Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Message From the Chairman: Advancing Sorority Together

“People who give the best are those who give of themselves ― your time, talents, words, knowledge.” ~ Omoakhuana Anthonia

The sharing of gifts and December are often synonymous with each other. In this month’s message I would like to take the opportunity to capture the giving spirit of the women of the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) who share their time, talent and service to advance the sorority experience together.

“Advancing Sorority Together” framed the theme of the 2015-16 NPC annual report, as well as the NPC annual meeting in October 2016. Encapsulated within the annual report are the accomplishments and milestones of NPC’s corps of volunteers and staff committed to excellence in support services and resources provided to 578 College Panhellenics and 176 Alumnae Panhellenics across the United States and Canada. Within the report, NPC captured the spirit of giving in the narratives of women who selflessly contribute their time and talents to further the work of NPC.

In 2015-16, NPC women worked together to design new educational tools for Panhellenic officers, provide advanced leadership training at College Panhellenic Academy, deliver campus-based programming via “Something of Value,” offer consultation through consulting team visits, grow a Foundation, build community and industry partnerships, and expand the public narrative about the sorority experience. Representing the 26 inter/national organizations of NPC, more than 255 dedicated women offered their volunteer services in leadership and delivery of key services. Additionally, professional staff located in Indianapolis continually provides collaboration, support and execution of NPC programming and initiatives.

I salute, and express my gratitude and appreciation to the giving spirit of NPC women, on college campuses, within their communities and globally. In the spirit of giving and collaboration, we ensure a sorority membership experience for women grounded in values and friendship.

Best wishes for a season of joy and peace. 


Donna C. King
Chairman 2015-17 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Meet the Facilitators for College Panhellenic Academy

With #Academy17 about a month away, time is running out to register your campus. Meet the facilitators guiding the valuable weekend experience.

Emily Brelage, Kappa Alpha Theta, is excited for her first time facilitating academy. She says the sorority experience is still relevant because, "Sororities provide an important space for women to address and solve these challenges while giving them the tools they need to be engaged, active leaders in their communities.” Emily adds, “NPC and its member organizations have literally thousands of positive stories to tell about the sorority experience, and so I’m most excited to learn from collegians and advisors about the ways in which we all can be stronger storytellers — and compelling brand ambassadors — for the sorority experience.”

Michelle Geiger, Kappa Alpha Theta and NPC College Panhellenics Committee chairman, is excited to meet the U.S. and Canada’s Panhellenic leaders. She says, “I think our Panhellenics are positioned to be leaders and change-makers on their campuses, and I am looking forward to seeing how this year's officers will respond to that challenge and take the lead.” Reflecting on her past, Michelle cites getting to know and learning from women with different backgrounds and life paths as the most beneficial part of her sorority experience, and knows College Panhellenic Academy offers the same opportunity for current collegians.

Amber Huston, Alpha Sigma Alpha, is another new facilitator excited to help fellow Panhellenic sisters hash out their ideas and assist leaders with their plans to elevate their sorority communities. She especially looks forward to focusing on how college students can hold each other accountable. Her advice to collegians considering attending College Panhellenic Academy is, “Be ok with not knowing the answers and being vulnerable. No one expects you to know all the ins and outs of leading a Panhellenic community, that’s why you are attending -- to learn new strategies, enhance your College Panhellenic and discover how to help others be leaders.”

Julie Johnson, Kappa Delta and NPC College Panhellenic Strategic Initiatives Committee chairman, is excited to return to #Academy17 as a facilitator. Throughout her lifetime, she has been incredibly involved in her organization as well as the NPC. She believes that academy is a fantastic opportunity for Panhellenic women to come together to learn from one another and build confidence as they begin their term of office.  She notes, “Sororities are still relevant today more so than ever. The skills and opportunities afforded to women through their membership is something that will remain with them throughout their lives -- professionally, personally and as a community volunteer.”

