December - the season of giving! Each year, Theta is pleased to honor our 50- and 75-year members with the gift of anniversary pins. We also recognize our 25-year members with a letter or email. This year, we will recognize 3,700 25-year members, 1,650 50-year members, and about 250 75-year members!
The Fraternity officially starting recognizing 50-year members in 1954 with a Golden Link certificate. These certificates were hand-made on shiny gold foil paper and sent to anniversary members. We only have a few of these in the archive ... and one is Bettie Locke Hamilton's daughter's certificate! Sometime later, Theta began sending black and gold pansy stick pins to 50-year members, and then the pins we send today.
In 1963, the decision was made to add 75-year members to the recognition list, and Grand Council selected a pansy pin with a gold coat-of-arms in the center.
Many members look forward to receiving these gifts, while others are surprised to see one in their mailbox!
From the archive, a letter from 1987 states: "Dear Theta Sisters, I was amazed, surprised, delighted, and horrified to receive my 50-year Theta pansy pin. Delighted you remembered me, amazed it was 50 years! Horrified the years have passed so swiftly by and surprised I feel and am the same Theta who was so happily pledged at Cal in '37. I shall wear it with pride and great gratitude for the fun, friendships, and high standards Theta has always meant." Polly Peters Hutchins Omega/UC Berkeley 1938.
Congratulations to all our members celebrating a milestone anniversary in 2017! We hope these pins and letters invoke many wonderful Theta memories and inspire you to create many more.
I like to write a blog every year to recognize those Thetas who are celebrating their 25-, 50-, and 75-year anniversaries. While sitting down to write this, I realized this is my fifth blog about anniversaries! What should I write about this year?
So I went to Theta's heritage website and decided to search for a quote for inspiration. I stumbled upon the one below from Elizabeth Garrett Haselton. She was initiated at Beta Epsilon/Oregon State in 1921 and received her 50-year pansy pin in 1971.
"Thanks for my pansy pin. I suppose it's fine to have a 50th, as they say. However, this rather crept up on me! ... Theta did make a tremendous difference in my college life, as I transferred and attended three universities. ... I felt as though I always had a place to hang my hat and the possibility of making friends without too much agony. A good many of the people I knew then I still know now and it's certainly been a basic plus. And it's still a good fraternity!" Elizabeth Garrett Haselton, Beta Epsilon/Oregon State
Even though the world was a very different place when Elizabeth was initiated, her words are timeless. I'm sure many members agree that Theta has given them a place to hang their hats and helped them make friends. I'm also sure there are many Thetas who can't believe they are celebrating an anniversary, too! We definitely want to hear from you. Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below.
Know of anyone celebrating a Theta anniversary this year? Check out these lists of our 25-year, 50-year, and 75-year Thetas to find a friend's name...or even yours!
Congratulations to all of the women celebrating an anniversary. We wish you many more years of wonderful Theta memories.
When people ask me what CASA is all about, I tell them it's a movement. A volunteer movement of advocacy for abused and neglected children. Throughout the past 25 years, our partnership with Kappa Alpha Theta has helped thousands and thousands of those children in so many ways.
Every day, tens of thousands of Court Appointed Special Advocates across the country stand up for kids who might otherwise navigate an overburdened foster care system feeling lost, scared and alone. Every dollar raised has helped train dedicated volunteers or spread awareness of the cause. Because of this partnership, many Thetas have decided to be trained to become volunteers and help children in their communities. And, caring Theta alumnae continue to support CASA long after they have graduated. It's a powerful partnership that has reached out across the country and continues to impact lives wherever Thetas are and beyond.
When I think of the power of this partnership, I can't help but think of the executive director of Tulsa CASA. Today, Maura Wilson works closely with Gamma Tau/Tulsa, and she can't say enough about all the help she gets from them every year. But, what shows the true long-lasting strength of this partnership is that Maura started as a Theta at the same university.
As she explained to me, "I remember sitting at a meeting when I first joined Theta and hearing all about CASA. I said to myself, 'When I'm old enough I'm going to become a CASA volunteer.'" And she did!
Together, National CASA and Theta have made a huge difference in helping abused and neglected children. But, despite the progress we have made, we know that more needs to be done, especially when we hear statistics like these:
- A child enters foster care every 2 minutes.
- A child ages out of foster care once every 22 minutes.
- A child dies due to maltreatment every 5.3 hours.
Today, even though a CASA or Guardian Ad Litem volunteer is assigned to a child every 15 minutes, only one-third of children in need receive the life-saving support that CASA volunteers provide.
As I travel the country talking to people about National CASA, I tell them that they have the ability to change those statistics. All of us can lift up the life of a child by volunteering, making a donation, or sharing awareness of what CASA does with others.
Thank you, Thetas, for being such a mighty voice for CASA. You have been a powerful force in the lives of our nation's most vulnerable children for the past 25 years. I look forward to all we can accomplish together during this 25th anniversary celebration year and in the years to come.
In the upcoming months, you'll receive more information about the Theta/CASA partnership and how you can help with the good work that we're already doing to help foster children.
Those Thetas celebrating their 25-year anniversary will receive a wonderful letter in the mail congratulating them on this milestone. Our 50- and 75-year Thetas will receive two different types of beautiful pins to mark their milestones as well.
Sending these letters and pins make me happy, but the hand-written thank you letters that come back make this project even more special!
Do you know anyone celebrating a Theta anniversary this year? Check out these lists of our 25-year, 50-year, and 75-year Thetas. Look for a friend's name, and wish them a happy anniversary!
This year we have 1,621 women celebrating their 50-year anniversary and 187 women celebrating their 75-year anniversary. I can only imagine how they have seen Theta prosper and grow throughout the years. They have helped shape the Fraternity and continue to inspire our members.
Congratulations to the wonderful women celebrating their 50 and 75-year anniversaries!
Are you receiving a pin in your mailbox? We want to hear from you! Share your Theta story on our website.
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