A month full of chants and cheers and Cheerwine

Hello Sigma Kappa nation!!  After one month on the road I decided it was high time to share my experiences with you all!  So let’s take it back to the very beginning, all the way to August 9th…

I arrived in Clemson, South Carolina, and was immediately greeted by the sunshine (and humidity!)  Walking around the campus of Clemson University, home of Sigma Kappa’s Kappa Pi chapter, I encountered many interesting and beautiful sights…

Like the largest Bur Oak in South Carolina.  Other highlights included:

The serene and beautiful Reflection Pond in front of the library - a great place to read and sit in the shade for a bit.

The lovely ladies of Kappa Pi on Bowman Field for the New Member picnic
The original homestead of the founder of Clemson University

Last weekend, I made my first visit to the women of the Theta Mu chapter at University of North Carolina Charlotte- what a beautiful (and HUGE) campus!  Over 25,000 students attend UNCC.  That weekend the women had scheduled their sisterhood retreat and, lucky for me, I got to help out.  Where did we go?  The beautiful mountains of North Carolina, of course!

The view from the back porch 🙂

We spent the weekend talking about what makes Theta Mu so special and sharing the amazing views with our sisters.  I wish every chapter could have the opportunity to have a sisterhood retreat in these mountains.  We cooked our meals together in the cabin, practiced some chants out in the mountain air, and had a blast!  Here are some more fun pictures…

Caitlin, Mary, Courtney, and Ashley cookin' up the taco meat!
Who doesn't love corn?? How about 4 pounds of corn?

TM Outside group shot 1
The ladies of Theta Mu outside in the NC mountain sunshine.

Alisa and Mallory from Theta Mu

Theta Mus wearing their kickin' new sunglasses- a wonderful gift from the women of Theta Alpha at Appalachian State University!

Back in Charlotte in front of the Theta Mu chapter house- home away from home!

One of my favorite nights we spent was at the Penguin Drive-In and Diner in downtown Charlotte.  The diner was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives hosted by Guy Fieri on Food Network.  What a cool place to eat!  The diner’s been through a lot over the years but the food has always been outstanding…fried dill pickle chips, homemade corn dogs served “Southern” style, and my delicious, artery-clogging dinner selection:

The "Dixie" fried chicken sandwich... ran an extra mile for this one!

Outside the Penguin Drive-In Diner

So that’s all for now folks!  Can’t wait to see what the next month brings!

Peace, love, and…

XOXO, Willa

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Exploring the wild, wild west!

“We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.” – Hilaire Belloc

It is amazing to think where Sigma Kappa has taken me since the day I pledged my loyalty in spring 2007. I was under the impression that I was joining a great organization that would provide me with a group of good friends and chances to get involved – rather cliché if I do say so myself. Little did I know that in three years I’d have Sigma Kappa to thank for a semester spent exploring the west coast.

Beginning my journey at Washington State University (about as far from my home of Dinwiddie, Virginia as it gets), I was beyond excited to spread my wings and make a difference. It turned out that the women of Alpha Gamma were the ones making the impact. From the moment my feet hit the ground off a tiny airplane, I felt at home. The women exuded hospitality and friendliness, and I felt immediately accepted. As the women worked their way through pre-recruitment workshops and straight into five days of formal recruitment I was continually impressed by their energy and attitudes. The veteran members of the chapter were equally invested in the chapter as the newer additions, and on bid day the chapter’s pride sincerely shown through.

Since my time away from Alpha Gamma, I have continued to receive encouraging text messages and emails from the women, reminding me that the bonds of sisterhood know no distance. As I work my way up and down the west coast, it is comforting to know that the friends I make along the way will last beyond the parameters of this position; these friendships will extended a lifetime.

As cliché as my intentions were, Sigma Kappa knew what she had in mind me for me those three years ago. What I give back, she gives in return threefold. So here lies my long overdue thank you to the organization that has done more than change my life. She has changed me.

Sigma Love & Mine,

S

The Alpha Gamma chapter house - a beautiful house filled with beautiful women!

I Believe.

“I believe in pink.

I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.

I believe in miracles.”
– Audrey Hepburn

         Before even arriving at Colorado School of Mines, I had heard about the beauty of Zeta Pi chapter house.  Not only was the house’s façade stunning against the backdrop of the Colorado mountains, the inside was immaculate as well.  I had the privilege of staying in the chapter president’s room which was decorated with peace, love, and shoes!  Yes, SHOES!  I was in heaven!  There were shiny, red pumps, leopard print stilettos, strappy sandals, and even a pair of hot pink sparkly sneakers.  The beauty of the chapter went much deeper than the physical appearance of the chapter house, however the beauty of the sisterhood is what truly resonated most with me.