Nicki Meneley, Alpha Chi Omega, is looking forward to seeing the potential of individuals and leaders in the communities as a facilitator. She has had a diverse sorority experience, and is excited for the opportunity to give back to an organization that has given her so much in her lifetime. Her advice to those attending #Academy17 is to, “Use every moment. There will be great speakers and educational sessions but there will be downtime as well. Use that downtime to engage with other participants, the facilitators, NPC staff and volunteers. There will be tremendous knowledge on-site, and it will be up to you to soak up as much as possible to get the full benefit of the Academy.”

Frances Mitchelson, Phi Mu and NPC Panhellenics chairman, has dedicated her life to enhancing and advancing the sorority experience for all. She has seen the bonds formed between women who become sisters and friends for a lifetime. She firmly believes, “A sorority has something to offer a woman regardless of whether she's 18 and starting college or 80 and living in a retirement community. The leadership skills, service work and educational support are the best.” She encourages attendees to be truly invested in the message of academy, so they can better serve their communities.

Victoria Stankus, Kappa Alpha Theta, is facilitating because she believes in the amazing work sorority women are doing on their campuses. She feels it is an honor to have the ability to fight for sorority women and their communities in this capacity. She adds, “The academy is a great way to engage in authentic conversation about the issues you may be experiencing and success stories in a welcoming and supportive space.” Her favorite part of academy is the opportunity to discuss ideas on how to move sorority communities forward and being surrounded by other dedicated sorority women who are fighting for you to succeed.

Shaun Young, Delta Gamma, cites her sorority membership for making her a more thoughtful and values-driven person. She suggests attendees plan some time to prepare before academy in order to make the most of their time. “Read the Manual of Information and your College Panhellenic bylaws and recruitment rules for meaning — make notes in the margins with your questions and ideas.” She also reminds collegians, “Although not everyone in your community will be in Indianapolis in person, you can make sure you are representing their interests — let them know that you want to learn not only for yourself, but for everyone!”

College Panhellenic Academy will take place January 27-28, 2017 in Indianapolis, IN. Register your campus today! 

Monday, December 5, 2016

College Panhellenic Academy Testimonials

With only a few spots left and only a couple months until the 2017 College Panhellenic Academy, some former attendees share why you should consider bringing your council and advisors to #Academy17.

Brittany Murray, Sigma Kappa, attended the inaugural College Panhellenic Academy in 2015 as the internal vice president for Indiana University Southeast. Here’s what she had to say about attending:

“I chose to go to College Panhellenic Academy because it was an opportunity that I and my fellow Panhellenic Council members did not want to miss. We were the first Panhellenic Council from Indiana University Southeast to attend, so it was an honor that we were able to go.

If you choose to attend, be sure to take notes -- and lots of them! When the weekend is over that’s all you have to rely on -- plus the friends/contacts you made on site. I realized that I did not take a ton of notes when I was there, so going back through and trying to remember specific details was tough.”

Saachi Gupta, Pi Beta Phi, attended Academy in 2016 as the University of Chicago College Panhellenic president. Here are Saachi’s thoughts on attending:

“I learned a significant amount about the resources available to me as a Panhellenic
president. Being aware of the resources that NPC provides proved invaluable during my term. Specifically, I was able to familiarize myself with the judicial process and implement what I learned on my campus.

When you’re on site, talk to everyone you meet! You may not think that your Panhellenic experience is similar to that of someone from another school, but every conversation is an opportunity to learn!”

Samantha Huffman, Alpha Chi Omega, attended the first ever public relations/communications track at College Panhellenic Academy 2016. She represented the University of Mount Union College Panhellenic. Here’s what she had to say about Academy:

“My favorite part of College Panhellenic Academy was not only meeting other public relations/communications officers from other campus, but also hearing the ideas that they have for marketing on their campus. By interacting with them, I was able to outline a plan/campaign for when I got back to my university. I loved being able to bond with my executive board, too. I learned how well we could work together, and I truly believe it has helped our success on our campus.

College Panhellenic Academy allowed me to develop an even larger passion for Panhellenic. Because of academy, I decided to run for Panhellenic president for the next term, and I found out last week that I got the position. Without College Panhellenic Academy, I would not have been able to bring back so many incredible ideas. I would not have been able to see how passionate I am about Panhellenic, and all that sorority life has to offer. In fact, I would not have believed in myself enough to apply for president.”

