I interviewed her for the On the Go Podcast that we will be showcasing in October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness month. While speaking with her, I thought about my friend’s mother, who is a survivor, and her grandmother, who is not. I thought about how it affects the entire family in a way that I don’t completely understand, and I thought about how there’s a lot of need in the world for support.

Most of all, I thought about how much good we can all do if we take those little things we learn from our summers, whether it be summer jobs, internships, or relationships, and use them to educate others, to contribute our time to causes, to support friends, families, and strangers…to start fresh.

I thank Alpha Phi and Carol for inspiring me to experience September in a different way.

September 14, 2009

Alumnae Perspective

Each month, we'll be having our collegiate and alumane blog writers post about their Alpha Phi experiences. Want to write for the Alpha Phi blog? E-mail
Alpha Phi membership doesn’t end after graduating from college; it’s merely another step in the lifetime membership to our fraternity.
Whether you are a recent college graduate or you graduated in 1979, it’s never too late to join an Alpha Phi alumnae chapter. Currently, there are 137 chapters all across the United States and Canada promoting the values of why our fraternity was created by 10 women in 1872 at Syracuse.
By joining an alumnae chapter, you have the opportunity to meet other Alpha Phi sisters from chapters across the entire country and Canada.
Alumnae chapters offer a variety of activities ranging from book clubs, wine tastings and happy hours and games night to participating in philanthropic events. Another great reason to join is the networking aspect.
It’s not only alumnae who benefit from the alumnae chapters, it’s our collegiate chapters who receive support from these chapters in means of volunteers and participate in chapter’s formal recruitment, philanthropy events and alumnae events.

Lori Lyman-Losee (Beta Rho-Washington State)

For more information about alumnae chapters, to locate the closest chapter or to start up a chapter, visit the alumnae chapter listing or contact Paige Stallings at 847-316-8925 or e-mail at

September 2, 2009

The Inside Story

Elle Eichinger (Iota Eta-DePaul)
Quarterly Intern

Alpha Phi founders Clara Bradley Burdette and Martha Foote Crow are my best friends right now. While researching most of the founders usually leads to a dead end—there are absolutely NO photos of Florence Chidester Lukens!—CBB always provides me with something interesting, and MFC, a humorous photo or twenty (see picture).

We are currently working on a Founders’ Day kit to provide chapters with a way to celebrate the uber-important but incredibly vague Alpha Phi holiday (October 10th—mark your calendars!). I’ve raided the archives in the EO for photos of the founders, and in the process found a couple other things worth mentioning.

One was a letter to new members written by Clara Burdette that is posted below on the blog. As the director of new member education for my own chapter (Iota Eta-DePaul), I was excited to scan and copy that to pass out to our recruits this year.

The other thing I found was an essay, also written by Clara Burdette—I’m telling you, I love this girl. It was written in 1938, and is titled “The Characteristics of the Founders.” She discusses the eccentricities of each of the ten women, including herself, whom she says was described as “the molasses jug, which was always surrounded by the flies (the boys).”

But despite its humor, the essay focuses on a clear and meaningful message: women today may laugh at the eccentricities of the founders in photos and stories like these, but we must remember that someday down the road, future members will look at our pictures as silly too. We must remember that despite this, we are all the same girls at heart, with the same desires, and we must “play [our] part well, for memory’s records.”

The final sentence of the essay says: “We Founders were girls just like yourselves, with human qualities, open minds, and desirous of making the most and the best of ourselves, as we then saw the light.”

Thanks for the words of wisdom, Clara.