Sororities and Sisterhood

“When I first came to Allegheny, I really missed home. I heard multiple girls say that sorority life was a home on campus, and when I stepped into ADPi’s suite, that is what I found. These women support me in all that I do, they pick me up when I need it most and make me laugh when I’m down.” -Courtney

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It’s funny really, 23 years after pledging, I feel exactly the same way. Through breakups and marriages, births and deaths. Good times and bad.

We Live For Each Other. And for Alpha Delta Pi.

What ADPI means to me! (Happy Founder’s Day!)

Post by: All Things Jennifer (otherwise known as Smithj2)

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I just turned 40 years old and here I am blogging about my sorority? What? Mid-life crisis? Trying to relive my youth?

Nope. And nope. Trust me, I feel more alive and confident in my own skin at 40 than I ever did at 20!

Sisterhood doesn’t end at graduation…I’m an Alpha Delta Pi for life. And while “our story starts in Georgia in 1851…” (Dare you not to sing along with the next line…) our sisterhood continues to spread all over the world. Personally, since being a founding member of the WNY ADPi Alumnae association this past year, I’ve been able to connect with sisters of all ages and chapters and make new friends along the way. We all share the same special bond of sisterhood.

If you would have asked me back in High School if I ever imagined joining a sorority the answer would have been a resounding HECK NO. (Heck, not Hell, because I was a very good girl back in the day. Wink, Wink.) I wasn’t in the popular crowd, I wasn’t the homecoming queen, a cheerleader…I didn’t drink, I was overweight! I was the girl who was pretty much friends with everyone at some point during our school years. I’m certain I would never pigeonhole myself into sorority life, and I didn’t even consider it.

Even after visiting my future Alma mater Allegheny College for prospective weekend and staying with a house of Seniors (who happened to be ADPis at the time getting ready for Pledge Formal) it didn’t cross my mind. I was more concerned with the upcoming musical, my new, first boyfriend and upcoming prom…

Once I became a Freshman, I was on a floor with women who like myself, were pretty Anti-Greek. My RA was Greek, but only a very few women on my hall even considered rushing.

Honestly, that first semester of college my heart wasn’t into being on campus. I went home frequently to visit my friends still in High School and those who chose Fredonia State and became friends with people there. When not at home, I hung out with the people I worked with at Ponderosa who attended Edinboro College. I wasn’t considering transferring, but I realized I was missing out on something more.

During that Thanksgiving Break, I drove home a friend from High School, Sheri Mathewson, who was a year above me at Allegheny. Sheri is a person everyone loved: an athlete, leader, scholar, musical person, friendliest person you would ever meet. While driving home the song “Southern Cross” came on the radio and Sheri sang along…but with the words her ADPI sisters used the year before at Greek Sing. And that opened the conversation. SHERI was in a sorority? Even crazier, another woman who graduated from my High School and went to Allegheny—Michelle was also an ADPi. I knew Michelle because she rode my bus as a kiddo and I was friends with her younger sister in Middle School. Michelle and Sheri were both wonderful fun people, but neither one were “sorority girl types” yet they both were Alpha Delta Pi’s!

Very interesting…suddenly, ADPI was on my radar.

I still didn’t go through rush and figured even if I wanted to attend an ADPi party I wouldn’t be able to afford it and take time off from work…so I let it simmer in the back of my mind, until 2nd semester when I saw my new friend down the hall, Erin…joining her  new sisters at run-out day. Almost immediately, I started to gravitate more towards Erin and learning all about Alpha Delta Pi. COULD I DO IT? Would it be for me?

I’m happy to say a week or so later, I was offered a bid in the same pledge class Erin just joined and I made sure I figured out a way to make it work. Instantly, I was surrounded by women who made me feel at home. Women will all sorts of backgrounds, majors, interests. Women who reminded me of myself and made me want to be a better person. Yep, home sweet home.

I’ve met some of my very best lifelong friends through Alpha Delta Pi . (At our weddings we always wear our ribbons…)

I’ve learned valuable leadership skills and was given the confidence/experience to join other boards in college such as Panhellenic and Alleghenians Committed to Service. Which has since led to community/leadership positions in Law School and in Western New York. (And seriously, you never know when you need to bust out those Robert Rules of Order.)

I’ve gained an unhealthy obsession with violets (I can’t even tell you how many I’ve sent to compost) lions, the colors azure blue/white and pretty, pretty diamonds.