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Message From the Chairman: Thankful for Lifelong Membership

For well over a century, women have been afforded the opportunity to pursue membership in sororities. The recruitment process over the decades might have changed, but the single benefit that sets apart the sorority experience is lifetime membership. It is fitting during the month of “thanks giving” that I join over 4.8 million women worldwide to celebrate lifetime membership in our fraternal organizations.

Each woman has a unique story of why she chose to become a member of a National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) inter/national sorority. Where and when it happened, and what purpose and meaning it provides are her story to tell. The media presents a certain image of sorority membership far from what we depict. This month, it is my privilege to share the stories of two former NPC chairmen and my own.

Elizabeth Ahlemeyer Quick, Gamma Phi Beta, served as NPC chairman from 2005-07. Here is Betty’s story:

“Joining Gamma Phi Beta Sorority at Indiana University was one of the best actions of my college years. I pledged as a sophomore after being involved in student government and noticing the sisterhood that existed between members. As an only child this was a new experience. I learned life skills that continue to serve me well. My parents were very supportive of my activities and enjoyed getting to know my ‘sisters.’

“Living in eight cities in four states, I found sisters in every location. We all had Gamma Phi Beta experiences, making it easy to form friendships that continue. Volunteering for Gamma Phi Beta International led me to a special opportunity: involvement in NPC. My NPC friendships enrich my life. My sorority journey has been an amazing adventure filled with friendships that continue to grow.”

Jane H. Sutton, Alpha Xi Delta, served as NPC chairman from 2011-13. Here is Jane’s story: 

“I’m a first-generation member of a Greek-letter organization, so it took a while before I even realized that there were these groups of women on the Western Carolina University campus that had something special to offer. I pledged Alpha Xi Delta my junior year of college. Even though only two short years, Alpha Xi Delta was a significant part of my college experience.

“When I headed into the real world, I thought sorority was just a college thing. I had never been so wrong! I missed the sisterhood and friendships, so I stayed involved in alumnae associations and by volunteering. In 1993 I was asked to serve on the NPC delegation. That opportunity for service changed the course of my life. I came to realize that even though the women who serve NPC wear different badges and took different oaths, they all believe that sorority can make a positive difference in a woman’s life. I’m grateful that I can help ensure that the legacy of our 26 member organizations’ founders is alive for generations to come by telling my story for a lifetime.” 

Unlike Betty and Jane, I became a sorority member through different circumstances. Growing up I witnessed a mother who served and continues to serve her sorority in many capacities. She would unequivocally tell you that she has gained more from her membership than she has given. Choosing a university with no fraternal community, my path to membership in an NPC sorority came through alumnae initiation. Countless women, who for a variety of reasons did not join in the traditional manner during college, are offered membership in this way. Watch the video below to see a heartwarming story.

Membership is a gift and privilege I was given to respect and treasure – and to share with others.

Betty’s, Jane’s and my stories provide just a glimpse into the impact and value derived from lifetime sorority membership. We are thankful for the vast opportunities it has provided us and others. I hope that our stories inspire you to share your sorority narrative about why you’re thankful for a lifetime of sisterhood.

Best wishes for a Thanksgiving holiday filled with friends, family and joy!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Message From the Chairman: Do Your Civic Duty

For well over a century women have fought for the rights to civic engagement. Suffragettes including Carrie Chapman Catt, Pi Beta Phi, and other sorority members worked tirelessly to ensure in 1920 the ratification and signing into law of the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution giving women the right to vote. 

For contemporary women, it’s hard to imagine our society without the right to vote. In fact, it wasn’t until 1971 that the legal age to vote was changed from 21 to 18. As we prepare to exercise our right to vote in the upcoming general election, we are reminded of our civic responsibility, duty and privilege as American citizens.  