            On the Panhellenic level, the chapter went through many changes.  This was the first year that the campus implemented a structured formal recruitment.  Additionally, Zeta Pi incorporated several new changes at the chapter level.  Despite the change, the women of Zeta Pi were very accepting and willing to grow and prosper in the new recruitment atmosphere.  The chapter women were cheerleaders for one another and even learned some Sigma Kappa cheers and dance moves from me before recruitment rounds!  “From the Sigma to the K… to the K, we live one heart one way!”

            I was reminded of the amazing women who help our organization prosper during my visit to Zeta Pi.  I had the distinct honor to meet Becky Dimond, colligate province officer, immediately after landing.  She was kind enough to take the time out of her day to pick me up from the airport.  We had a great conversation on our trip to Golden, CO and found that we have similar desires to help young people understand the importance of having an education. 

         Throughout the week I had the privilege of getting to know Megan Hessee, advisor board chairman and recruitment supervisor.  I admire her for all of her dedication to the Zeta Pi chapter.  She is a role model for me because she wants the chapter women to learn from their leadership experiences and is constantly cheering for them to succeed.  I also learned a great deal about her Panhellenic experiences and was grateful for her services as a member of the Sigma Kappa Panhellenic team. 

          Another very special visitor I had the honor of visiting with was Sara Chacon, national vice president for membership.  Words cannot even describe how much I value her words of wisdom during our dinner together.  She truly exudes the values we strive to live as Sigma Kappa women.  Her generous spirit and bubbly personality have the power to light up any room!  She was able to give me some very helpful advice about life on the road.  I really enjoyed her stories about how close she still is with her field consultant friends.  It made me miss the other LCs even more!  Thank you, Sara, for your words of wisdom and all that you do for our organization!

            After a few short days at Zeta Pi chapter, it was time for me to catch an 8:00 AM flight to Seattle, WA for my next chapter visit at Mu chapter.  As the VPM, chapter president, and I piled into the car at 5:30 AM, I gazed at the sky and was awestruck.  The moon shown brilliantly and the stars twinkled majestically against the deep blue of the sky.  The Denver mountains formed the background of this breath-taking moment and the world seemed to stand still as if all was in perfect serenity.  It is moments like these that I believe in miracles.  It is moments like these that I realize how truly fortunate I am to be living the life I do.  I feel even more fortunate to have met the ladies of Zeta Pi and have taken a piece of them with me along my travels.

Thank you, ladies of Zeta Pi, for all that you did for me during my stay.  Congratulations on recruitment and good luck in all of your endeavors!

XOXO

B

If you really knew me…

“Gotta tell ‘em that we love them while we’ve got the chance to say;

Gotta live like we’re dying.”

–          Kris Allen, Live like we’re Dying

If you really knew me you would know that I believe in hard work.  I believe in taking advantage of every moment of every day because life is too short to be wasted.  Most importantly, I believe in singing, dancing, laughing, and loving those around you.  After my visit to Western Kentucky University, I learned that the ladies of Epsilon Zeta believe in those things as well.

Upon arriving at WKU, I was warmly greeted by the chapter president and one of the many dedicated alumnae of the chapter.  The next day we began the first day of recruitment practice.

* Sing *

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the chapter already knew their recruitment rotations and the words to their songs!  The chapter sang Lady Gaga songs with Sigma Kappa lyrics which made me feel like I was at a real concert.  During Preference practice, the perfection of the singers’ voices while singing “Realize” gave me chills.

* Dance *

As with all chapters, pre recruitment practice days kept the women very busy in order to be properly prepared!  The chapter members were definitely ready to pump one another up during the times when we all needed an extra burst of motivation.  “Awww… yeah!” they would all say in unison as the music began.  Pretty soon the entire chapter was strolling around the room.  Now they were ready to keep on going!

*Laugh *

Something unique about Epsilon Zeta was that no day went without laughter!  The VPM used her humor as an asset to keep the chapter in a positive place during the recruitment weeks. I am a firm believer in the idea that we all possess a small piece of child within us, no matter how old we are in years.  I was happy to be reminded of this child in each of us through our laughter every day.

* Love *

In the beginning of my visit, I knew that the chapter members got along well because they always seemed to be able to make even the longest days a great deal of fun.  When they began thinking more about Preference I was truly able to witness the love they shared for one another.  During our powerful conversations workshops, many of the chapter women were willing to be vulnerable with one another and engage in conversations which forced them to step outside of their comfort zone.  I was very grateful for their willingness to share with one another and to share with me.

I feel honored to have met the ladies of Epsilon Zeta and commend them for their commitment to trying to live out the values of Sigma Kappa.  They are blessed with a strong sisterhood and realize that one of the purposes of a sorority is to make women even better than they already are prior to Initiation.  These women understand what it means to take advantage of every opportunity life has to offer.  They understand what it means to live everyday as though it is your last.

Congrats, ladies, on a phenomenal recruitment!  I can’t wait to see you all again soon  🙂

XOXO

B