Galentines Day

Having a strong female support system in place through all stages of life is vital. This Galentine's Day, we’re celebrating the friendships and bonds of Big and Little Sisters. P.S. This is preview of the winter issue of The Quill! 

Alpha Xi Delta brought us together and the family bond remains steadfast 10 years later! Kristin Quail, Delaware ‘09, and Alli Zaloba, Delaware ‘08, attended my wedding in December 2022, traveling from New York to San Angelo, Texas, to be at all the wedding weekend festivities! It means the world that my Big Sister and Grand-Big traveled more than 1,500 miles to be with me on my big day. Our group text is as active as ever... in fact we speak weekly, if not daily! We owe it all to Alpha Xi Delta and the Theta Gamma Chapter at the University of Delaware for bringing us together! - Dani Jelensperger Peeler, Delaware ‘10

I am so thankful for my Little Sister Gretchen Schoenfeld Kersten, Southwestern ’00. I knew her through a mutual friend, and once I met her, we instantly clicked. I remember being so nervous and excited at our third night recruitment party as I told her all the reasons I thought Alpha Xi Delta was the right place for her. After she joined, we served on Exec in multiple capacities and supported each other through lots of life! One of my most special memories is singing “The Rose” with her for special occasions. I don’t think we ever made it through without crying. We’ve been there for each other during the beautiful moments, and she was there to hold my hand through one of the hardest times of my life. I don’t get to see her as often as I like these days, but when we do get to spend time together, we become those inseparable girls of 20 years ago as the laughter and tears flow.

-Jennifer Mizell Mount, Southwestern ’99 

Big and Little Sisters Megan Horst Foster, Indiana Univ. Of Pennsylvania ‘03, and Natasha Hollen Nayduch, Indiana Univ. Of Pennsylvania ‘03, said yes to a new adventure together this past fall with a 20-mile hike of the Appalachian Trail (Caledonia State Park to Pine Grove Furnace State Park). “As we've gotten older, we have both started engaging more and more in nature activities. Tasha sent me a message one day and said, "Would you be interested in doing this with me?" and I immediately said "yes!" It was such a challenge, and it was outside of our comfort zone, but I love that we did it together. We have two decades of friendship, and it has shifted and changed along with our lives, but we still call on each other when we have new things to share,” said Megan.

In September 2013, I accepted my bid to join Alpha Xi Delta’s Theta Omicron Chapter at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. About a week later, I went to a beach picnic with the honors student association and met an Alpha Xi Delta Sister, Erin Siltman, Embry-Riddle Daytona ‘13. We immediately hit it off. I knew right away I wanted her to be my Big Sister. I knew that she was more than just a friend; she was someone I looked up to and aspired to. Her kindness, intelligence, and confidence are something I admire to this day.

The following year, I was selected to be the Chapter President by the nominating committee. My first reaction to my nomination was absolutely not. There was no way I had the skills required to become a chapter leader, let alone Chapter President. Little did I know, Erin was on the nominating committee. Our Chapter Advisor allowed Erin to break the confidentiality of the nominating committee to talk to me. Erin told me that the entire committee saw leadership potential in me, and she personally knew I could do it. She told me she would stand behind me no matter what. With her support, I decided to say yes.

Throughout my presidency, Erin kept her word. Through good and bad times, she was always there to back me up and support me. With her help, I was lucky enough to be nominated for a second term as Chapter President. This time, I gladly accepted right away. The leadership skills I learned during my time as an undergraduate helped develop me into who I am today, and I owe a lot of that to my Big Sister, Erin.

This year marks officially our 10th year of friendship and Sisterhood. We’ve shared so many lasting memories and stood by each other through good times and bad. We’ve been bridesmaids at each other's weddings, celebrated new jobs, milestone birthdays, graduations, and even just came back from our first international trip together! - Katja Johnson, Embry-Riddle Daytona ‘13