Women will constitute half of the total voting population in this year’s election. The collective power of the female voice and vote can and will affect outcomes in our communities, new laws and who will lead our country. Women’s voices must be heard!
The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) supports and encourages not only our members but all women to pursue economic, social and political equity, along with leadership and civic engagement. Learn more about a nationwide women’s equality initiative, Vision 2020, which is elevating the conversation and providing education for women to make a significant difference. NPC endorses the Vision 2020 mission as an allied organization, including its hosting of Women 100, the national centennial commemoration of the 19th Amendment.  

Exercise your constitutional right and help ensure that women’s voices are heard by casting your vote in November. Maybe you have not taken the time to register to vote … it’s not too late! Find out just how easy it is to register to vote online. Or maybe you think one vote doesn’t make a difference. Every vote does make a difference, including yours. So make the Panhellenic women who went before us proud, and use your voice.
Donna C. King
Chairman 2015-17

Thursday, September 29, 2016

I Wear A Badge: Kristina Dorville, Alpha Omicron Pi

Security isn’t just another concern for Kristina Dorville; it’s her job.

A proud member of the Alpha Omicron Pi chapter at George Mason University, Kristina spent her undergraduate years cultivating key workplace skills she would ultimately need to become the chief of the Cyber Education and Awareness Branch at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Inspired and empowered by her own experiences, Kristina began working with the Department of Homeland Security in 2003. Though she had no technical background at that time, she became interested in how increased connectivity began impacting our daily lives and affecting our country’s national security.

“At this point in our society, people don’t know how to live without their mobile device and that is why awareness and education are so important,” she says.

September is National Campus Safety Awareness Month, followed by National Cyber Security Awareness Month in October. “National Cyber Security Awareness Month is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity and increasing the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident,” Kristina says.

While increased connectivity can offer many conveniences and opportunities, it also can also create increased risk. Some of the most common risks are identity theft, monetary theft, stalking and cyber bullying.

What is the biggest cyber concern facing collegians today? Kristina cites oversharing as a threat to all internet users. She says that the Library of Congress is currently cataloguing every Tweet as part of a social media project, and that is only one example of how what you put online is permanent.

“More importantly,” Kristina says, “college students need to understand that what they are doing online today could have a profound impact on their future. Just be certain that the online persona you have today represents the real you and the person you want others to see.”

Another threat Kristina urges collegians be aware of, especially women, is the use of location services or sharing. “Cyberstalking is a serious concern for young women on college campuses. If you are regularly checking in places and pinpointing your exact location, you could be sharing with people who you may not know in real life and who may seek to do you harm,” she says.

The best advice Kristina offers is to treat cyber security just as seriously as other parts of your life. “Just as you take steps every day to keep yourself safe and healthy, you need to take steps to protect yourself online,” she says.

Collegians have the opportunity to engage in peer accountability when it comes to cyber safety, especially within our member organizations. “Everyone locks their doors at night, right? We all need to be sure to keep our ’digital’ doors locked as well. Just as you share your favorite new app with your friends, also remember to share your best safety tips too,” Kristina says.

For more on cyber safety, visit https://www.dhs.gov/national-cyber-security-awareness-month and www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect.

In addition check out the article in Alpha Omicron Pi’s To Dragma featuring Kristina and cyber security tips.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Message From the Chairman: Campus and Student Safety

September finds parents and families with a melancholy feeling over a summer gone and with a refocus on the school year ahead. Many of those same families will pack a car overflowing with pillows, comforters, fans and supplies as they sojourn to the campus of choice with their student. I’m a mom, and I made the journey with our two daughters for a number of years ... exhilarated for the academic year ahead, but also anxious knowing the choices and decisions they would make could impact their safety and overall well-being.

For our youngest sorority members and their peers, the first 90 days on campus should be defined by orientation, engagement, intellectual challenge and making friends, but for far too many the first 90 days can be a time of vulnerability defined by uncomfortable and questionable choices, pressure to conform and potentially compromised personal safety. 

The month of September is designated as Campus Safety Awareness Month. Universities and colleges across the country are laser focused on the health, safety and well-being of their students, especially during those first few weeks on campus. The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) pledges the same commitment to safety messages and resources for students through partnerships and social media campaigns to heighten awareness. 