Being a sister of Alpha Delta Pi has shaped me into who I am today. And on this day, our Founder’s Day I am proud to stand along with all of our sisters and thank Eugenia and her friends…for creating the first secret society for women back in 1851.

Today on Founder’s Day browse through old photos, catch up with a sister, send a gift of violets through a Facebook post.  Take a minute to remember YOUR story.

L&L

Happy Founders Day

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Our story begins in 1851 at Wesleyan Female College in Macon, Georgia, where six incredible women changed the world.

Led by Eugenia Tucker Fitzgerald, our founders formed The Adelphean Society for “the mental, moral, social, and domestic improvement of its members.” The Adelphean Society, later renamed Alpha Delta Pi, was the first secret society for college women.

The principles of scholarship, leadership, sisterhood, and service guide over 235,000 women in more than 150 active collegiate chapters and over 150 alumnae associations of Alpha Delta Pi.

WNYADPi is celebrating Founders Day, May 15, with a virtual celebration of sisterhood. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Send “violets” to a sister or two and remind them what they mean to you!
  • Wear your badge or ribbons!
  • Change your social media profile pics/headers to something ADPi! (Here are some ideas...)

Join our Facebook event, follow us on twitter or Instagram, and help spread the spirit of sisterhood!

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Pass It On

Today, the sisters of Alpha Delta Pi are using the hashtag #ComeHometoADPi on twitter to share with the University of Louisiana Panhellenic community why we came home to Alpha Delta Pi. My story is too long to fit into 140 characters, so I’m sharing it here.

The essay that follows was originally published in Inspiration for Greeks (2001).

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“Pass It On,” by Erin (Nappe) Bellavia 

I almost dropped out of formal recruitment.

From the time I first visited Allegheny College in the spring of my senior year of high school, I was interested in Greek life. As my host walked me through the halls of Brooks Hall, I stopped to read the poems hung neatly on the walls outside the doors of the freshman women pledging sororities. Their promises of eternal friendship and sisterhood, affectionately signed “(Greek Letter) love and all of mine,” intrigued me. I wanted to know how that felt.

But I nearly talked myself out of it.

I’d made friends with the girls who lived on my hall. They weren’t interested in sorority life.

“I don’t need to buy my friends,” they said.

I didn’t really believe that, but I almost let them convince me. Then I met the sisters of Alpha Delta Pi.

They were different. I could tell from the moment I set foot in their suite. Each woman, I could see, was an individual. They were softball players, theater majors, and pre-med students. They were dancers, singers, and members of the activities board. I felt at home; I didn’t feel like I had to be someone else to make them like me. I saw friendly faces from some of my classes, and my shyness melted away.

But still, I almost dropped out.

“What about the money?” I asked myself. Concerned about costs, I tried to convince myself that I didn’t need a sorority. That I had friends. That I was happy.

Then, I was convinced to attend the third night of formal recruitment.

The ADPi’s had a theme party: Pi Rock Café. They wore matching “Pi Rock” shirts, served soda in old-style Coke bottles. “Records” hung on the walls, and rock music played in the background.

I was greeted by Amy Jo, a girl I recognized from my dance class. We had never really talked much, but I soon found that it didn’t matter to AJ. She swept me around the room, making sure everyone met me. She introduced me as “the girl who taught the Electric Slide” to Jan Hyatt, our dance teacher.

We sat through the slide show the chapter had prepared. Amy Jo enthusiastically described each slide, each event the chapter took part in. There were shots of philanthropy events, of social functions, and shots of sisters just “hanging out” together. I envied them. When it was time to leave, Amy Jo hugged me.

“I’m so glad you came,” she said. I knew she meant it.

I was hooked. I wanted to be an ADPi.

And still, I almost talked myself out of going back for the final round. Ashley, a girl who lived down the hall who I wasn’t even close with, convinced me to go. When I said I didn’t have anything to wear, she loaned me a dress.

“You can always decide not to pledge,” she told me.

So I returned for the fourth night Preference Party. I was again greeted by an only slightly familiar face. Jennyfer, JJ to her friends, had apparently picked me out of the crowd of freshmen.

“That girl is cool,” she’d told her friends. “She’s going to be my little.”

During the fourth night ceremony, each sister read something to the potential new member she’d been paired with; a poem, or personal message. It seemed that all the other pairs knew each other well. I was worried.

But when it was JJ’s turn, she set my mind at ease. She told me how special I was, made me feel like I belonged. Then she hugged me, and led me to the diamond-shaped puzzle in the middle of the room. She pulled out one of the pieces, and handed it to me.

