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ELC Blog

Posted On: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 05:13 PM, by Courtney Lynch
It's that time of the year. Spring break is over and April is in full swing. In many of our senior members minds, this means the dreaded "g-word" is quickly approaching. Yes, graduation. Just one year ago, I too was dreading this word and everything it encompassed. I can assure you I spent one to many nights sitting up late talking with Theta sisters, tears streaming down my face as the thought of leaving college crossed my mind. Looking back, I thought my world was ending; I didn't want my four years of college to end. I couldn't possibly fathom leaving behind Kappa Alpha Theta and all it entailed after it had given me so much. What I didn't realize then is, the beauty of Theta, is that it never ends.

Throughout my time as an ELC, I have encountered handfuls of amazing and dedicated Kappa Alpha Theta alumnae. While I'm sure they can all look back on their time spent in college fondly, what I have learned is that some of the most memorable Theta moments take place after you walk across the stage at graduation. So, wither you decide to join one of our many alumnae chapters, serve the Fraternity as a college advisor, donate to Theta Foundation, or simply stay in touch with Theta sisters - I promise you that the next chapter in your Theta journey will be just as exciting as it was when you first opened your bid card. Always remember, the more you give to Theta, the more you will receive in return.

So, in these next few weeks, enjoy your school and Theta sisters for all they are worth. Reconnect with your freshman year dorm friends. Cross every last thing off your bucket list. Explore a new part of campus. Enjoy all your favorite foods around town. Take the long route to class and open your eyes to the beauty that's around you. Stop in the bookstore and purchase some school spirited items. Indulge in the traditions of your university. Spend all the time you can with your Theta sisters and cherish every memory. Most importantly, reflect back on your years as a collegian with happiness and know that the best, perhaps, is yet to come!
Posted On: Friday, April 4, 2014 09:10 AM, by Ashley Freeman
ELC Ashley (right) and Eta Rho chapter delegate Kelsey Phillips (left) with the Pansy Patch at 2012 Grand Convention.
There's something about spring that is incredibly uplifting. The dark, grey, and chilly months are mostly over and birds can finally be heard chirping on crisp spring mornings. I typically don't even realize how much I missed spring until I walk outside and for the first time in months feel the warmth of sunshine on my face or see green flower buds popping out of the ground. College universities are once again filled with students congregating outside on picnic tables and on green grassy lawn areas around campus. Even April showers are welcomed with open arms because we all know May flowers are right around the corner.

Not only is this spring especially exciting because the past winter was packed with record-breaking temperatures and snow accumulations, but it is the first spring since 2012 in which the Kappa Alpha Theta Pansy Patch is back in bloom! The Pansy Patch is a virtual garden where pansies can be purchased in honor of inspirational Thetas. Anyone can buy a pansy as a thoughtful gift for a Theta in their life by going to www.pansypatch.org and donating just five dollars.

Theta sisters who receive pansies get an email with a virtual representation of the pansy in which they received. The Pansy Patch then culminates into a visual reality at Grand Convention. Whether the most influential Theta in your life is going to Grand Convention or not, purchasing a pansy in her honor tangibly proliferates her impact and the impact of Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation.

All funds raised from the Pansy Patch go to Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation to keep educational and leadership programs for the Fraternity going strong. Theta Foundation supports the Educational Leadership Council program in addition to providing educational and leadership grants and scholarships for Thetas of all ages. Additionally, Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation paves the way among Panhellenic organizations by supporting mental health initiatives such as Sisters Supporting Sisters.

When I opened my email the day the Pansy Patch opened and saw that one of my sweet sisters from my alma mater purchased a pansy in my honor, my heart was immediately filled with Theta love. We have both been so busy over the past few months that we haven't been able to talk much. However, getting that gift from her and knowing it would help impact the Fraternity we both hold so dear, meant much more than words.

Who is an inspirational Theta in your life who deserves a pansy to represent your love and thought for her?

Ashley Freeman, Educational Leadership Consultant, Eta Rho/James Madison University

Posted On: Monday, March 31, 2014 09:47 AM, by Alyssa Trumbull
With fellow outgoing ELCs April, Elizabeth, & Sarah...three of the many Thetas that have had a lasting impact on my lif
Impact--a forceful exertion or a lasting influence. Forceful exertion is what my luggage has been through on it's 200,000 mile journey, but lasting influence is how I have been impacted by my life as an ELC over the past two years. Throughout my time as an ELC, I have had the opportunity to meet the most intelligent, mature, genuine women who make me so proud to be a Theta. They have proven aspiration for greatness through the impact they make on their campuses and in their communities. I am grateful for the experience I've had to work with collegians that have inspired me and co-workers that have turned into role models and dearest friends. Each and every day I can be thankful to have a job where leading women around the world have positively impacted my life and constantly challenge me to be a better version of myself. I truly believe that the values, principles and ideals that were so important to our four founders are still shining through Thetas today, and I've been the lucky one to meet so many of them. I challenge Thetas, young and old, to continue to make a lasting impact on those around you because I know I won't forget any of the incredible women who have left footprints on my heart throughout my collegiate and ELC experiences. "And though our lives may grow in different directions, our roots are one. And each life will always be a part of the others."

How has a fellow Theta left a lasting impact on your life?

Alyssa Trumbull, Educational Leadership Consultant, Rho/Nebraska

Posted On: Friday, March 21, 2014 04:15 PM, by April Brown
ELC April standing near the Tulane "bead tree."
One of my favorite things to experience while on a chapter visit is getting to know the different campus cultures and traditions celebrated on each campus.

As an organization, we can all celebrate in the ritual we share in being a member of Kappa Alpha Theta and knowing that no matter what school I am visiting our ritual is perfectly mirrored on each campus. Our ritual is what allows us to regularly identify with our values as an organization on a daily basis.

