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