Posted On: Wednesday, October 8 09:30 AM, by Katie Kilday
L-R: Caity White, Zeta Eta/Wofford, and Katie at the 2013 Army/Navy football game.
Ritual is specifically important to me because it has become an ever-present guiding beacon in my life, and will be for the rest of my years.
Ritual, I believe, is the reason I joined the Eta Xi chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta, whether I knew it at the time or not. To me, our initiation wasn’t so much of a revelation of secrets, but rather the revelation of things I had always inherently believed and held near and dear to my heart. Finding out all my new sisters believed those things too, and so did our founders, reaffirmed the belief that my chapter was home. Ritual is the foundation that makes up who we are as Thetas. But as much as Bettie, Bettie, Hannah and Alice wanted us to practice our ritual in a dark room with candles, they wanted us to live our ritual more. This is why my initiation wasn’t so shocking and surprising to me. My sisters lived out my ritual every single day, from how they acted in the classroom to how they treated each other, to how they behaved on Friday night. My sisters, both across the country and at Quinnipiac, believed in our values, both public and secret, day in and day out. By them consistently living it on a daily basis, it made it that much more important to me as I took those sacred vows that night in April 2011.
Ritual is the reason I have stood shoulder to shoulder with women celebrating the 50th anniversary of their initiations, uttering the same words our founders wrote for us. It is the reason I have held crying sisters, and wiped my own tears from laughing with them. It is the reason I have raised my hand in a classroom and been strong enough to offer a counterpoint to an argument. It is the reason I have invested myself in healthy relationships with encouraging, supportive, and loving people who genuinely care for my well-being. I do all this because it is what my founders have asked of and wished for me. It is what they sought when they dared to dream big enough to create a fraternity for women. It is part of my never-ending quest to live up to a nobler womanhood. Our founders wanted the best for us. We are merely living out their legacy.
I truly believe that my sisters and I share a bond deeper than my relationship with most people, simply on the principle of what we share through our incredible ritual. The depth of what our founders have created for us was an act of love and sisterhood, one we are privileged to get to experience. As I now embark on a different sorority journey as an alumna, striving to meet the higher and broader demands of a mature life, I am forever grateful of the eternal bonds I have forged thanks to four women who took a chance on a January day in Indiana.
Katie Kilday, Eta Xi/Quinnipiac, graduated last spring. As a collegian, she served her chapter as ritualist and chief Panhellenic officer.