It’s a wonderful thing to be brought into our sorority by your mother. Mothers always say they know best and in this instance, I would agree. My mother, after many years of asking me to come to the Saturday night socials during International Convention, finally got me to say, ‘yes I will join.’
It’s a wonderful thing to share with your mother that experience when you go to International convention or to be able to get the nice little gifts that your mother will buy you so you look so pretty on those Saturday nights when we come together at our conventions. My mom always made sure she had just a little something extra special so I would feel extra special love from her that night.
For years I’ve looked forward to our road trips, to the time we get to spend together, the sharing of the stories from each other’s Chapter, since we aren’t in the same Chapter. My sorority Sisters begin to think of my mother as just one of our girls.
Now, my mother can’t attend those socials, she can’t attend her meetings, International or even enjoy the time to sit and reminisce about her years in sorority.
You see, my mother is suffering from Alzheimer’s and now she doesn’t even know me. The realization of your mother, or any loved one who suffers from this terrible disease, not knowing you anymore is heart-breaking.
So recently I went to visit her, to take her to the dentist and to make sure that Hospice Care is in line for her when the time comes. This made me extremely sad.
There are so many of us who suffer from the other side of Alzheimer’s. The side where we have to watch our loved ones, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and parents slowly slip into a world of their own darkness. Many people suffer from this disease and many of us suffer from the other side of Alzheimer’s. So, to those who have suffered before me and those who will suffer after me, know that you’re not alone in this.
When I look back at the memories of my childhood and many other times we’ve shared together, SPG time together as mothers and daughters is extremely special now.
These are special memories that my other sisters don’t have with our Mother. I’m glad that I joined our sorority — because mother said so.
I am a daughter of a Sigma Phi Gamma (SPG) member from a small town where sorority started in Hartford City,
Indiana. My mom (Zeta Chapter) had so many friends in Sigma Phi Gamma and served the community as well as
working at our beautiful sorority park. I grew up playing in the park and by the time I was twelve I started helping in the
concession stand for the ballgames! This is when my dream started! I loved seeing the ladies bond in friendship and
commitment to do service work to help others make a difference. I wanted to make a difference!
I graduated from high school and moved to Indianapolis in 1979. I already knew all of my mom’s Alpha Chapter
Sisters. One of my Mom’s best friends, Judy Stafford, gave her SPG Sister Beverly Robbins in Indianapolis my name
and number. Judy told her I was so ready to Pledge into SPG. Beverly called me and the rest is history as to me
becoming a member of SPG. During my learning years of Sigma Phi Gamma I knew I wanted to be a part of the
leadership of our wonderful organization and to keep what our five Founders’ started in 1920! I was so enthusiastic
by spreading the word of SPG to everyone I met! I started serving on the Lambda Province Council in 1993/1994 as
Editor and loved every second of it. I knew one day I would serve on the highest level of SPG on the International
I thought my dreams were going to be derailed by my husband taking a job transfer to West Virginia in the summer of
1994. Besides my husband and children, SPG is the most important thing to me. Over the years, growing and
learning while being a member of SPG I became a better wife and mother, and made so many friends for life. I have
brought in so many talented women during the time I was in Indianapolis and West Virginia! They are all still
members today! I told my husband I couldn’t move to West Virginia because the closet Chapter was in Maryland – an
hour and a half away. He said can’t you start a Chapter? Well, of course I could! A year to the day that I promised my
husband that we would get settled before starting the Chapter – Xi Epsilon was born. In May, 2016 we celebrated our
Chapter’s 20 year anniversary!
My International leadership became a reality in July of 2012 as our membership elected me as the International
President! I was extremely honored! It was the most exciting time of my life serving the membership on the
International Council for five years. It is so rewarding and the bond you have with your Council Sisters is forever!
Take your love of SPG to your next level by being a candidate on your Province Council or if you qualify by already
holding a Province Office by running for an International Office.
When you are International Vice President one of your duties is to visit the International Business Office to see how it
is run and so forth. One of your duties is to take inventory of the historical records, the current business records, etc.
Another jewel in the inventory might be Past International Officers Pins/Rings. I’m not sure you know this but when
Past International Officers join the Zeta Chapter, their families return their International President Pin/Ring to the
International Business Office. You receive a diamond Pin/Ring at the end of your Presidency. It is your choice if you
want the pin, ring, or necklace made to your choosing for your hard work and dedication to SPG. When there are no
pins/rings available a brand new one is made. The Secretary/Treasurer told me not to worry that mine was taken care
of and a new one didn’t need to be made! To my surprise I was presented with Beverly Robbins Pin that was made
into a ring with the gavel. She is still with us and wanted me to have it so she would know who got it! I will always
treasure my ring from Beverly Robbins who inspired me and is one of my dearest Sisters!
Remember there is never a good time to run! You just have to do it! The rewards are priceless! The Nominating
Committee is here for you to answer any questions you may have.