During the month of September, NPC will focus on two initiatives, sharing resources to a broad audience including its 26 NPC member sororities and their members, College Panhellenic communities and female students touched through social media platforms. The initiatives include:
  • The Red Zone – the first six weeks of school is when students are most at risk for sexual assault and/or violence. NPC launched a social media campaign Aug. 22 that continues through Oct. 2, providing information and tips on staying safe, bystander intervention and reporting instances of sexual violence. We also encourage you to use this  resource on consent to discuss sexual assault during #TheRedZone.
  • National Hazing Prevention Week, Sept. 19-13 – NPC has partnered with HazingPrevention.org, NALFO, NAPA, NIC, NMGC and NPHC on a positive social media campaign, #IbelieveinGreeks, about what fraternal organizations are doing and can do to prevent hazing. Consider watching the video below with your chapter or Panhellenic community to keep the conversation going about hazing during this week.

Protection of good health is central and primary to the student experience. NPC is appreciative to our member organizations, industry and higher education partners for their collaboration in carrying the message of campus and student safety beyond the month of September. We applaud your efforts to weave the message of safety into new member programs, chapter programming and the total student campus life experience.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Message From the Chairman: Values-Based Recruitment

Across the country this month and next, new students arrive on campuses eagerly anticipating the launch of their college experiences. A significant number of those female students -- 158,566 in 2015-16 -- will participate in sorority membership recruitment. Sorority chapters are afforded the opportunity and privilege to engage with these women during recruitment. With privilege comes the responsibility of providing an experience grounded in the shared values of the 26 National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) member organizations.
In fall 2015, NPC reaffirmed a collective commitment to values-based membership recruiting. What is values-based recruitment? It starts with the rich words found in the NPC creed: "We, as fraternity women, stand for service through the development of character inspired by the close contact and deep friendship of individual fraternity and Panhellenic life. The opportunity for wide and wise human service, through mutual respect and helpfulness, is the tenet by which we strive to live."

Centering the recruitment process for both the sorority member and the potential new member on the rich core values of each inter/national women's organization helps ensure a rich experience for all who participate.
How recruitment looks and how it is executed varies from campus to campus. Panhellenic communities are challenged to visit old practices and reshape how the process of recruitment benefits all involved. Reflecting on personal values and key values of an organization, and wrapping those around the benefits of sorority membership, should shape conversations during recruitment. These types of conversations give a young woman seeking sorority membership the opportunity to assess her own values and determine whether they're congruent with an organization's. And likewise, this offers sorority chapters the same opportunity of assessment through the mutual selection process.
University of Georgia Discusses Removal of Skit Round
University of Georgia discusses  
removal of skit round
As a College Panhellenic community navigates through creating positive change and a better understanding of why and how a values-based recruitment experience impacts the community both internally and externally, NPC offers resources: Resolved to Educate and three values and ethics workshops. In addition, numerous volunteers and campus-based professionals will devote countless hours to providing assistance to Panhellenic communities this academic year as they execute the membership recruitment process. NPC says "thank you" for your gift of time, support and commitment to advancing the sorority experience.
Donna C. King
Chairman 2015-17

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I Wear A Badge: Christiana Stark, Chi Omega

Christiana Stark (bottom left) at a Make-A-Wish event
Christiana Stark is no stranger to a challenge.

When she was 10 years old, she faced a life-altering diagnosis for which her doctor could find no cure. Feeling frustrated, confused and alone, Christiana eventually confided in her doctor, who listened to all her concerns and provided her with support to improve her quality of life. Thankfully, Christiana outgrew her illness, but the experience had a lasting impact on her life. She realized how fortunate she was to have a doctor who provided individualized support while guiding her family through a stressful situation.

Inspired by her own childhood illness, Christiana attended the University of California-San Diego to study molecular biology and excelled both in and out of the classroom. She was involved in several extracurricular activities, including Chi Omega Fraternity. In fact, her experience as a Panhellenic woman helped her learn the value of community. “As I move on to medical school I hope to find a [similar] community of students… to work together to accomplish philanthropic endeavors that we find meaningful both in and outside of a hospital, and to be there to support each other through the challenges ahead.”

