Tuesday, January 17, 2023

From the NPC Chair: Making an impact through NPC board service

It is the start of a new year and the perfect time to start fresh and re-focus. One of the things ​​​​​I think about and consider is how I am spending my time and making an impact in the various things I may be doing. As we approach the next cycle of NPC board service for 2023-25, I have been reflecting on my board service over the last two biennia—first as a director from 2019-21 and then as chair from 2021-23—and want to share how exceptional and unique my service has been on the NPC Board of Directors.

As one of the first board members to serve in our new governance model, it has been challenging and stimulating to be part of the change occurring in this organization. When the COVID-19 pandemic occurred, there was a need for strategic thinking on how to get through the crisis and ensure that our member organizations could still recruit and Panhellenics could function on our college campuses. Over the years, our board has also addressed many other issues impacting the future of sorority and the health of our Panhellenic communities—declining college enrollment, anti-sorority activism and freedom of association concerns, just to name a few.

Being a part of the NPC Board of Directors has taught me to look at the bigger picture of sorority life rather than just my own member organization leadership experience. The sorority experience looks very much the same for many of us, but the future holds numerous changes in student demographics and diversity, college life, educational systems and how our students view our member organizations. Technology and people are changing at a swift pace. NPC’s vision of advancing the sorority experience together is one that the board takes very seriously, and it truly is the mantra we look to as we meet, discuss, debate and decide on various topics and issues. 

Throughout, our board teams have worked together to make sure that NPC financial and people resources were deployed in a way to impact all of our member organizations for the better. I am so very proud of the women I have served with as a member of two different board teams. Working with our amazing CEO, Dani Weatherford, and the NPC staff and volunteers has been absolutely amazing, knowing that we are here making a difference. 

Serving as an NPC director offers a special opportunity to work with Panhellenic sisters as part of a governing board overseeing many facets that affect our member organizations and our collegiate and alumnae members. I ask you all to consider this exceptional opportunity, whether for yourself if you are an alumna or to share with others who would think and work in the panhellenic spirit to advance the sorority experience together. Review the NPC board service webpage and fill out the interest form as part of the beginning of the nomination process. 

Thank you for considering a rewarding and worthwhile board service opportunity.


Cheri M. De Jong
2021-23 NPC chair

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

From the NPC Chair: NPC's strategic framework guides our vital work

Dear friends,

I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe another year has passed and that 2022 has just a few weeks left! As we approach the end of the year and the holiday season, may we all treasure the time with family and friends. This will most likely include lots of food and other festivities! The new year will be upon us soon; for me, it is always a time of reflection.

This past year has been busy, as I am sure it has been for many of you. Finding time to reflect on the past year and assess the good times and perhaps not-so-great times will help us as we look toward 2023 to set goals and determine how we want to proceed in areas such as our careers and family matters, as well as volunteering. As this message goes out to the broader NPC family, we are all engaged in promoting the sorority experience through our work or volunteerism. Take some time to look back on this past year to see if there are areas that need continued work and development and if so, make a strategic effort to plan in 2023 to address those issues.

As NPC chair, I know our work is never done. The NPC Board of Directors continues to evaluate and assess our progress for our strategic framework in the areas of growing our Panhellenic communities and championing the sorority experience. In the new year, NPC will continue its work and report to our stakeholders the progress made during these past six months and our plans for the remainder of the fiscal year. 

The board knows the importance of this work and how we are impacting the sorority experience through promotion and marketing to attract and recruit more women so they may join our member organizations. We also know the important work our NPC volunteers and staff are doing to better analyze our recruitment data, deliver marketing and recruitment education for College and Alumnae Panhellenics, help College Panhellenics use the best recruitment style for their communities, and reduce barriers to joining for more women.

Across all our efforts, we are committed to spending our resources most efficiently and effectively in our growth and advocacy efforts. That is our continued goal as we look to 2023.

As I reflect on the past year and look to 2023, I strive to live up to the many expectations others have of me in this role. I aim to work with the rest of the NPC Board of Directors and staff as a team to ensure the success of our vital work. 


Cheri M. De Jong
2021-23 NPC Chair

Friday, November 11, 2022

From the NPC Chair: Giving thanks for those who make a difference in the lives of others

Dear friends,

November—the month of Thanksgiving in the United States. As I ponder the meaning of Thanksgiving and giving thanks to others, I immediately think of the mentors I had during my collegiate years that I gained through my sorority experience. I am sure many of us can identify those in our life who have truly made a difference in who we are, what we value, and how we live our lives today. I challenge you right now to think of those who have made a difference in your life and simply thank them! 

My sorority experience has impacted my life tremendously. I would not be the woman, mother, grandmother or businesswoman I am today if not for that experience. I grew as a leader and gained the confidence to follow my dreams. I also acquired my many sorority sisters, and now Panhellenic sisters, that are indeed the best friends one could have. That is what the sorority experience is about for many of us. 

