Friday, August 18, 2023

From the NPC Chair: Back to School Updates

 Dear friends,

While we’re still in the throes of summer, our campuses are coming alive as our collegians return to campus during the next few weeks. Back-to-school activities and recruitment work weeks are filling up calendars as our member organizations prepare to grow their chapters and welcome new members this fall. The summer hasn’t slowed NPC’s marketing to connect young women with sorority recruitment.
NPC's marketing coaches kicked off our Fall campus marketing campaign in late spring, working with more than 100 campuses to target social media advertising at incoming and unaffiliated women and encourage them to register for recruitment.  Ads started running as early as July 10th on Snapchat, mostly. These ads are designed with imagery highlighting the local campus and current sorority members. This is the third semester of this marketing campaign, and it is gaining momentum. Additionally, for the first time, we are able to connect women responding to our national marketing campaign directly to the College Panhellenics to begin the registration process!
We are also continuing our partnership with Her Campus, a media platform that connects college women with native content written by college-aged women. Together we developed an article about the sorority experience, which is available for use by any NPC member organization. Throughout this month, seven select social media influencers in the Her Campus trendsetter network are promoting their own content, that highlights their own experiences as sorority women and offers recruitment advice to potential new members. This content will be promoted on social media channels and used in social media advertising nationally.
In addition to our marketing efforts, the Council of Delegates passed a resolution last spring to pilot a team approach to total setting, thus creating the Total Method Setting Team. This team is focused on promoting healthy Panhellenic communities while maximizing opportunities for women to join our member organizations. They have adopted a centralized, data-driven approach that also factors in unique campus situations and member organization information in identifying the best total setting method to be used on each campus.

This team has been hard at work preparing: developing methods and decision-making trees, gathering feedback and connecting with our fraternity/sorority advisors, College Panhellenics and NPC volunteers that will support this work. The team’s guiding principle is to “Do the Next Right Thing” and is taking actionable steps this term to support community health. I’m encouraged to see the Panhellenic spirit alive and well with this work.
Back to school is always a fun and exciting time. Next year, I’ll get to participate in it myself when my son starts his college journey. As we’ve been touring college campuses, one of his questions is always learning more about Greek life. My son has grown up around the sorority experience and has attended a few sorority conventions, so he’s seen first-hand the impact this experience has had on me personally. I hope each of you reading this message also shares your personal stories far and wide, including on social media. If you have a few minutes, I’d love for you to answer one of these questions on your social media platforms:

Why is sisterhood so important to you?
How has being in a sorority affected your college experience?
How has being in a sorority affected your experience after graduation?

Be sure to include tag @thesororitylife as well so your message can reach beyond your network. We would love to share your experience with women interested in sorority membership. I can’t wait to see the responses!

Best of luck to all of our college panhellenics this fall!


Kelly Beck
2023-24 NPC chair

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

 Dear friends,

As I reflect on the past four years as director and last two years as chair for the National Panhellenic Conference, I think about the people who inspire me and the commitment of NPC staff and volunteers, and the many staff and volunteers in our 26-member organizations, who do the hard work to ensure that our member organizations stay relevant for the thousands of women who are sorority members now and in the future. I continue to be amazed by sorority women and their resilience and determination in working to find solutions to issues while living their values through their special sisterhood in their own member organizations.

While our industry has had many challenges during the past few years with the pandemic and enrollment challenges in many parts of the country, housing issues, and ultimately declining membership for some, it is worthwhile to note that NPC has shifted its focus to increase direct marketing and advocacy efforts to help increase the pipeline of potential new members. I am optimistic about our progress and the work that continues to be accomplished into the next biennium.

On a personal note, I want to thank the women I have served with during the past two years. These are incredibly dedicated women who believe in the Panhellenic spirit to serve for the good of all past, present and future sorority women.

  • Laura Doerre
  • Jen Daurora
  • Helen Lahrman
  • Patty O’Neill
  • Laura Sweet
  • Leslie Williams

On behalf of all of us, we thank the Conference for their trust in us to focus on the timely needs of the day and to ensure that the resources of the Conference are directed in the appropriate manner. We also want to give a special shout-out to the NPC staff under the direction of CEO Dani Weatherford. Her unwavering leadership of the NPC team continues to amaze us all with her depth of knowledge and relationships throughout the industry, as well as the ability to put in motion the strategic framework that is at the core of our strategic direction toward growth.

I will not lie, there have been some tough times with intense conversations on the issues that keep us all up at night, but ultimately, I realize the goal of all sorority women, especially those in leadership positions, is to ensure that we are here for future generations so that they too can experience the joy of belonging and sisterhood that we have all had the pleasure to experience.

As I leave board service, I know NPC is in great hands, as there are talented women who will be serving in the next biennium and are committed to serving the needs of the Conference and ensuring that the sorority experience remains alive and well into the future.


Cheri M. De Jong
2021-23 NPC chair

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

From the NPC Chair: State of the Conference

Dear friends,

During the recent NPC Annual Membership Meeting held April 29 in Carmel, Indiana, NPC Chair Cheri M. De Jong and NPC CEO Dani Weatherford, J.D., shared a State of the Conference report on behalf of the NPC Board of Directors with the Council of Delegates. Following the event, they recorded a video version of the report so all NPC family members and stakeholders could hear the message.

In the State of the Conference report, De Jong’s portion focuses on noting the board’s strategic framework which includes:

  • Growing our Panhellenic communities
  • Championing the sorority experience
She outlines membership trends, the challenges many member organizations face with declining enrollment and the board’s role in supporting staff. Additionally, De Jong addressed the upcoming leadership transition as the biennium comes to a close at the end of June.

Weatherford then reports on many strategic framework initiatives over the past year, noting detailed analysis and results from the campus-based digital marketing campaigns to an overview of the national marketing campaign with Carnegie. She also reports on the data analysis program and ongoing efforts of campuses looking at alternative recruitment models.

You can watch the recording of the State of the Conference here.


Cheri M. De Jong
2021-23 NPC chair

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