A piece of ADPi it said, with my name inscribed underneath it.

The puzzle, we were told, represented each individual in the chapter; how each individual helped make up the whole.

We stood in a circle, then. The president of the chapter started a candle pass, passing the lit candle once around the room as a symbol of friendship. As the candle made its way around, the sisters sang their own words to the hymn “Pass it On.”

What a happy house is this, when we are all together. As sisters we exist, we live for one another, the chapter sang.

My eyes welled with tears. ADPi’s open motto, “We Live for Each Other,” was to me, the ideal of friendship.

Then, I held my preference card in my hands. I had attended two preference parties, but I knew what I wanted to do. Although the rush counselors advised against it, I wrote “ADPi” on the card, leaving the other spaces blank. It was a practice known as intentional single preferencing (colloquially referred to as “suiciding”), and it was highly discouraged. If ADPi didn’t offer me a bid, I wouldn’t be in a sorority at all.

I didn’t care, because I didn’t just want to be in a sorority. I wanted to be an ADPi.
Saturday morning, I waited. I had chosen; I had to wait to see if they chose me. If I was going to get a bid, the sisters would bring it to my door at 1 p.m.

The enthusiastic banging on the door came at moments after 1. I was hardly breathing. I opened the door, and Amy Jo pulled a letter sweatshirt over my head. I think she read the bid card. I don’t remember.

I wore the letters so proudly. I was an ADPi. I had found the place where I belonged. I silently thanked Ashley for not letting me drop out.

Amy Jo and the others hugged me, then we were off. They ran me to Brooks Circle, where the rest of the chapter was waiting. JJ (who would soon become my Diamond sister) was the first to hug me when we got there.

“I was so worried about you,” she said. Worried that I would decide not to pledge, or to pledge somewhere else. That was ridiculous; there was no place else for me.

I still wear my letters proudly, even four years after I graduated from Allegheny. My closest friends are still the ones I made as a collegiate member of Eta Beta chapter; friendships that were not “bought,” but made and cultivated through common experiences, deepened by the bond of sisterhood.

And the words to that song, the words I now know by heart, still bring a tear to my eye.

I’ll shout it from the mountaintop–I’ve come to ADPi.
It’s given me the love you see, and now I’ll pass it on.

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Information about dues

Good news! We are ready to begin collecting dues for 2014. We have set dues at $25 for a full membership and $10 for a supporting membership. If you are a recent graduate (graduating in 2012 or 2013), you may also join at the $10 rate for your first year of membership.

Supporting memberships are intended for those sisters who would like to be involved, but live outside the Western New York area for part or all of the year. For example, sisters attending graduate school, or those who spend winters in Florida, would be eligible for a supporting membership. If you have questions about membership, please get in touch with us!

If you would like to, you can make the annual dues payment in two installments of $12.50.

We are able to accept dues via paypal; however, because of the associated charges, an additional service fee (of $1 or $.50, depending on the amount charged) will be assessed. Just click the “pay dues” button in the sidebar.

You may also send a check made out to Western New York Alpha Delta Pi Alumnae–I’ll be sending an email with the address–or pay your dues in person at our next event.

We hope to see you all soon!

Wear your letters on your heart!

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Monday, March 3, is International Badge Day. This event, sponsored by the National Panhellenic Conference, celebrates sisterhood and a lifelong commitment to service and community. We hope everyone will show their pride by wearing their badges! 

When I graduated from college, I had my badge made into a ring, thinking I would wear it more that way. It’s a lovely ring, but as I became involved in this alumnae organization, I found myself feeling sad that I didn’t have an actual badge to wear anymore. I was able to track down a new one, though, and I’m looking forward to wearing it on March 3!

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Join the badge day event on Facebook, and visit the NPC website for more information.

Pop tabs for RMHC

Ronald Mcdonald House Charities

As collegiate members, I’m sure we all participated in the collection of pop tabs (or pull tabs) to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities. I know that, for me, that participation has died off since I graduated from college.

As our brand-new alumnae association gets off the ground, we look forward to forming a relationship with our local Ronald McDonald House here in Buffalo. One of the first and simplest things we can do, though, is get back to collecting those tabs! Save them at home, of course, but you can also enlist the help of your family, friends, and coworkers!

At this link, there’s more information as well as a flyer you can print out and hang in your lunch room at work. Our association will take care of collecting and delivering the tabs to RMH. If you’re not sure what to do, just send us an email!