Through Chi Omega, Christiana discovered her love of volunteering with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She was moved by the impact she could make without treating children medically and just providing them with a carefree day. “The fear and frustration I felt from facing a disease with no cure drives me to do everything in my power to alleviate that kind of distress for someone else.” She values charitable giving because it helps give her life meaning and plans to continue volunteering in the future.

Christiana hopes to become a doctor focused on the same individualized support for patients and families as she experienced. “As a doctor I will not be able to fix every ailment or answer every question that arises in the medical field, but I am determined to spend my career supporting others through the demanding physical and mental challenges life can bring.”

Christiana credits the support she received from her sisterhood for motivating her to pursue a medical degree at Southern Illinois University. The Mary Louise Roller Graduate Scholarship she received from the NPC Foundation this year will help her accomplish her goals. “This scholarship means so much to me because it shows me that there are so many women out there who believe in me and my goal. It is reassuring to know that I have the support of so many women who have faith that I can accomplish this and go on to help so many people as a doctor.”

Congratulations, Christiana!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Message From the Chairman: Foundations -- Supporting Our Members

The month of July affords each of us the opportunity to reflect upon liberty, country and the inherited tradition of voluntary service and giving, evidenced in the early chronicles of those who drafted the United States Constitution. Although the practice of philanthropy is worldwide, our country relies more extensively on voluntary associations to perform this act than any society in the history of the world.  

More than half of all Americans 18 and over volunteer an average of 2.5 hours a week, equating to almost one hundred million people donating services. Americans are estimated to donate approximately $125 billion per year to charitable causes through roughly 983,000 tax-exempt associations (Payton Papers 2000).

This July, we salute and recognize the philanthropic spirit and work of the 26 National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) member organizations and the NPC Foundation. In 2014-15 the 26 NPC organizations provided roughly 2,900,000 hours of volunteer service to their communities and raised $34,880,415 combined donor dollars for a host of charitable causes. To name just a few: CASA, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Alzheimer's Foundation, American Heart Association, Ronald McDonald House, Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity.  

In addition, those same organizations' foundations grant countless dollars in scholarships to deserving women, both undergraduate and graduate, and provide critical educational program funding for our organizations. 

NPC, just as the 26 member organizations, benefits from the support of a foundation: the NPC Foundation. NPC Foundation President Janet Brown, Alpha Omicron Pi, highlights the work of the Foundation.

"The mission of the NPC Foundation is to advance our organizations and their commitment to personal growth by supporting initiatives that launch and sustain women leaders. Our vision is that every Panhellenic woman will be a better citizen because of her lifelong sorority experience.

"To achieve these goals, the NPC Foundation supports programs that bring Panhellenic women together to develop skills, brainstorm ideas and implement solutions to challenges through the power of collective action, thus strengthening the impact of the sorority experience for everyone.

"For example, in the past year the NPC Foundation has supported: a highly successful College Panhellenic Academy providing valuable training and collaboration for leaders from 94 College Panhellenics; "Something of Value" facilitated on 12 campuses, identifying high-risk behaviors affecting member safety and well-being and developing action plans to address them; creation of topical educational videos; and scholarships to support outstanding Panhellenic women.

"We are grateful for the generosity of our organizations and their members who allow us to launch and sustain women leaders through the sorority experience!" 

Together, sorority women worldwide celebrate the spirit of philanthropic service and giving through the work of vital and vibrant foundations. NPC salutes the generosity and selfless donation of time and talent given by NPC women, and the tireless work of the foundations they support. Thank you.


Donna C. King

Chairman 2015-17

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Message From the Chairman: Sorority on the Road for a Lifetime

Summer officially launched with Memorial Day celebrations and remembrances, family gatherings and friend reunions. These events remind us that with summer comes meaningful gatherings for sorority women, too, including inter/national conventions, leadership conferences, chapter reunions, chapter work weekends and alumnae travel adventures.

