Written by President Katie Clemens
Over Valentine’s Day weekend 2015, I had the pleasure of attending Delta Zeta’s Presidents’ Academy in Dallas, Texas. Chapter Presidents from 165 Delta Zeta chapters, both nationally and internationally, gathered together to learn, collaborate and share in our collective sisterhood.
During my time in Dallas, I heard from a multitude of speakers both within the Delta Zeta community and outside, who join us in our common mission of friendship and service.
Circle of Sisterhood Founder Ginny Carroll spoke on the importance of empowering women, a mission which has defined the foundation that funds and builds educational facilities for women in underprivileged countries. She also shared how her own sorority experience enabled her to cultivate the leader within.
Tani Austin, Starkey Hearing Foundation’s Co-Founder, shared her experience from a recent trip abroad with her foundation bringing life to Starkey’s mission statement, “So the World May Hear.” As one of Delta Zeta’s national beneficiaries, Ms. Austin helped announce Delta Zeta’s national pledge of $5 million to the Starkey Hearing Foundation over the next five years to a room full of hopeful and inspired leaders.
Derrick Coleman, fullback for the Seattle Seahawks, also stopped by to provide a personal touch to Delta Zeta’s philanthropic focus of speech and hearing. As one of the first deaf offensive players in the NFL, the awareness and support Delta Zeta brings to the speech and hearing impaired is one that is especially important to Derrick.
I walked away with many new skills and knowledge from the weekend on a variety of chapter topics including risk management protocols, philanthropic initiatives, and recruitment programming. What touched me the most though, were the new friendships I left with.
Over the course of a single weekend I was able to bond with sisters from states and schools away, brought together by a common position and sisterhood. I was reminded once again that Delta Zeta is not just one chapter, four years, or one state – Delta Zeta is a lifetime.