I’m writing this as we have just elected a new President of the United States of America. There are very polarized feelings of great fear and great hope across the country as this was a very close election. Our Founders in 1912 were not afforded the rights women have today, including the right to vote. And while many are concerned today about women’s rights given the recent turn of events of the election, we as a sorority should continue to stand for the rights of women by honoring our past sisters, supporting the present collegians and alumnae, and nurturing the future of our organization.
The world we live in today is vastly different from the world our Founders’ experienced in 1912. I don’t think they could have imagined the technological advances we have made or the issues we are facing as a society. Yet the values they felt were important enough to base their fledgling organization on, are still important and relevant to us today. Justice, friendship, and truth still resonate with our members, both new collegians and more seasoned alumnae.
We’ve come a long way from our humble beginnings at the University of Michigan. Much of our growth has occurred quite recently in our history. That success over the years is due, in part, to the efforts of women who remained involved for many years. Part is due to women who volunteer for the first time right out of college or perhaps after a gap of 10 or even 20 years with no involvement. Past Grand Councils have focused on growing our chapter base, developing a support system for those chapters, increasing alumnae involvement, professionalizing our National Office staff and generally bringing us up to speed with the rest of the NPC community. This is the “sandbox” we play in, if you will. We must continue to strive to be competitive with other NPC groups or we will cease to exist. In many ways a national sorority is like a business. We are competing for the women on our collegiate campuses, mainly with other NPC groups but also with other organizations in general. If we don’t have something of value to offer these women, they will choose to spend their time elsewhere.
I believe we do have something of value to offer women of all ages and I know you all believe that too or you wouldn’t read this blog, volunteer your time for Theta Phi Alpha, donate to the Foundation or keep in touch with other sisters. It’s been said that managing your problems can only make you good, whereas building your opportunities is the only way to become great. Yes, we have some problems—every organization does. But, we want to focus on building our opportunities. Because of the efforts of our faithful members throughout the years, Theta Phi Alpha is in a very good place with an exciting future. Grand Council will be meeting for an extended time in January to celebrate past accomplishments and determine how to capitalize on our opportunities to strategically plan for the best interests of the Fraternity. We are all excited and looking forward to this time together to dream and plan for the future that we have already begun preparing.
We are all challenged to live our creed in our daily lives and committing to meaningful opportunities that align with our values. I invite you in the comments below to celebrate your chapter, your association, or a sister for creating a valuable Theta Phi Alpha experience for which you are grateful. We should share our successes and pat ourselves on the back. In the midst of so much negativity in the world, let’s celebrate our values, support our network of sisters, and share the positive connections we bring to the world!