In NPC we refer to those who volunteer to serve NPC and our staff as the "NPC family." The message of a family working together, sharing stories and laughter and reflecting on the value of friendship frames our sorority membership experience as well.

I recently read an article in the Sigma Kappa Triangle about a group of seven Sigma Kappa sisters from the University of Florida who became members in the 1960s. For more than 50 years, they have traveled the world together - the "Traveling Sigma Kappas" - renewing their bond of friendship through shared life experiences, love, laughter and good food.

Delta Zeta shared a blog post with me about its Mansfield University chapter's 50th anniversary celebration that brought more than 200 members from five decades together. Events included a president's reception, display of the chapter through the ages, a silent auction for one of Delta Zeta's philanthropic partners, a raffle to raise funds for a scholarship, a re-creation of the charter members' photo from 1966 and a ceremonial banquet. Leigh Ann Penecale Reitze, class of 1990, said, "The weekend was so incredible. Reconnecting with my sisters and laughing as we recalled all the funny stories, just as if they happened yesterday, was a wonderful way to rekindle the bonds of sisterhood."

This summer approximately 13,200 sorority women will come together to celebrate sisterhood at inter/national conventions. The summer of 2016 will see 18 inter/national organizations hosting conventions in nine different cities throughout the U.S. In addition, seven organizations will host leadership conferences for both collegians and alumnae. Countless chapter reunions and chapter work weekends on college campuses will bring multi-generational groups of women together to reacquaint, reminisce and reflect on their college years, and share where life's journey has taken them.

Special gatherings of sorority women are timeless and have been a cornerstone of the membership experience for well over a century. Women come together, weave invisible nets of support, celebrate accomplishments and face head-on the challenges of the day. Take time this summer, if you are not already preparing to participate in a planned sorority event, and consider the possibilities of bringing together that special group of women who continue to tug at your heartstrings.

Best wishes from the National Panhellenic Conference to all who will gather this summer to celebrate the gift of lifelong sisterhood and to advance sorority ... together!


Donna C. King
Chairman 2015-17

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Five Reasons Values and Ethics Matter to Sorority Women

1. Because values are the building blocks of what defines our organizations.

    This is what happens to your sorority without its values.  

2. Because being a sorority woman is a privilege earned by those who demonstrate  
positive values. 

    ... is what you should say to someone who does not live out positive values.  

3. Because ethical behavior means doing what is right for your community and for all 
sorority women, not just what is good for you or your chapter. 

    Trust Jiminy Cricket, he is wise.  

4. Because acting ethically prevents unnecessary infractions. 

    No one wants to sit in a judicial hearing about balloons and flowers. 

5. Because sorority women do not get to choose when to and when not to use values
    and ethics, they are lived each day through our choices. 

    It's easy, make choices that display the values your founders put in place for your
    organization. Your big sister will be proud!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Message From the Chairman: Celebrating the History of NPC

In a small room in Boston in 1891, the first group of women representing seven women’s fraternal organizations gathered together in friendship, desiring to know more about each other and to discuss equitable and ethical recruiting practices. “Possessing an unshakable belief in the power of women’s friendship, they came to understand that the one thing they could not afford was to be at odds with each other.”

Common challenges for women during this period included establishing modern social mores, and improving legal rights. In an effort to make progress, continued collaboration between women’s organizations became a priority. May 24, 1902 marks the official founding date of the Inter-Sorority Conference (present day, the National Panhellenic Conference). With courage and conviction, trust and friendship, the first delegates defined what have become time-tested organizational elements of NPC including:  governing precepts/tenets, agreed-upon binding rules, guidelines for establishment of College Panhellenics and membership practices. 

Fast forward 114 years. NPC honors the collaborative spirit that brought those first women together and celebrates the timeless value and endurance of Panhellenic friendships. Today, mission, vision and values frame the daily conversations and work of NPC leadership, staff and extended NPC family, and drive the strategic direction of NPC. There may be different terminology but it follows the same trajectory as outlined in the founding years.

