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Fraternity Blog

Posted On: Monday, June 15, 2015 08:00 AM, by Tiffany Erica Yoshida
Tiffany Erica Yoshida
Epsilon Sigma/
UC Irvine
CASA. I first heard about Court Appointed Special Advocates my freshman year of college at UC Irvine during sorority recruitment. I never thought I would join a sorority, but my friend convinced me to go through the recruitment process with her. During recruitment, I was given my first introduction to CASA while visiting Epsilon Sigma's facility and decided to join.

Some of my favorite experiences as an undergraduate were the philanthropic events planned by Theta. It was always so fulfilling and gratifying to know that we were supporting and donating what time and funds we could to a very beneficial and impactful cause. In addition to our own events, we had the opportunity to volunteer at some of our local CASA events and fundraisers. Little did I know I would soon be a guest at these annual galas and on the event committee after graduating!

During my senior year, I represented Epsilon Sigma at Robin McGraw's initiation at Omicron/USC. This was a special moment for me as I saw the partnership between CASA and Theta embodied in an inspiring individual. Robin is a national spokeswoman for CASA and now a Theta! Shortly after graduating UCI, I met someone through an interview process, and he coincidentally turned out to be an instrumental figure and supporter and on the board of advisors for CASA. After so many connections, the CASA connection continued to follow me. At this point, I knew CASA was meant to be in my life, and in late 2010, I signed up for training to become a court appointed special advocate.

Since that time, I have had two cases. I am incredibly passionate about CASA. CASA's mission is to "support and promote court-appointed volunteer advocacy so that every abused or neglected child can be safe, establish permanency, and have the opportunity to thrive." I've seen firsthand the impact that this mission has on children, including the current youth I serve. In addition to serving as a CASA, I am involved in CASA's local events to spread its mission and raise awareness.

Joining Theta was one of the best decisions I have made. My college experience was immensely enhanced and wonderful because of Theta. I am proud to be a Theta, and I thank Theta for helping me become who I am today. I encourage all my Theta sisters to get involved with their local CASA chapter, whether committing to be a volunteer advocate such as myself, or getting involved in other ways with local events and fundraisers and spreading awareness to the mission of CASA.

I love being a CASA and being a part of the CASA family. Theta led me to CASA and helped me find my voice in the world, and CASA allows me to give my child a voice.

Tiffany Erica Yoshida, Epsilon Sigma/UC Irvine, works as a client services specialist at CBRE, Inc and is a volunteer child advocate for CASA of Orange County and a wish granter for Make-A-Wish of Orange County.

Posted On: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 08:00 AM, by Christie Horton
Christine Horton
Delta Eta/Kansas State
When the Fraternity's ritual committee introduced Project Initiation, I was more than happy to participate. I've served as a chapter advisor, a district officer and a Fraternity committee volunteer, so this was just another way to stay involved as an alumna. I hadn't forgotten our beautiful initiation ceremony. It hadn't been that many years since I stood next to my sisters to welcome another group of eager and excited young women into our sisterhood. I didn't expect it to feel any different; I was just doing my part. To be honest, I didn't know what to expect.

Project Initiation turned out to mean more to me than I ever expected. The words are the same and they have the same meaning today as they did on the day of my initiation—but somehow, they mean more to me now. All the joys and pains of life are put into perspective each time I hear our initiation ceremony. I stand back and listen to the words, and I'm reminded about all the different times that my sisters have supported me as well as the times we've supported each other. What we often don't realize as collegians is that the words we're speaking have so much truth to them. Sure, we understand they're important, but as young women with so much life still to come, we don't always have the best context when we pledge ourselves to true sisterhood. That is what Project Initiation had done for me; it has given context and a deeper meaning to my time as a member of Kappa Alpha Theta.

Project Initiation has helped me to develop an even greater sense of pride and love for the ritual that ties us all together as Thetas. It's helped me to appreciate my Theta sisters near and far, new and old, as we've traveled through life's journeys together. It's allowed me stand next to my newest sisters each year, and silently reaffirm my pledge to be a loyal member of this amazing fraternity.

I agreed to participate because my fraternity asked me to. I continue to participate because I love how much our initiation ceremony continues to resonate with me each year. Every alumna should take the opportunity to not only support a chapter during this very special time, but to reaffirm her faith, hope, and love in Kappa Alpha Theta.

Christine Horton, Delta Eta/Kansas State, serves on the Delta Eta advisory board in several positions. She is also a charter Life Loyal member.

Posted On: Monday, October 7, 2013 07:30 AM, by Laurie McGregor Connor
Ritual means different things to people. To me, as a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, it is a series of ceremonies uniting each and every member. Throughout the years, I have had the privilege of participating in the alumnae portion of initiation. Although I became a member in the early 1970s, the ceremony is still very meaningful to me.

Soon many of our chapters will be welcoming their new members into our special, sacred bond of sisterhood. To assist these chapters, the Fraternity's ritual committee has launched Project Initiation to encourage alumnae involvement in the ceremony. The goal is to support our aspiration of promoting the relevance of the Theta experience and foster positive collegian and alumnae interaction.

When I speak those carefully chosen words and see each new member's reaction, I realize what loving and beautiful thoughts are expressed. All of the best things about our organization are described: caring for each and every sister, learning how our individual actions affect the entire group, and embracing the love that surrounds each member in the room. And when I think about how long ago these words were written and how the principles and sentiments still apply today, I am stunned. I find the words so centering and calming. I can always count on these phrases to get me through the toughest or enhance the happiest experiences life has to offer.

