Honoring Our Diamond Thetas

Category: Fraternity

Laura Stelsel

Gamma, Butler

Each year, Theta honors its 75-year members by mailing them a special pin and note congratulating them on their years as a member. We always get sweet thank-you notes in return; members reminiscing about their experiences with Theta sisters on campus and describing what college life was like 75 years ago.

But this year, inspired by our 150th anniversary and a project done by Chi Omega, we reached out to these “Diamond Thetas” to see who would be interested in receiving their pin in-person, via a Theta sister delivery.

We started by engaging our volunteers and staff to call every single one of the Diamond Thetas—nearly 300—to ask if they were interested. Many were touched that Theta remembered them on this occasion but were unable to take a visit. At the end of those calls, we had close to 45 women for whom we were able to arrange a visit.

When we spoke to one family on the phone, the daughter said, “We would love to have the pin hand-delivered to Mother. She is 93 now and in a skilled nursing unit. This would be a wonderful occasion if there is someone nearby. If not, it can be mailed and we will have a family ceremony. Mom is singing the Theta song to Dad (71 years of marriage) just behind me.” Sadly, by the time we were able to arrange a visit, the member had passed away, but her husband requested the pin to remember her by.

We also learned that we had a set of twins among the 75-year Thetas: the Maloney sisters from Kappa/Kansas. One of the sisters (Peggy) lives abroad in Australia, but the US-residing sister (Pat) proudly received her pin.

Pat Maloney Grantham, Kappa/Kansas, receives her 75-year pin and certificate.

Visitors had so many touching experiences that we wanted to be able to share them all with you. You can access photos and stories from the visits made earlier in 2020 at our Diamond Thetas page.

As we spoke to these women, we realized that their 75 years represented half of our Fraternity’s history. What a gift it was to share this experience with all of them. They are all shining examples of what it means to be Thetas for a lifetime.