Mission:  The National Panhellenic Conference is the premier advocacy and support organization for the advancement of the sorority experience

Vision:  National Panhellenic Conference – Advancing the Sorority Experience Together

Values of NPC: We are committed to relationships built on trust, through transparency, accountability and mutual respect. Innovation and our core values of friendship, leadership, service, knowledge, integrity, and community guide us in fulfilling our mission.

Our mission, vision and values, coupled with a steadfast desire to preserve and protect the sorority membership experience and ideals of women’s friendships made it possible, “for an alliance of autonomous organizations to remain unified for over a century, growing stronger together than they could have ever hoped to become separately.”

Join me in recognition of NPC’s founding, and the persevering spirit of panhellenic friendships, partnerships and collaboration!


Donna C. King
Chairman 2015-17

Excerpts from Adventure in Friendship-A History of the National Panhellenic Conference

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Message From the Chairman: Advising Inspires and Motivates Individuals

April is designated by the National Panhellenic Conference as Advisor Appreciation Month. For those who advise and mentor our collegiate members -- including local alumnae chapter advisors and campus-based professionals -- we spotlight and recognize the impact you make, and celebrate all that you do! On behalf of NPC, I extend our appreciation far beyond the 30 days of April.

With a sorority volunteer career of more than 37 years, the opportunities I have had to advise and mentor young women on a regular basis is varied and wide. What a privilege to touch their lives in meaningful and valuable ways, to mentor their journey as leaders, contribute to their personal development and inspire their future engagement in supporting the sorority experience. 

When I reflect on the countless women I have had the privilege of working with on campuses across the country, I am reminded of the timeless friendships that have been forged through our mentor/mentee relationships. We have met challenges together, navigated through positive change in their chapters and Panhellenic communities, celebrated successes and milestones. Watching the lives of these women unfold professionally and personally provides an unspeakable volume of satisfaction and gratification. 

What about advising young adults inspires and motivates an individual to provide immeasurable services, and often selflessly, countless hours of personal time? Listen closely as both volunteer advisors and campus-based professionals share thoughts on the why and what of serving as advisors and mentors.

To the dedicated fraternity/sorority advisors who work in partnership with NPC and to volunteer advisors who work tirelessly with members of collegiate chapters, we salute you and say thank you! It is our goal through the educational support objective in our strategic plan to provide you with the information and resources you need to advise College Panhellenics and NPC women to the best of your ability. Please let us know if there is anything you need or anything that we can do to assist you.

Remember, impact and influence define your legacy and commitment to the countless students you engage with each and every day.


Donna C. King
Chairman 2015-17

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Alpha Epsilon Phi

To celebrate Women’s History Month, the NPC blog will spotlight Panhellenic women who are “Working to Form a More Perfect Union.” Along with the theme of Women’s History Month, we recognize women from public service and government. The fourth featured Panhellenic woman is Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Alpha Epsilon Phi. 

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. She attended Cornell University and received a bachelor’s degree in government. She later went to law school – balancing roles as a mother, wife and student – at Harvard University and then graduated from Columbia Law School after her husband Martin got a job in Manhattan. She began paving the way for women in law at Harvard by becoming the first female member of the “Harvard Law Review.” She continued taking steps for women when in 1963 Ginsburg began serving as only the second woman faculty member at Rutgers Law School and then became the first female tenured professor at Columbia Law School where she taught from 1972-80.

In 1971 Ginsburg was a major part of the creation of the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. She also served the ACLU as its general counsel from 1973-80 and on its national board from 1974-80. In her work for the ACLU she went before the U.S. Supreme Court with six landmark cases on gender discrimination.

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed Ginsburg to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. She served in this position until 1993 when President Bill Clinton appointed her to the U.S. Supreme Court. She is the first Jewish woman to serve as a justice and only the second woman, following Sandra Day O’Connor. She lives by three main rules as a judge: caution, moderation and restraint.

Ginsburg truly has helped shape the history of women, and has been recognized for her efforts. In 1999, she received the American Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Award for her contributions to gender equality and civil rights.

"My mother told me two things constantly. One was to be a lady, and the other was to be independent.” - Ruth Bader Ginsburg