Dear Theta Phi Alphas,
Picture this. It’s August 1985. A freshman college student has just been moved into her dorm room by her parents. Her parents cried as they left campus as she is the first child they have taken to college. She doesn’t have a car or a phone in her dorm room, just a pay phone at the end of the hall. This is before the days of cell phones or personal computers. She is lucky that a few friends from her high school decided to go to the same college and they all made plans to find each other at freshman orientation. At freshman orientation, she sees her friends from high school and they all make sure they are in the same group for orientation. Then she meets her orientation group leader and feels lucky to be in the group she is in. After a couple of days, her group leader tells her about a sorority on campus, Theta Phi Alpha. She and a few of her high school friends decide to go to a recruitment event. The members are welcoming and look like they truly enjoy each other and being a part of the sorority. Even though she never thought she was the sorority type, she decides to give it a try, becomes a new member, and is initiated in January 1986. This is the start of one of the best decisions she ever made! Yes, this is how my Theta Phi Alpha membership experience began when I attended Wayne State College in Wayne, NE, and was initiated into the Alpha Pi chapter. That freshman orientation group leader is Pat Hoffman, a Charter Member of the Alpha Pi chapter, who is also my Big Sister!
Why Theta Phi Alpha? Why did you join Theta Phi Alpha? (I ask each of you to think about this question)
My answer without hesitation is because of the members who were welcoming to me during recruitment. It wasn’t about philanthropy, social events, potential leadership roles, or even that Theta Phi Alpha is a national sorority and a member of the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC). It was about the connections I made during recruitment and the connections that continued through my initiation and beyond. Those connections provided opportunities for me to be a part of philanthropy and service events, leadership roles, and being able to participate in campus events with a group of friends. I didn’t understand the benefit of belonging to a sorority that had chapters at other campuses, the broader connection to other NPC groups, that after college I would develop a network of friends across the country, that as an educator I would have former students would become my sister, or that my own daughter could attend a different college and still become my Theta Phi Alpha sister. Those things weren’t important to me in 1985. What was important is that I belonged to an organization that wanted me for being me and that I had friends to help navigate my college years. I imagine that this may be true for you and for our members who join today.
Why did you join Theta Phi Alpha? What is your membership experience story? If you have an experience you would like to share, email [email protected].
Please enjoy some photos from my membership experience as a collegian!
Yours in the bonds of sisterhood,