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This tribute to the power of Theta sisterhood honors both Ritual Celebration Week and the Year of Sisterhood.
Theta is one of the BEST things that ever happened in my life!
I was just with a group of my closest friends over the weekend, all Thetas. All Indiana University grads from 1974 and 1975. We went to the IU vs Minnesota basketball game Friday night and then spent the weekend together. One just experienced the death of her son, one is going through a divorce, another is caring for two grandchildren who lost their mother to cancer four years ago, another's husband just lost his job, one's son is going to get engaged this weekend, and another's daughter-in-law is due to have her first baby tomorrow! All these things and so much more we share and have shared for 45 years. I don't know what I would do without them ... for their love, advice, and support, I am beyond THANKFUL!
You don't know what "Theta for a Lifetime" means or is going to mean when you are initiated. It's not until you live it that you truly understand.
Theta for a lifetime,
Carey Thielemann Criswell
I was delighted to discover several wonderful bits of news. For example, the GPA for Zeta Rho/UC San Diego is the highest relative to the ASA on their campus. Their GPA is 3.38, while ASA is 3.13. Congratulations to Zeta Rho!
Congratulations also to Epsilon Iota/Westminster for currently having the longest streak of consecutive semesters being #1 in grades on their campus of any Theta chapter. They have had the top GPA on their campus for nine consecutive semesters, going back to Spring 2008. Eta Rho/James Madison has the second-longest streak with eight consecutive semesters with top grades, and Alpha Omicron/Oklahoma has been tops on their campus in grades for five consecutive semesters.
When asked about the secret to their success, Caroline Ayers and Courtney Darkow of Epsilon Iota replied:
"We have optional Theta Think Tanks (study hall) every couple of weeks. We also have a list of Theta academic mentors if a member wants to talk to someone who has taken the class. In addition, we reward members for their hard work with having everyone who received an A in the last week stand up so we can clap for them.
Also, if they received an A on an exam, they can put their name into the 'Smart Cookie' jar. At the end of the semester, we draw names, and those people receive gift cards to different places.
Moreover, during recruitment, we strive to gain members who are passionate about school."
Regarding what their success means to Epsilon Iota:
"We are so excited about this accomplishment. We are very proud of our number one in scholarship status, and we don't plan on ever letting that change."
It is so rewarding to see our chapters living our ideals.
- According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1,000 women die from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth every day (one woman every 90 seconds).
- In their book, Kristof and WuDunn estimate 3 million women and girls are currently enslaved in the sex trade around the world.
- Gender-based violence ranks as the top public health crisis for women around the world today, according to the Half the Sky website. Women ages 15 to 45 are more likely to be maimed or die from male violence than from cancer, malaria, traffic accidents, and war combined.
- One answer to many of these problems is education, but 20% of primary school-age girls around the world (estimated at more than 37 million) are not in school.
There is hope. Bettie Locke once said she and the other founding members knew that creating Kappa Alpha Theta was not just for those first four, but that Theta would go on to help other women stay in school. Bettie said, "It was organized to help the girls win out in their fight to stay in college..." Now other girls and women around the world are fighting to attend school and have the same rights, opportunities, and protections afforded to men. I often remind myself that I am privileged for many reasons, one being my college education (around 6% of the world population has a college degree). It is also not lost on me that many women, including Bettie, came before me and fought for rights that I enjoy today. It seems to me that a great way to live that legacy is to turn around and help other women.
I hope you are like me and want to do something. Here's a list of things you, your friends, your chapter members, and your communities can do right now:
- Read the book Half the Sky. Then pass it on to friends and family.
- Become a supporter of the Half the Sky Movement.
- Participate in the 30 Songs in 30 Days Campaign. Notable Thetas Amy Grant and Sheryl Crow are donating songs to help raise awareness. Amy's song will be posted on Sunday, September 16, and Sheryl's song on Monday, September 24. It's an easy way to support our fellow Thetas as well as a great cause.
- Host a Half the Sky viewing party! The Circle of Sisterhood Foundation and the National Panhellenic Conference are calling on sorority women everywhere to host a viewing party on October 1 to learn about these issues affecting women and girls and learn how we can help. Visit Circle of Sisterhood website to register your event and access promotional material to use.
Have you read the book? Are you hosting a viewing party? Tell us about your activities in the Comments section below!
Lincoln Alumnae Chapter Immediate Past President Alyssa Trumbell and President Gina Sherwood Klein organized a true celebration of sisterhood. The room was full of wonderful collegian and alumnae Thetas. The bonds of sisterhood were obvious as Thetas mixed and mingled, sharing stories of Rho Chapter.
The evening was a perfect balance of celebrating the current college chapter women and chapter achievements, and celebrating the rich history of Rho. Brand-new Theta sisters were introduced, and a group of 50-year Thetas were in attendance. They delighted the crowd by sharing stories from their days of living in the chapter house, and led a "sing-song" of their favorite Theta songs. It was truly lovely, and smiles adorned the faces of Theta sisters in the room!
A highlight of the evening was 75-year Theta Barbara Day sharing incredible memories of Rho Chapter, including stories of her mother, a Theta initiated in the early 1900s at Rho. In listening to her, it is clear that the strong sisterhood of Rho Thetas today started 125 years ago and has been passed on and shared over the years.
While much has changed between 1887 and 2012, much has stayed the same for Rho Chapter. The bonds of Kappa Alpha Theta sisterhood are now and will ever be strong. Congratulations on 125 years!