If you haven't been to an initiation recently, consider checking with a local chapter or returning to your chapter to "renew your vows" and wrap yourself in the beauty of these supportive and encouraging words.

Laurie McGregor Connor, Gamma deuteron/Ohio Wesleyan, is the chairman of the government relations committee of Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity, and is a charter Life Loyal member.

Posted On: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 12:56 PM, by Alyssa Trumbull
L-R: Claire Sheridan, Covington Paulsen, ELCs Joni Jameson and Alyssa Trumbull, and Bridget Rose
Zeta Omicron Chapter is making a strong comeback at Wake Forest University! Joni Jameson and I are the based educational leadership consultants (ELCs) that have had the privilege of working in Winston-Salem, NC with our newest chapter. During the weekend of April 13-14, along with other Fraternity staff and volunteers, we had the amazing opportunity of reestablishing Zeta Omicron. It was a busy and exciting weekend with the loyalty service, initiation ceremony, charter service, and installation celebration.

We are proud to have welcomed 152 wonderful women as official members of Kappa Alpha Theta. Their enthusiasm was evident as their faces lit up when they finished the initiation ceremony and were welcomed into our sisterhood by the local alumnae. It was so rewarding to see our hard work over the past semester pay off, and the members' understanding of the deeper meaning of Kappa Alpha Theta come full-circle.

Sharing in the celebration of Zeta Omicron's reinstallation were family, friends, administrators, and other Panhellenic women. Attendees expressed their gratitude to Theta for the unique membership experience it has given these women and the sense of community felt among Panhellenic since the chapter reestablished. It is incredible to see how Theta has touched the lives of each of our 152 members and know the impact they will have on future Thetas for many more years to come. Another memorable Theta weekend is in the books!

Alyssa Trumbull, Rho/Nebraska, is an educational leadership consultant for Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity, and is a Life Loyal member.

Posted On: Friday, December 14, 2012 03:10 AM, by Katharine Murphy
The Eta Chi installation team
This past May I made the move from Boston to Indiana. Since then I have been struggling with the identity of "home." Boston will always hold a piece of my heart, but my roots are starting to grow deeper in the Midwest. Luckily I got to spend some time in Boston for the installation of Eta Chi Chapter at Boston University.

The installation weekend kicked off on Friday, November 30 with the Loyalty Service presided by Fraternity Ritual Committee Chairman Joan Krieger. Initiation was held on Saturday as Fraternity President Amy Kates initiated all 116 new members. Finally, on Sunday, December 2, Eta Chi received its charter, and an Eta Tau/Tampa initiate became an affiliate member. Kappa Alpha Theta is proud to welcome Eta Chi as our 130th active college chapter.

The establishment of Eta Chi could not be possible without a strong support network. The BU Panhellenic and administrators have worked hard to welcome Theta with open arms. Fraternity volunteers, Boston alumnae, and local college Theta chapters all offered support from near and far. Two ELCs (Madison Motley and Elizabeth Mundy) have been working closely with the new chapter throughout the semester and will remain in Boston through the academic year. Thank you to all of you who have contributed to Eta Chi's success.

Joining in on the celebrations and the Kappa Alpha Theta ritual, I realized that home is not a place; home is people. Theta has played a major role in defining home for me, and it warms my heart to see new members begin their journey with her.

Welcome home, Eta Chi.

Katharine Murphy, Gamma Zeta/Connecticut, is the chapter services program coordinator at Kappa Alpha Theta headquarters, and is a charter Life Loyal member.

Posted On: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 10:57 AM, by Jane Shepherd Dick
As we continue to celebrate National Ritual Celebration Week this week, I invite you to take a quiet moment to reflect on what our Ritual has meant to you and what it can mean to you today. Regardless of age, location, vocation, or current relationship with Theta, our Ritual should feel welcoming, comforting, connecting.

For our collegians, I encourage you to focus on your feelings during your next Ritual experience. What resonates within you, in those moments? Is it a particular phrase or passage that is especially meaningful to you right now? Is it the comfort of experiencing something familiar and known? Is it the embrace of sharing the experience with women you cherish or of revealing it to women whom you have chosen and who have chosen you?

For our alumnae, visit a nearby college chapter for a chapter meeting or ceremony, or incorporate a piece of Ritual into your next alumnae chapter gathering. If there is no college or alumnae chapter in your area, review some part of our Ritual, available on the Theta website. Do words or songs long forgotten leap back into your mind and heart? Are particular feelings of nostalgia stirred, memories of a particular place and time in your past? Are you drawn to specific phrases or symbols in a new way, through the unique lens of your experience?

As an outward sign of our Ritual and our ideals, your Fraternity badge connects you to thousands of Thetas past, present, and future. Even more, it signifies our shared history and purpose with our sister groups in NPC. Recognizing that our Rituals (though different in details) share common roots and reasons, Theta joins all Greek-letter organizations in celebrating National Ritual Celebration Week, sponsored by Phi Mu.

I hope you can take some time this week to truly embrace our Ritual as a meaningful part of your lifelong membership experience and feel connected, comforted, grounded—at home.

Jane Shepherd Dick, Epsilon Mu/Princeton, is the nominating committee chairman for Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity and a charter Life Loyal member.

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