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is where TRI SIGMA IS

of Sigma Sigma Sigma Fall 2011


love Laughter



Collegiate Chapter Reflections


A Weekend in the Windy City


Home is Where Tri Sigma Is



chapter meetings Community


little sister

Support Volunteers

from the president


Let’s Talk The House that Built Me

Kaye Schendel Gamma Phi | National President

Recently, while travelling in my hometown of Minneapolis, I decided to drive by my childhood home. Turning down Drew Avenue, I thought about all the fun I had playing in my yard, how my grandmother would always have fresh baked bread waiting after school, and even a few memories of being punished (totally unfair, or so I thought!) by my mother. And I thought how lucky I was to have grown up in a house filled with so much love. There is another home that I grew up in, one that I also learned in, laughed in, and shared my life in. One that I visit each time I travel for Sigma. That home is my Tri Sigma home. At every convention I attend, every Sigma house I visit, and every Sister I meet, I feel that same warmth and the security that my childhood home on Drew Avenue brought me. There is a beautiful song sung by Miranda Lambert and written by Tom Douglas called, “The House That Built Me”, about a woman who visits the house she grew up in hoping it would help her through a tough time. There is a line in the chorus that goes like this:

If I could walk around, I swear I’ll leave. Won’t take nothing but a memory from the house that built me.


T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011

We may not all be able to visit the home we grew up in, some have been torn down and replaced with condos or storefronts and some are just too far away. And even if we could visit, would we be welcomed by the people who live there? Would the new addition, different paint, and unfamiliar neighbors keep us from finding what we were looking for there? We all have the opportunity, however, to visit that other home that helped build us. A home located in the hearts of all Tri Sigmas. A home that is always there, always welcoming, always holding to the familiar values and support that helped shape us into the women we are today. A home that can continue to help shape us into the best women we can be. It is a home where for generations, the values of Tri Sigma still reside. A home in which Sisters can gather anytime, in celebration, in friendship and in support; through good times and bad. A home that, like the one you grew up in, still has a corner bedroom that you can dream in. I urge all of you to visit this Tri Sigma home again and again. Please, come in!

Your Voice Letter from the Editor

Home. Where are you at home? As Tri Sigmas, most of us can look back at times with our Sisters and say “that felt like home.” Recently I had the chance to sit down to dinner at a Sigma Sister’s house and catch up. We have not spent that kind of time together since we graduated, but it felt like home, like I was right where I belonged. At the beginning of my professional career I moved every few years, as opportunities would arise. When I would move to a new place where I did not know people I knew I could find a safe place within an Alumnae Chapter. Home really is where Tri Sigma Is. No matter if you are still in school, or graduated years ago we share the same history and traditions. We are connected as if we all grew up under the same roof. We are blessed to have this bond. When we chose the theme for this issue, that sense of home was a feeling the editorial team all could understand. The bonds of Sisterhood give us each a sense of home. As I read over the reflections of our collegiate chapters it brought me right back to the classroom on campus where as a collegiate the Zeta Beta chapter would hold initiations, candlelights and meetings. It was my home at least once a week. I also was reminded of the times we would wander into each other’s dorm rooms to go through each other’s closets for the right outfit or just to debrief after a major exam or paper. These are wonderful memories.


Triangle Volume 11, Number 2

Features: 18 We Are Always at Home 22 The Reach of Tri Sigma is Worldwide

Departments: 4 Empowered Women 6 Inside Sigma Sigma Sigma 12 Housing 14 Awards 23 Our Collegians 28 Our Leadership 29 Our Alumnae 37 Our Foundation 39 Omega Chapter

I ask you to reflect of your Sister moments where you have felt like “Home is Where Tri Sigma Is.” I hope this issue will help to remind all of you that you will always have a home with Tri Sigma In Our Bonds, Hillary Ashton, Zeta Beta and Editor-at-Large

