As the school year winds down and many of our students prepare for graduation, it is a time to reflect on the past year and look forward to what is next. As a matter of fact, I plan to attend my niece's graduation at Colorado State University—she just happens to be a sorority woman too!
As we look back on this past year, we began with a great deal of promise that the pandemic was waning and things were getting back to normal, yet the pandemic did continue, perhaps to a different degree depending on where you lived. For many, it was finally time to be gathering together in person and cultivating more friendships within their chapters and sorority communities. The year has been one that has many of us seeing challenging times in our community growth, housing concerns and issues, and the mental health of our students. Yet, I see a resilient base of sorority women who have stepped up in their philanthropic and service efforts to help others and demonstrated excellent care in taking care of each other.
Personally, as I reflect, I am proud and humbled to be a member of the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) Board of Directors and serve as its chair. I see the thousands of sorority women graduating this month from around the country looking forward to their post-college life, and I know that through their sorority experience, they are ready to head out into the world and make a difference.
The NPC board is also looking forward to making a difference. Our College Panhellenic communities need focused marketing efforts to help them experience growth in recruitment and thrive. A major action the board has taken is to approve a concentrated marketing plan throughout this summer aimed at helping many of our campuses that recently have seen noticeable declines in sorority membership to grow.
Our sorority experience is incredibly valuable for so many women that all of us must promote and advance our Panhellenic communities so more women want to join our organizations. We want potential new members to know that the sorority experience can help them establish leadership skills, build their confidence, create lifelong friendships, and establish the importance of service to others.
As each of you reflects on the end of the school year, remember how much the Panhellenic experience has meant to you and determine ways that you can promote and advocate to others the power of sorority.
Cheri M. De Jong
2021-23 NPC Chairman