While there is still much in the world that is unusual in these times, it feels like we can finally shift our focus on being together again. We started this in 2022: We were able to gather for our first in-person Grand Convention (albeit delegates-only) in four years in July 2022; Most, if not all, of our college and alumnae chapters are gathering in-person once again for various events, recruitment efforts, and chapter business; Further reiterating this, we returned to Harvard College this past fall after a four-year closure because of the various sanctions Harvard’s administration placed on single-sex organizations.
2023 will be the year we channel our hope and optimism into coming back together for one another—in person, emotionally, and unconditionally—and noting how our bonds of sisterhood and friendship have endured, despite time apart.
As former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Betsy Corridan, Beta Omicron/Iowa, put it in her remarks at Grand Convention 2022, it is so important to show up. Be it in times of celebration or difficulty, showing up and nurturing our bonds of friendship is vital to the success of our beloved Fraternity. In the January 1900 edition of the Kappa Alpha Theta Journal, now known as the Kappa Alpha Theta Magazine, Lydia Mather, Delta/Illinois, wrote:
“We who are bound together in the strong ties of sisterhood gain the many advantages which come from unity. We do not, then, show true loyalty to that which has strengthened us, unless we in turn give of our abundance, and thus make known to those who are watching us with keen eyes, that we are not narrow, that we can look beyond our own selfish interests, and that the true spirit of Kappa Alpha Theta leads us to well-rounded womanhood.”
Lydia wonderfully captured the meaning of showing up for our sisters. It might have been hard, and sometimes impossible, to show up for friends when the pandemic really took hold in 2020 and the years since. It might have been hard to even show up for ourselves at times.
Giving to the Friendship Fund is just one way to support a Theta sister, especially in times of desperate need. The fund was established in 1926 to be a tangible expression of Theta love and support. Your gift to the Friendship Fund helps alleviate a sister’s stress caused by life-altering circumstances and is the perfect way to show up for our sisters in their deepest, darkest lows: In 2021 alone, Thetas in the severest need were awarded more than $99,000.
As you come together again for Founders Day this year, I hope you find that your bonds of friendship and faith in Kappa Alpha Theta are stronger now than they were four years ago. As noted by Diana Sleep, Delta Epsilon/Arizona, in the Winter 2018 issue of the Kappa Alpha Theta Magazine, the strength of Theta bonds through life’s lowest lows and toughest events are incredible. She described this when telling the story of Hurricane Harvey’s arrival to Corpus Christi, Texas:
“Maybe we all grow up a little when tragic things like hurricanes strike. I know I did. I also know more about Theta love and the unbreakable chain that binds all Thetas together. It makes you Theta strong. For life.”
Happy Founders Day, Thetas.