As chair of NPC, I see many women making a difference in the lives of sorority women. First and foremost, I want to thank our NPC staff who go above and beyond to foster NPC's mission of being the premier advocacy and support organization for the advancement of the sorority experience. They help to guide, educate and train our College and Alumnae Panhellenics, work with our many NPC volunteers, and champion and defend the sorority experience on behalf of our member organizations.

There are also so many NPC volunteers to thank! These individuals volunteer their time and talents to NPC to work with our collegiate and alumnae members. As you look around at the people with whom you interact with consistently, thank the volunteers around you—they are helping our collegiate members make wiser decisions, grow in their leadership, and even provide mentorship to others in their chapters. There are also those that work with our Alumnae Panhellenics that help our alumnae members continue their sorority experience beyond college.

In just a few weeks, many of us will celebrate the feast of Thanksgiving with our families and friends. Let us all reflect on this past year and consider those who have impacted our lives. I hope you will all join me in celebrating—not just during this time of Thanksgiving but also all throughout the year—the many women who work tirelessly to advance the sorority experience.

I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and quality time with your families and friends.


Cheri M. De Jong
2021-23 NPC chair

Monday, October 31, 2022

From the NPC Chair: Member Organizations Gather for Fall NPC Annual Conference

Dear friends,

NPC Chair Cheri De Jong welcomes Annual Conference attendees.
NPC Chair Cheri De Jong
welcomes attendees.
Fall is definitely in the air with our enjoyment of autumn leaves and all their colors and the cooler temperatures. While our collegiate members have been engaged with more normal college activities this fall, the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) also returned to our regular fall schedule when the leadership of our member organizations and NPC gathered together in Indianapolis for our Annual Conference just a few weeks ago. 

I want to give you all a quick recap of the Annual Conference so you can know more about the work of NPC, driven by our strategic framework, and the discussions NPC and member organization leaders are having together about overcoming challenges and improving our experience. 

Our kick-off speaker, Chris Smith, is helping the NPC Board of Directors address our strategic priority of gathering and analyzing data—an area we are investing in to aid in decision-making. Chris is a proud member of Alpha Tau Omega and a long-time staff leader of that organization. In 2019, Chris started his own data consulting company, Smith Insights, and he has built a history of leveraging membership data into metrics for organizational success. NPC has now partnered with Chris on a year-long project to review and analyze data that we currently have in order to provide recommendations regarding growth strategies and policies, what data we still need and how to get it, and how to develop a storage and reporting system that will prove helpful for years into the future. 

Chris reviewed some fascinating recruitment-related data and he presented the results of his analysis that point to the campuses having the most success and the greatest challenges. This information will be very helpful in making future decisions for NPC and our member organizations.

Our keynote speaker on Friday was Jeff Selingo who is frequently called on to present on trends and the future of higher education. Jeff has written about higher education for more than two decades and is a New York Times bestselling author of three books. His newsletter on all things higher education, titled Next, is also widely read, including within our community. (For more about Jeff Selingo, including access to his higher ed resources, newsletter and podcast, please visit his website.)

​​​​As both an observer of higher ed and an insider with an academic appointment at one of the largest universities in the country, Jeff occupies a unique position to explain the intersection of work, life and learning. He shared with us his observations on the future of higher education and work, enrollment trends, and what today’s and tomorrow’s students expect from their college experience. He also shared a great deal of information about our college communities and provided us with much food for thought as our organizations strive to deliver a meaningful and relevant experience to all our members. 

Our Higher Education Trends Panel, sponsored by the NPC Foundation’s Alpha Gamma Delta Higher Education Trends Panel Fund, consisted of the following panelists: 

  • Dr. Kathy Adams Reister, associate vice president for student affairs & executive associate dean of students at Indiana University-Bloomington;
  • Dr. Laura Blake Jones, dean of students at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor;
  • JC Lopez, dean of student success at DePauw University; and
  • Dr. Alexander Miller, vice president for student life at Denison University.​​​​​​

​​​​Panelists discussed everything from the challenges they see Panhellenic women encountering, recruitment issues and the relevancy of the sorority experience to how to best partner with campus personnel and faculty to how their institutions are approaching student health and wellness. Their insight helps us know more about what our campus communities are seeing and how our member organizations can work together with administrators to deliver the best possible sorority and college experience to our members.​​​​

We also heard from Heather Matthews who is well-known to our Panhellenic community. For more than 15 years, Heather has been working with both sororities and fraternities to build and implement impactful communication strategies. She has served her member organization, Zeta Tau Alpha. Heather has also served as chief communications officer for both the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) and Sigma Phi Epsilon, and she recently began her own consultancy. Heather joined us to review the digital marketing campaign she helped direct for NPC during fall 2022. That campaign is also a strategic initiative for NPC and a large financial investment in growing our Panhellenic communities and championing the sorority experience. 