What distinguishes each chapter in Kappa Alpha Theta is the school and campus each chapter is established.

As a collegian, on my campus at Eta Theta/University of Central Florida (UCF) there were only five times in your collegian career we were allowed in the campus Reflection Pond. Each year for homecoming UCF hosted its annual "Spirit Splash" which was our homecoming pep rally where everyone can celebrate by running into the fountain. It was also a tradition for all seniors to take graduation photos in the Reflection Pond on the day of their graduation.

Some of my favorite campus traditions I have seen throughout my time as an educational leadership consultant (ELC) have been:

1. While visiting Zeta Mu/MIT last spring I had the opportunity to admire the "Brass Rats" the sophomore members had just received. "Brass Rats" are large, heavy, distinct class rings designed each year to reflect the unique character on the MIT experience for that class.

2. Similarly, one of our newest chapters I had the privilege of establishing, Theta Theta/NC State has their class rings "spend the night" in the campus' Belltower. The Belltower is also lit red on the night of athletic victories and celebrating certain academic achievements.

3. Recently, while visiting our Alpha Phi/Tulane chapter in New Orleans I was able to see the "bead tree" in which students are able to throw beaded necklaces from celebrating Mardi Gras each year. Mardi Gras in New Orleans is an iconic event that kicks off the season of lent.

What are some of your favorite campus traditions that you celebrate on your campus?

April Brown, Eta Theta/University of Central Florida, Educational Leadership Consultant

Posted On: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 12:00 PM, by Sarah Glasser
Theta Iota and Zeta Chi charter members (click to enlarge)
As leading women, we Thetas always seem to have busy schedules, always wanting to be a part of another activity or event and always saying "yes" when it means lending a helping hand to a sister or a friend. My busiest weekend, by far, as an educational leadership consultant was when I had the wonderful opportunity to be a part of not one, but two installations in the same weekend - Johns Hopkins and Georgetown University!

Playing a role in both Initiation Services and seeing each charter class sign its respective charter was such a moving and historical moment. Knowing that I was present for and contributed to, even if only in a small way, the great legacy that these chapters are certain to create reminded me, once again, of why I am so proud to be a member of our Fraternity and honored to be serving as an educational leadership consultant (ELC). Although these women may not remember my name or my face in the years to come, the mark that they have left on me is permanent. I saw the determination, the passion, the excitement in their eyes this weekend and I know that they will continue to make the Fraternity and their new 250,000+ sisters proud.

The long nights, exciting days and the time that I spent with the other ELCs, Fraternity staff and volunteers during this busy weekend will forever remain a top memory of my time as an ELC. Seeing the Fraternity grow and being able to welcome new members into our sisterhood has been a highlight of this two-year experience. Through these installations, I have also developed stronger relationships with the leading women who I've called my co-workers and sisters but whom I am also privileged to call my friends.

While we want to be mindful of spreading ourselves too thin and becoming overwhelmed with the number of commitments we make as undergraduates and alumnae, I want to encourage each of you to be as involved in Theta as possible. Remember that "there is no receiving without also giving." In other words, you will get as much out of your experience as you give. And I, for one, am so very thankful for the opportunity that I have been given to serve the Fraternity as an educational leadership consultant. Because of it, I have received so much! It might not be tangible but it's invaluable and will be a part of me for a lifetime.

So fill up your schedules! Take advantage of the opportunities presented to you! Not only will you make meaningful memories with wonderful sisters along the way, but you will also have the ability to leave a lasting and positive impression upon your chapter and the women within it. What has been your most exciting and Theta-filled weekend?

Sarah Glasser, Beta Iota/Colorado, is an educational leadership consultant for Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity.

Posted On: Friday, March 7, 2014 06:19 PM, by Sarah Comstock
ELC Sarah with her mom, Mary, at Alpha Sigma's Centennial Celebration last fall.
Ritual is what sets Kappa Alpha Theta apart from any other organization. The constant presence of ritual each week is something that binds all Thetas across the United States and Canada together, it is what makes us sisters...individually unique but together complete.
Ritual has been my constant for almost six years. It provides me with the foundation of trust, light and love that I share with my Theta sisters, it is what connects me to strangers I meet on the road, it is what keeps me going when I feel that I cannot. Ritual has become a core part of me. Ritual has made me better. Ritual has enhanced my life.
I have the wonderful gift of sharing Theta ritual with my mom, Mary. My mom also attended Washington State University making our bond all the more special. Growing up, I was able to witness the wonderful bond that mom shared with her best friends...all Theta sisters. That bond, one full of ritual, promise, loyalty, faith, hope and love, is something I saw from a young age that kept those women together. Not even a Theta yet, I was able to see my mom and her Theta sisters support each other through the highest of lights and deepest of shadows. It was something I wanted, craved and knew I had to have one day in my life. I saw this, yes, but I did not understand until years later when on my night of initiation I was brought into the arms of Theta and of sisterhood. The fact that I can now share something so special with my mom and now all my Theta sisters is something that I count my blessings for each and every day.
Bettie Locke could have taken the easy way out all those years ago, conform and not begin the first Greek letter fraternity known among women. Yet she took the harder way, the "road less traveled" and decided to forge her own path. By doing this, Bettie challenges each of us, her legacies, to do the same. Big task, I know. But we can do it. We are, after all, leading women. We are Thetas. We are living and breathing ritual, exemplified every day. I challenge you, throughout the weekend, next week and beyond to live out Bettie's legacy and strive to uphold the values in each aspect of your life. Lean on your sisters the way I lean on mine. Make Theta, and the world, better. Live out your legacy and uphold Bettie's amazing ritual.

Sarah Comstock, Alpha Sigma/Washington State University, Educational Leadership Consultant


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