Around this time each year, each of us at Theta headquarters are excited for our strong, resilient, and talented seniors to graduate from college and embark on opportunities for continued involvement as alumnae.
That’s one reason why we were so moved to discover this touching, beautiful letter penned by Jeff August, the father of graduating senior Alibi August, Alpha Nu/Montana. It’s a reminder to us that Theta impacts not just our collegians, but their families as well. He read the following during Alpha Nu’s Senior Night in April:
Where to begin?
We'd like to say that we are proud of you, but that is unfair.
Your accomplishments are amazing, your bravery inspiring. You went to school in a state that requires two plane flights for us to get to you. You graduated with honors in three years.
You held down a job the entire time.
You took a chance and did something neither of us would have ever done, you went Greek! You participated in volunteer opportunities, which was even more work.
You must be exhausted.
All of this required a lot of stretching and growing. It was astounding to watch, as your biggest fans.
All of this is true but we cannot say we take pride in your accomplishments. For two reasons.
One, you have lived up to an ideal that we have tried to instill in you from a very young age. Merit is not inherited. Therefore, the only person who can take pride in what you have achieved is you.
Two, we believe deeply that life is not about achievements as much as it is about experiences. Trophies are nice but wisdom is eternal. You are only scratching the surface of your potential and we can't wait to see what comes next for you.
So while we cannot say we are proud of you for these reasons, we can say we are grateful that of all the people on the planet we get to be your parents. We can say that we are humbled by your work ethic.
We can say that you should be proud.
Jeff and Rachel
Reprinted with permission from the author and owner of the blog Jeff August Ego Trip.
If you are a parent or family member of a Theta, how have you witnessed Kappa Alpha Theta be a part of the college experience? We’d love to hear from you!