Heather oversaw the campaign to provide direct marketing support, in the form of one-on-one marketing coaching and marketing grants, to more than 230 College Panhellenics this fall. During her presentation, she shared the strategy and tactics within the campaign, outcomes, lessons learned and recommendations to date, and she will present a final report to NPC in mid-November when the fall campaign is officially complete.

Annual Conference attendees listen to a keynote speaker.

Our final session was our Conference Conversation. Our board and staff have been listening closely during the past several months as many member organization leaders have shared with us the challenges our organizations are facing. The Conference Conversation offered a chance for these leaders to also talk directly to each other in a large setting group to share information with and gather insight about what might be next steps for our organizations. Together, they discussed the difficulties they are facing with sorority housing, barriers to membership growth, and how organizations partner together during situations of college/university overreach.

Overall, the Annual Conference provided a terrific setting to get to know many new faces within the leadership of our organizations as well as to have strategic discussions regarding the most pressing issues that face us as a Panhellenic community and how we can continue to advance the sorority experience together. 


Cheri M. De Jong
2021-23 NPC Chair

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

5 Quick Fixes for Your Recruitment Marketing

This summer, the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) has been working with more than 200 College Panhellenic Associations to boost their recruitment marketing efforts. As we’ve worked with them, we’ve identified some things that are holding back their recruitment marketing efforts–and that could be holding back yours, too. Here’s part of what we’ve learned and five quick fixes for your recruitment marketing for every Panhellenic:

1. Put your Recruitment registration link and deadline EVERYWHERE.

If potential members wanted to join a Panhellenic sorority on your campus, could they find information on how to do that? If you google “sorority recruitment at [name of your campus]?” what comes up? Your recruitment registration link and the deadline to register should be everywhere online and on campus (where permissible). 

Check and update:

  • Your college/university’s Fraternity & Sorority Life (FSL) website. Coordinate with your fraternity/sorority advisor if your Panhellenic officers do not have access.
  • Your Panhellenic’s social media accounts. If you’ve already posted once about the links and deadlines, keep posting. You need to share this information repeatedly to ensure it stays at the top of your feed.
  • Your Panhellenic webpage. If your Panhellenic maintains a separate website from the FSL site, make sure your recruitment registration link and deadline are listed here, too.
  • Chapter websites and social media. The sorority chapters on your campus also play a role in promoting the sorority experience. They should be able to post about when Panhellenic recruitment will be held, what the registration deadline is, and how to register. Encourage chapter members to share individually, too!

2. Share recruitment event dates.

If potential members can find your recruitment registration link, can they identify when recruitment registration ends? When recruitment orientation is? When each round, preference and Bid Day will be held? Provide as much information as possible so potential members can plan ahead and mark their calendars so they don’t miss out on any part of the recruitment process!

3. Be clear about PNM expectations.

Do you offer multiple orientation sessions and do potential new members (PNMs) need only attend one? Do they need to register for recruitment before they attend orientation or after? Is orientation required? If you host a partially structured recruitment, have you explained to PNMs what events they are expected to attend prior to when invitational rounds begin? Be sure to spell out PNM expectations on your website and social media so they don’t miss a critical part of the process and, therefore, miss out on joining a sorority.

4. Explain how to meet sororities/members prior to recruitment.

How are you providing ways for potential members to meet the sororities or sorority members prior to recruitment? It might be that some members participate in summer programs with new students, that Fraternity & Sorority Life members are allowed to present during orientation or that sororities/sorority members play an important role in new student move-in. Your campus might also have an all-student organization fair once classes start or there might be special events to meet all fraternities & sororities on your campus. Whatever opportunities your campus or Panhellenic offers, promoting those opportunities can go a long way to making connections with new and transfer students and helping them become interested in sorority recruitment and membership.

5. Be open to questions. 

Even if you’ve fixed items 1-4 above and you’ve provided a ton of other information about the benefits of joining a sorority, potential members may still have questions about recruitment or joining a sorority. Be sure to share how PNMs can contact your Panhellenic to ask questions. And, be sure someone is monitoring those accounts so questions can be answered quickly.

If you’ve gotten through this list and you know your Panhellenic is doing all of these things, give yourself a huge pat on the back! If not, there’s no time like the present to get started making these changes, whether your recruitment is this month or not for several months.

We’ll be sharing more of what we’ve learned during this project in the coming months. In the meantime, if you have a question for how to improve your recruitment marketing or you want to share an idea that works great for your campus that you think others can benefit from, please feel free to reach out to me by email.


