One of the challenges our chapters face is building a bond between alumnae and collegiate members. On October 10, Alpha Phi celebrated 141 years of sisterhood; all of which wouldn’t be possible without the women who built a foundation upon which Alpha Phi now thrives. The relationships formed with alumnae members can develop into some of the most rewarding friendships. Alpha Phi has more than 155 chapters, and over 165,000 members. In early October, the Eta Lambda chapter at George Mason University celebrated its 25th anniversary. The chapter was blessed by the presence of the chapter’s founding new member class, and was reminded of its special bond with the founding members and other alumnae.
“Seeing the women of the founding new member class interact with one another after being apart for many years was amazing. I felt like I was in a time machine, because they were all still so close, and they reminded me of the relationships I have with my best friends in Alpha Phi,” said Eta Lambda chapter president Taylor Hillman. “I hope that I am able to attend Eta Lambda’s 50th Anniversary celebration with my roommates, sisters and family and still be as close as those women are. It was as if nothing had changed.”
Often times we forget that the women who came before us had the same experiences, victories and trials that we face as collegians today. “I loved how the room lit up when our collegians told us that they’re still winning Greek Week every year; that was something that my sisters and I worked so hard for, and I’m so proud to know that it’s still as important to the chapter now as it was when I was in school,” added Eta Lambda alumna Christina Vanecek.
Alpha Phis strive to be leaders on campus and in their communities, which continues following graduation. Alpha Phi alumnae are accomplishing amazing things in their professional fields and in their communities. Many of those alumnae serve as mentors for collegians, helping them to discover their “personal brand” and convey their Alpha Phi experiences in the real world. Relationships with alumnae provide networking opportunities and they are always excited about hiring fellow sisters.
So, whether you’re celebrating Founders’ Day, a milestone anniversary or an event with alumnae in attendance, remember the bonds that collegians and alumnae share and what differentiates Alpha Phi from other organizations: some have a story, we have a legacy. Continue the legacy of the women who sat in the chapter rooms before you, and ensure that when they return home to their chapter 25 years later, they will be proud to call you a sister.
Kersten Smith is a collegiate member at George Mason (Eta Lambda).