I pledged Alpha Xi Delta in 1958 and was initiated in 1959 at small Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. I was the first in my family to attend college and was only able to do so with financial help from the State of Illinois and work-study support from Knox. I was completely naïve about sororities and fraternities but soon found a wonderful circle of friends at Knox who turned out to be Alpha Xi Deltas. Although we didn’t have a house of our own, Knox was small enough that we could room together in campus housing, and gather at the Panhellenic house for meetings and social events. I was also proud of the fact that Alpha Xi had been founded at nearby Lombard College, and that Knox was the home of the Alpha chapter. I loved everything about both my Knox and my Alpha Xi Delta experience and was fortunate to be able to spend my junior year abroad in Berlin, Germany, and my senior year at Knox as what we then called Pledge Trainer. I have returned to Knox for several reunions and enjoy seeing my Sisters, but am saddened that the Alpha Chapter no longer exists.
When I was accepted for graduate study at the University of Texas at Austin, I was invited by Fraternity Headquarters to join three other younger Sisters, who were transferring as undergraduates to UT from other schools, as re-colonizers of Beta Alpha Chapter. Headquarters even put me in touch with the alumae group in Austin who helped me find an apartment to share near campus. What an exciting time that was! Although I was very busy with my graduate studies, I thoroughly enjoyed the alumae with whom we worked on re-colonization, which turned out to be very successful. Because I was a graduate student, and married shortly after arriving in Austin, I was never an “active” in the new Beta Alpha chapter, but I always took pride in the chapter and its achievements, and continue to do so.
After earning my Ph.D., I entered a career in university level teaching, research and administration in my field – applied linguistics – but was rarely at a university with an active chapter or alum group. It was only on retirement and our move to Las Vegas in 2002 that I decided to seek our Fraternity's help to put me in touch with an alum group in LV. I contacted the president of the LV alum group and was immediately plugged into an active alum group and an active chapter, Iota Epsilon. Since coming to Las Vegas, I’ve seen both the alum group and the active chapter grow in numbers, strength, class -- epitomizing the meaning of Sisterhood.
Little did I know as that naive college freshman what the Sisterhood of Alpha Xi Delta would mean to me over my lifetime!