Design & Editing Innova Ideas & Services

Executive Council 2010–2013


Hillary Ashton, Zeta Beta

Alumnae Editor

Mandy Chocheles, Gamma Eta

National President Kaye Schutte Schendel, Gamma Phi

Collegiate Editor Sherri Ballard, Alpha Nu Features Editor

Emmy Smith, Epsilon Pi

Copy Editors Katie Lauer Wadington, Epsilon Xi Jocelyn Harper, Alpha Beta Director of Cori Wallace Marketing & Communications Sigma Sigma Sigma 225 North Muhlenberg Street Woodstock, VA 22664-1424 p 540.459.4212 | f 540.459.2361 E-mail:

National Treasurer Bonnie Rainey, Alpha Sigma National Vice President Bethany A. Deines, Beta Kappa National Vice President Emily Eure Ellis, Gamma Beta National Vice President Elizabeth Wakeman Hoffert, Beta Xi National Vice President Allison Swick-Duttine, Psi

Changes of names and addresses and death notices should be sent to National Headquarters, 225 North Muhlenberg Street, Woodstock, VA 22664-1424. Postmaster: Please send notices of undeliverable copies on Form 3579 to Sigma Sigma Sigma, 225 North Muhlenberg Street, Woodstock, VA 22664-1424. The Triangle of Sigma Sigma Sigma is published two times a year by Sigma Sigma Sigma, 225 North Muhlenberg Street, Woodstock, VA 22664-1424. Payment of membership dues includes $2 toward the cost of The Triangle subscription. Articles are invited for publication in this magazine. Manuscripts should be submitted to the Editor for consideration. Acceptances are on a contributing basis only and are subject to editorial review. All copies and photos become the property of Sigma Sigma Sigma. Member of National Panhellenic Conference and Fraternity Communications Association. © 2011 Sigma Sigma Sigma

T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011


empowered women

Lighting the Sigma Fire on the Last Frontier


Jill Swope, Zeta Mu • Mandy Chocheles, Gamma Eta and Alumnae Editor Fifteen years ago, the Zeta Mu chapter of Sigma

Deb Adams and Kelly Keays even pitched in by

Sigma Sigma was a small but close-knit group of

washing the ambulance once when they stopped

sisters attending the farthest north university in

by the station. The station became an impromptu

the nation. They were the first Greek organization

meeting place for the chapter members. Their Sigma

– sorority or fraternity – on the Last Frontier. The

sisterhood and the firefighting brotherhood seemed

chapter members were involved with activities

to find similarities and loyalty and dedication, so the

all over the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF)

two organizations complimented each other well.

campus. Sisters came from diverse backgrounds, but shared a common bond in community service.

A little over a year after graduating from UAF, Jillian and her future husband, Jack Fletcher, had a near – fatal motor vehicle accident in a remote area of Canada. They survived sliding off the road and hitting a light pole, but Jill lost half of her lower right leg when it became entangled in wreckage as they rolled down an embankment. Two weeks were spent in the intensive care unit before being flown back to Alaska. The year that followed was filled with surgeries and grueling physical therapy. But the Zeta Mu sisters were always there to keep Jillian going with notes of encouragement.

When Jill Swope joined Tri Sigma, she was volunteering as a fire medic with a local fire department. The entire Zeta Mu chapter soon became involved with firefighting in one capacity or another. Venita DuPuy often made cookies for the crews after big structure fires. Jean Paylow, Marta Mueller and Rebecca Corbeille collected candy for elementary schools during Fire Prevention Week.


T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011

Throughout her recovery, the idea of becoming a nurse grew into a reality for Jillian. She went back to UAF with her Sigma sisters, taking pre-requisite course for nursing school. While continuing coursework via distance delivery, she flew medivac missions in rural Alaska, and spent two seasons working for the Antarctic Fire Department. Her finance, Jack, had deployed to Antarctica to work for the U.S. Antarctic

Program as a firefighter. Jill was then was hired as a fire dispatcher there and spent two summer seasons (from 2000-2002) at McMurdo Station, as the lead instructor and program coordinator for the farthest south CPR program in the world. Her goal, which has been achieved, was to be part of a Critical Care Transport team. Most such air teams consist of a pilot, at least one flight nurse, a flight paramedic and/or a respiratory therapist. Flight companies require at least three to five years experience in the emergency department and critical care environment. A bachelor’s degree in nursing and board certification in specialty areas such as

