Founders Day 2019

Founders Day and Friendship Fund Message 2019

Category: Fraternity

Mandy Burgett Wushinske

Zeta Sigma, Ohio Northern

Women supporting women. At its heart, that’s what sisterhood is. And it’s what Kappa Alpha Theta does so beautifully.

At Grand Convention 2018, we introduced a social media campaign—Women Supporting Women—with the hashtag #ThetasGotYourBack. The campaign was created to celebrate the many ways Theta seeks to inspire each of us and encourages all of us to be our best selves.

Although I doubt they would express it in the same way, I believe our founders would find the idea of #ThetasGotYourBack to be very familiar. Bettie, Alice, Hannah, and Bettie studied with distinction and graduated with honors, but their early college years were difficult. At best, they were ignored and excluded by male students, professors, and administrators; at worst, they met with more active discrimination.

In response, these four young women created Kappa Alpha Theta: a welcoming, empowering, supportive community for themselves and the women who would follow them. And just as our founders did, we, too, support one another! We listen and console; we uplift and cheer on; we celebrate accomplishments; we talk each other off ledges; we push in all the right ways … and in the truly dark hours, we offer aid.

In fact, aid to sisters living through those dark hours is the basis for our Friendship Fund. Since 1926, the fund has provided gifts to Thetas experiencing extreme financial hardship due to serious or terminal illness, job loss, natural disaster, and other devastating occurrences. The fund is also an affirmation of our ritual, which instills in us the belief that Kappa Alpha Theta is larger than ourselves and that what we give to one another comes full circle.

On January 27, 2019, the 149th anniversary of our founding, I hope you will join me in honoring our founders with a gift to the Friendship Fund. With the traditional gift of $1 per year of membership, you can give support to sisters who desperately need it.

Women supporting women is more than just a catchy phrase or a social media initiative. It is a tangible demonstration of the power of Theta sisterhood in our own lives and in the lives of others. By supporting the Friendship Fund, we are women supporting women; we are sharing care and comfort with our sisters in distress and doing everything we can to turn the bitter sweet.