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.
We may or may not remember their names, but we remember their faces, what they said, what they didn't say, how they could make class enjoyable and learning invigorating. The special ones separated themselves from the others by going the extra mile, creating an engaging classroom experience, challenging us to grow in ways we didn't think were possible, and believing in us—when maybe we didn't. Not everyone has this type of experience with a faculty member in college, but when we do, it is special.
The professor has power, not only to assign and submit grades, but also to impact a student in a profound and personal manner: to stir a passion for a particular subject, research topic, or learning experience. To inspire a young person to select a major and ultimately impact a career path and her future. This is the power of influence. During my undergraduate years, I experienced two such professors, but they never knew the true impact they had on me.
I wish we had a formal way to say thank you to those professors back then, the faculty members everyone had heard of, recommended, or who impacted their story so powerfully. We would've recommended them for an honor had there been one. We would have collectively let them know how they made a difference in our lives. I wish I could do that today; with hindsight and wisdom that comes through the years, I would like them to know they made a difference to me.
The power of the professor is strong...in so many ways. I hope you'll spend a few moments reflecting on your college experience and about which faculty members had an impact in your life. If you are still able to, I hope you will extend them a thank you. Each year, Kappa Alpha Theta chapters have the opportunity to do this very thing: to recognize faculty members who have influenced students and made a difference on campus. Our Outstanding Faculty Award is a wonderful way to highlight those who go the extra mile, light a spark of interest, or challenge growth. Chapter members recommend a professor based on the four points of the Theta kite: intellectual curiosity, leadership potential, commitment to service, and personal excellence.
It is a treat to read the nominations, to learn how gifted teachers truly inspire and change our members. Join me in congratulating the faculty selected for this year's honor. Not only are they making a difference in the lives of our members, they are a now a special part of these chapter's stories.
"My best friends to this day are women I met because of Theta," Jessica Lee, Phi deuteron/Stanford
"Theta's tagline is about more than sisterhood; it's about enabling, mentoring, and fostering growth in women," Gretchen Wherry West, Epsilon Psi/Richmond
"True leaders keep adapting and improving in this world of unending change," Joelle Jay, Beta Mu/Nevada
In each issue of the Theta magazine, we're delighted to introduce you to sisters who personify Theta's ideals of individual achievement and work for the common good, as well as our shared experiences of service, scholarship, and sisterhood. You can meet Jessica, Gretchen, and Joelle in the Autumn 2016 issue, as well as many other Theta collegians and alumnae from across the globe.
During this season of thanks and giving, let us be grateful for one another and for the first Greek-letter fraternity for women.
If you've purchased a badge recently, you may have noticed a tiny gold piece attached to the stem (pin) on the back. Seeing it, you may have wondered "What is that tiny thing, and is it important?" You're not the only person to ask that question!
That tiny piece is called a bubble guard, and it is, indeed important: it can keep you from losing your badge. Here's how it should work.
When you put your badge on, put the pin through the fabric. Before you put the pin in the clasp and close it, slide the little bubble guard on the pin. Then clasp it shut. If for some reason the clasp opens, the bubble guard will catch your badge, helping it stay on your clothing.
Do you want to know more about Theta's badges? Visit History of Our Badge and Badge Disposition Guidelines on Theta's heritage website. Do you have a story about your own badge? Send it to email@example.com.
As I sit here writing this, I cannot believe that it is already November. The day after Halloween, I saw the first commercial for the holidays! Slowly social media posts, more holiday commercials, and even invitations to holiday parties started creeping into my life.
At this rate, I better get my shopping list in order! If your holiday shopping list includes a new Theta badge, visit the website of our official jeweler, J. Lewis Small, Inc., to place your order before November 22 (to receive your badge in time).
Also, check out our newly redesigned Greek licensed vendor website, where you can view everything our 600+ licensed vendors offer. If you're on the go and prefer to shop on your phone, download the new FindGreek app. It's free in both the App Store and on Google Play. This app has the largest and most diverse collection of Theta licensed merchandise—right at your fingertips!
This year, the Alpha Mu/Missouri executive board introduced a Leading Women Speaker series to better connect our college members with alumnae. We invited several alumnae to "come home" to Theta to speak about their time as collegians, as well as their experience as a leading woman in the real world. These evenings proved to be uplifting, informative, and special for all the women involved.
On October 10, United States Senator Claire McCaskill, Alpha Mu/Missouri, attended our chapter meeting as a part of our speaker series. She graduated from Mizzou in 1975, and then earned her law degree in 1978. She went on to become a Missouri state representative, Jackson County prosecutor (the first woman to hold that position), Missouri state auditor, a 2004 candidate for Missouri governor, and the first woman from Missouri to be elected to the U.S. Senate. She is the epitome of a leading woman.
In her talk, Sen. McCaskill discussed the struggles she endured as a woman in the workforce and in politics and encouraged our members to be confident in themselves and always fight to achieve their dreams. She also allowed much time for questions and pictures.
A few notable quotes from her talk:
- "There is nothing wrong, there is nothing unladylike, about being ambitious."
- "Humor is an extremely important part of being successful, including being able to laugh at yourself."
- "Success is not what you own, success is loving what you do."
- "You know the difference between me and you? This is not the best job I'm ever gonna have." (to the Missouri speaker of the house after he harassed her)
In what ways are you promoting "leading women" at your chapter? Please share in the comments section!
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