This Sunday, October 23, Kappa Delta Sorority will celebrate 119 years of sisterhood, so I thought today would be a great opportunity to look back on my 16 years as a Kappa Delta!
Sorority life was probably the furthest thing from my mind as a high school student. My dad joined a local fraternity in college, but other than that I knew nothing of Greek life, so I hadn’t given sororities much thought.
The summer before college, a few of my friends started mentioning rush (it was still called rush then, now it’s called recruitment). I gave it some thought, and as an extremely shy introvert, I thought it might be a good way to meet people in college. Going through recruitment was completely outside my comfort zone, but I really enjoyed the experience, and I loved getting to know the other freshmen in my residence hall.
At Texas Tech at that time, you could attend a maximum of two preference parties (that’s the name of the final night’s parties in sorority recruitment). I loved both of the sororities I went to that night, so I was heartbroken to receive a call early the next day to learn that I had not been offered a bid to either. I remember feeling completely lost because I didn’t have anywhere I could go to just be alone. I didn’t have a car at school that year and I didn’t want to cry in my room with my roommate, so I found privacy the only place I could – a bathroom stall.
It’s funny to think back on that day now, because a few weeks later, one of my new friends, who had joined Kappa Delta on Bid Day, told me that they had a few spots to fill, and she wondered if I’d be interested. I met with one of the officers that day, and later that week I received a bid! Now, of course, I couldn’t imagine myself in any other sorority and even though the process was painful at times, it was all part of the journey leading me to KΔ.
My freshman year in Kappa Delta I felt disconnected because I had missed out on the first few weeks, so it took me a while to find my friend group. I wasn’t really into parties, so I didn’t go out with my sisters much, which didn’t help with my disconnect.
As a sophomore member, I knew I wanted to get involved, and I think I shocked everyone as the shy, introverted person who ran and was elected to the position of VP-New Member Education (that’s what it was called then, now it’s VP-Member Education). I loved serving in that position – it tapped into my passions perfectly because I got to plan events and lead workshops.
As a junior, I was excited by the opportunity to run for chapter president, and I still remember the pride and honor I felt when I was installed into the position. I had the great fortune of attending KΔ Convention in Tucson, Arizona during my term, as our chapter’s delegate. It was there that I really understood the size and scope of sorority life and got excited about all the opportunities I could have in Kappa Delta post college.
Fast forward a couple years, and I was getting ready to graduate. I had done a “victory lap” in college which allowed me to serve on the Panhellenic Council as the VP of Public Relations and Community Service, and then I decided to apply to be a traveling consultant for Kappa Delta. I got to fly to our headquarters in Memphis, TN for my interview and I was nervous and excited all at the same time. It was a whirlwind weekend of presentations and sisterhood, and when the call came in from our National President my hopes were high.
The call did not turn out like I hoped, but her parting words, in summary, were that she, too, had applied to be a traveling consultant, wasn’t selected, and eventually ended up as National President. Those words continue to inspire and push me on my Kappa Delta journey with the hope that even if one opportunity doesn’t happen another exciting one will come along.
Over the next couple years I was limitedly involved in Kappa Delta, but I did get a last minute opportunity to attend convention in Washington, D.C. as an alumna delegate. I only knew two other sisters who were going and they both had roommates, so I was paired at random to room with someone. As luck would have it, the hotel only had rooms with king beds left by the time I checked in, so I hoped this stranger and I would like each other! Fortunately, we hit it off big time and now I consider her one of my best friends and we room together by choice at all national events and the story of how we met is our favorite one to tell. #ifnotforkd
While I was in graduate school at the University of Missouri, I was able to support the chapter there for a few events which was so fun because I got to see what KD life was like on that campus.
When I graduated, I made my way to Seattle. After living in the area for a couple months I reached out to my sorority mentor and she got me connected to the local alumnae chapter and a National Leadership team member. Another bonus was finding out that my boss for my first job at Girl Scouts was also a sister. Those connections instantly helped Seattle feel like home.
I got involved with a Chapter Advisory Board and we support one of the collegiate chapters in Washington state. My advisory board sisters are some of the coolest women I know, and the collegiate women inspire me and keep me
looking feeling young!
I was eventually invited to serve on the National Leadership Team first supporting chapters in the management of their finances and now supporting chapters in goal setting and officer development. I have the opportunity to travel to visit the chapters I work with, and the women I meet year after year make me feel blessed by this sisterhood.
Thanks to social media, I’m able to stay connected to Kappa Delta sisters from every part of my KD journey and my sorority story gets better every year! I’m forever grateful to our founders and their vision that rainy Saturday afternoon in 1897 to start an organization that was founded on friendship. Their ideals have guided Kappa Delta successfully for 119 years and I’m excited to see where that vision will take us in the future.
Tonight my advisory board sisters and I are celebrating KΔ with our annual Founder’s Day Gift Exchange! Come back tomorrow, because I’ll be sharing what I brought to the gift exchange along with my favorite Kappa Delta gift ideas.