Do you ever think, what were they thinking? This is a question I often ask about our founders. Did they even have a clue as to what they were establishing for thousands of women who would follow after them? My logical answer is no way! They were courageous women who wanted a place to call home. Maybe they weren’t that different than the Theta Phi Alphas of today. Unlike us, they didn’t have certain rights and privileges. They could not vote in the Presidential Elections, they were not allowed to walk freely into U of M Student Union, and they certainly were not a part of the largest women’s organizations on campus. They were just women who were trying to get an education and find a group of women to support them.
As I drove onto the campus of the University of Michigan, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. Although I had been to the campus previously, the sight of the blue flag with the yellow M still makes my heart race just a bit.
I am a professional campus speaker; I have spoken on more than 500 campuses. As much as these experiences have been amazing, speaking at the birthplace of Theta Phi Alpha made me quite nostalgic. As I stood on the stage in the Historic Rackham Auditorium, I looked out at approximately 1,100 sorority women. Sitting in the front row were four Theta Phi Alpha alumnae cheering me on – a true example of sisterhood. It was a moment I will not soon forget. I shared with the undergraduate women of the sororities at Michigan that Theta Phi Alpha and ultimately, my journey began at the University of Michigan and what an important part their campus has in our Fraternity’s history.
The night was one of laughter, tears, thoughtfulness, and yes, a little singing! Thank you to the Theta Phi Alpha Foundation and Theta Phi Alpha Fraternity for trusting me with delivering our gift to the Panhellenic at the University of Michigan.
At the end of the program, Mary Beth Seller, Director of Greek Life, presented me with a bag of gifts – a recruitment bag, a Michigan blanket, and a Stole of Gratitude. It was quite a special moment and I appreciated accepting the Stole of Gratitude on behalf of The Fraternity.
As I looked out at those women, I thought about the day that our Alpha Chapter could be back at the home of our founding. One day, but for now, one Theta Phi Alpha had a memorable experience at the place that we call Home!