Loretta Good
Chief Marketing Officer
National Panhellenic Conference

Saturday, August 20, 2022

From the NPC Chair: A time to grow sorority membership

Dear friends,

Summer is still in full swing with heat waves across the country, but fall is in the air as colleges and universities are starting back-to-school activities, and we will soon have college football every Saturday! Hooray! This also means that fall sorority recruitment has begun across many of our campuses. It is the time of year that many of our chapters welcome new members and bring them into their sorority families, whether that is through the primary recruitment process or continuous open bidding (COB).

This time of year may bring back fond memories for those of us who joined a sorority during primary recruitment or who participated as sorority members and had conversations with many potential new members. However each of us remembers our recruitment experience, we all realize that recruitment is the lifeblood of our organizations and that we all have the opportunity to encourage relatives, young women in our hometown and community, and others we know about the benefits of sorority life. 

As I wrote about last month in the chair's message, championing the sorority experience is a priority in our strategic framework. NPC's responsibility is to promote the life-changing impact that sorority life can have on our young women today. Research I have previously mentioned shows that our members have strong positive emotions, robust relationships, life meaning, and accomplishment due to their sorority membership. The role of sorority is to foster a community where our members thrive and feel empowered to lead and champion their causes by equipping them with skills and confidence. Now is the time for us to identify and encourage young women to sign up for recruitment and join a sorority so they can become tomorrow's trailblazing women.

Everyone has their story about how their sorority membership has provided sisterhood, a home away from home, leadership opportunities, confidence, and the ability to provide care and support to others. I invite you to think about your life and how your sorority membership has changed you for the better, equipped you with exceptional skills, and provided remarkable lifelong sisters and other Panhellenic friends. I, for one, have been forever impacted by my sorority membership. I value my sorority sisters, and I treasure my many Panhellenic relationships. I hope you share similar sentiments.

This fall, let us remember how sorority has shaped our lives and strive to engage as many women as possible in the recruitment process so they may enjoy the benefits of sorority membership and our Panhellenic communities can grow and prosper now and for generations to come.​​​​​​


Cheri M. De Jong
2021-23 NPC Chair

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

From the NPC Chair: A New Strategic Framework for NPC

Dear friends,

The NPC Board of Directors met in June in Louisville to conduct business, including a robust discussion of a new strategic framework to guide NPC’s work during the next two years. 

In setting our future direction, the board approached strategic planning in a slightly different way. We began by reviewing our strategic priorities as identified last fall:

    Growth in Panhellenic communities

    Champion the sorority experience

We then discussed the Conference's current strategic goals and our renewed focus on growth in recruitment. We also noted that our previous strategic plan was very complex, with many layers, and more challenging to measure.   

As the outcome of our discussion, we determined we should streamline our approach and incorporate the prior two strategic priorities into a new strategic framework that the board and staff will build upon and monitor on an ongoing basis. Moving forward, we are focusing on the priorities that matter the most to our constituents. The board plans to communicate our objectives, initiatives, and measurable outcomes from our workforce on these initiatives to our wider Panhellenic community on an ongoing basis. We plan to do that by using a simplified reporting format for all to clearly see progress.

Following is a high-level look at our new strategic framework and the two priorities in it.


Through dedicated coaching and resource sharing, NPC personnel will assist College Panhellenic Associations in increasing recruitment participation and, as a result, collegiate membership.

Stimulating the growth of our collegiate Panhellenic communities is of utmost importance, and we will do that by leveraging a number of recruitment-focused strategies. Specifically, this includes the digital marketing campaign already underway with our College Panhellenics to increase promotion of the sorority experience and stimulate recruitment registration numbers so NPC organizations see increases in membership. A top priority also includes reducing the barriers for potential new members to participate in recruitment and join a sorority as these barriers hinder our membership growth capabilities. NPC staff and volunteers will continue to look at innovative opportunities for our College Panhellenics to reduce restrictions and barriers for potential new members and recruit more women to our organizations.

Data collection and analysis is another critical area that NPC is investing in so the entire Conference can have important information available to everyone as we look to make crucial decisions regarding how to best support growth within our Panhellenic communities.


Through marketing and community engagement, NPC will improve the public perception of the sorority experience.

Continued advocacy for our sorority experience is critical for our broader publics—potential new members, parents/caregivers, guidance counselors and coaches, college/university personnel and administrators, among others—to support and engage with us. National and campus-based advocacy initiatives within our new strategic framework will provide further positive messages and images to promote the modern sorority experience, improve public perception and, ultimately foster new member interest in recruitment and sorority membership. 

The board recognizes that we need to stay agile and flexible with whatever may happen within our community in the future. Continuous review and oversight, along with the possibility of shifting and changing objectives and initiatives, is critical to the success of this strategic framework. 


Cheri M. De Jong
2021-23 NPC Chair