International Nominating Committee
This week we slipped into Fall and I couldn’t help thinking to myself, “where did Summer go”? With that same thought came the rush of excitement to get back home to Florida and begin the year with my Chapter Sisters! We have so many things planned for this year and the planning has been going on most of the Summer so now we get to see the fruits of our labors happen; from vision to reality. I sometimes wonder what it was like for our Founding Sisters as they planned for their Chapter. Did they have planning sessions over tea? Did they have different opinions on what and where to put their hard earned funds? Did they get excited each year to start on making those plans come true? There is no doubt in my mind that even with almost 100 years between them and my fellow Sisters, we are still much the same. Maybe not over tea and biscuits but we still love getting together to share ideas, laugh, and plan where our funds could be best used in our communities. Sisterhood is an experience that is felt not in just the telling of how much it means to us as Sisters serving our Sorority, but in sharing in those planning sessions, the start of the first meeting in the Fall of each year, and the joy of seeing our plans succeed. My hope is for every Sister to have that excitement, that feeling of Sisterhood as they work together because,
“Together we are one in Friendship, Service, and Community – Sigma Phi Gamma”.
At our home in Glenford, we live off of a gravel road and our closest neighbor is several acres away. In fact there are only seven houses in the two mile stretch of road. So, this means on Halloween there are no beggars. There aren’t big bowls of candy waiting to be shared. The pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns sit lonely on the porch.
This quiet, no visitor night leads me to think about the elderly in our community. For some folks every night of the year is quiet without visitors. I imagine only one plate at the table, no clatter of dishes and silverware in the kitchen, no laughter or noise.
Let’s challenge ourselves to find a senior lady to visit. Is there a Sister in the nursing home or assisted living facility – the one you always mean to visit but time gets away? Is there a person in your neighborhood who lives alone and rarely has guests? Just do it – just make 30 minutes in the next two weeks to go visit. Take a small pumpkin, a half-dozen cookies, a magazine, a puzzle – and visit. Share a cookie, read a story from the magazine, start the puzzle, share memories about Halloweens past.
I promise … our brooms will fly higher, our spirits will soar, and the moon will laugh and whisper – “Together they are one in Friendship, Service, and Community – those good women of Sigma Phi Gamma!”
Happy Halloween, Sisters!
Once upon a time, a past International President encouraged me to step up and be a candidate for a Province office. Was I surprised? Yes, and flattered too, that she believed I had something to contribute at that level. So, I did run for an office and was successful.
After serving on my Province Council for a few years, that same special lady encouraged me to step up again and be a candidate for an International office. Of course, by this time my confidence level and experience had grown, so I believed I could and should take the opportunity.
Well, the rest is history. I had the experience of a lifetime. The wonderful Sisters that I served with and all of the members that I met along the way made it all so worthwhile and gratifying.
It was an honor and privilege to be elected International President of Sigma Phi Gamma and I was proud to be the first to wear the designated President’s Pin that year.
Now I am ‘paying it forward’ and encouraging you to step up to the next level and become a candidate for office. Please consider it! You will benefit and so will Sigma Phi Gamma.
As I sit here in my office trying to work with a 3 month old puppy at my feet, I am love struck by what surrounds me. My new lab pup Brandy has brought both joy and wonder into the house, but there is much more to see. I look around at all of the mementos from my time serving on the International Council.
The surf board from Long Beach, California brings back some wonderful memories as it was that convention that our beloved Linda Carr presented me with my Life Membership. I was very fortunate to have served with Linda as she was a lady who loved SPG, and it showed. Receiving my Life Membership from Linda was a joyful experience. But the ultimate joy for me as President, was awarding all my Sisters who achieved their 25, 50, and even 75 year milestones.
To my right there is a picture of our current President and Vice President who got me to do the standing OHIO with them at Gamma Province. I never imagined that I’d be a part of that image. But, I was fully in it with heart and soul. Simply put, I loved attending Province meetings as the VIO!
The point I am trying to get to, is what a terrific opportunity it is to serve on International Council. The traveling from the east coast to the west and a lot of places in between. The chance to meet so many wonderful women in Sigma Phi Gamma is absolutely the best ever. We as Sisters have touched so many lives over the years whether it is through our service work in the community, bringing a new Sister into the Chapter, or just spending time with your Chapter Sisters, it is all so great. Imagine for yourself, that great joy multiplied, in a role as International Officer.
If you’ve ever thought “I would love to lead this group of women” then I encourage you to step up. Seriously consider becoming a candidate for International office. Ask questions and you too will see how rewarding the work is.
Love to all,
One of the things that I loved about being on the International Council was the opportunity to visit other Provinces. It was fascinating to me to see how we do similar things in different ways. On one trip, a “random” question led me to consider the difference between our Sigma Phi Gamma history and our traditions.
According to freedictionary.com, the words are defined as:
A chronological record of events, as of the life or development of a people or institution, often including an explanation of or commentary on those events.
The passing down of elements of a culture from generation to generation, especially by oral communication.
This history of Sigma Phi Gamma is recorded in our history books, in the appendix to our Constitution and Bylaws, and even in our Rituals. We cannot change our history. Our traditions, at the International, Province, or Chapter level, have grown out of our experiences. Traditions, as cherished as they are, can change as the Chapter, Province, or the organization as a whole, grows and develops. Traditions are rarely written down; members learn the traditions of their Chapter or their Province by experience.
For example, in many Provinces, it is the tradition that the VIO present the “Candlelighting Service.” The assignment of this privilege is not in the Province meeting outline, or any other official documents. It is not “wrong” for someone else to present the “Candlelighting Service.”
So, if one of the traditions in your Chapter or Province doesn’t work for the members any more, don’t be afraid to develop new traditions! Think of your family traditions,I know that my family traditions have changed as son-in-laws and grandchildren were added to the family. As we think ahead to our 100th Anniversary, think how exciting it is going to be to start new traditions for a new century of Sigma Phi Gamma!
Love to all,
Alpha Delta Chapter