Past issues of The triangle at your fingertips Tri Sigma has recently launched a new e-reader at that allows readers to view past issues of The Triangle. In addition, the past 6 Sigma Standards/Alumnae Updates are included. This virtual “bookshelf” takes the traditional static PDF to the next level and offers some great features: • iPad and tablet friendly, meaning readers can take The Triangle with them on planes, trains or anywhere else. • Makes our primary materials easier to find in one spot.

emergency nursing or critical care nursing is preferred.

• Allows an analysis of page views and Triangle readership.

Now living in Northern Arizona as a critical care

• Options to include things like our Tri Sigma history in the future.

transport nurse, Jill recently finished her Masters of Nursing degree. Despite her serious leg injury, Jill

• Materials are searchable and hyperlinkable.

typically works 24 to 48-hour shifts in helicopters,

• Enables “embedding” covers into emails, on our webpage, and in other communications.

planes and sometimes ambulances. Flight personnel

• Surf over and check it out!

have an annual fitness standard test, which includes a two-mile pack walk. So the hiking, skiing and other outdoor activities she likes keep her in excellent shape. Flight requests can be made to transport patients from the scene of an accident, which can be the side of a 12,000 foot mountain at a local ski resort, or below the rim of the Grand Canyon. Every mission is always an adventure. Jill states that “air transport require unwavering trust between flight team members, faithfulness to professional development, and a high standard of ethical behavior which treating patients with compassion – characteristics essential to our bonds of sisterhood as well. Being a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma eased the transition into flight nursing by emphasizing loyalty, integrity and an unwavering sense of humor in rapidly changing situations.” Jill is a lifetime member of Sigma Sigma Sigma, and since 2000, has served as the Sorority’s International Key Contact for Antarctica, the only Panhellenic representative on the farthest south continent in the world. She keeps in contact with her Zeta Mu sisters via Facebook, as well as the occasional visit. This brave, dedicated, and empowered Sigma can be contacted at

Your Guide to The Triangle Letters to the Editor Email your letter to the Editor to, for possible inclusion in the Your Voice section. Please include your full name and chapter of initiation. The Triangle reserves the right to publish any letter received. Letters may be edited for space and clarity. Getting Published All Sigmas are encouraged to submit news and stores to The Triangle. All submissions are subject to editing for content, grammar, and space. Submit stories to triangle@trisigma. org and include your chapter name in the subject line. Also be sure to include your first, maiden, and last name. If your submission includes a photo, you can attach it to your email, but please ensure the file size is at least 1MB, and all subjects portrayed in the photo are identified (first, maiden, last name, and chapter affiliation) in your email. Because of the volume of articles we receive, we cannot guarantee publication of any submission. Submission Deadlines Spring 2012 Issue Deadline: November 15, 2011 Theme: Women of Character T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011 Fall 2012 Issue Deadline: May 15, 2011



inside sigma sigma sigma

Theta Gamma Chapter Installed McKendree University, Lebanon, Illinois

Lauren McHugh, Assistant Director of Colony/New Chapter Development In fall 2008, a group of 20 women came together and decided they wanted to bring a national sorority to their campus. They formed the McKendree Extension Committee and together they worked for almost two years to find the perfect sorority to match their values and commitment to building better women. When Tri Sigma came to campus to present in spring 2010, the McKendree Extension Committee women knew that they had found the perfect fit as they were blown away by what Tri Sigma could offer them. Additionally, the Tri Sigma representatives were also impressed by the Sisterhood and

Cowart and Parrott. The Chapter Advisory Board and collegiate members from the Alpha Chi chapter at Murray State University also assisted with the installation. Following the initiation, women shared their accomplishment with family, friends and the University officials who had helped them along the way. The newly initiated Theta Gamma women each received a special gift, a charter member dangle to be worn with their badge, something they will have for a lifetime. Additionally, the chapter will receive a framed charter. A temporary charter was presented to Chapter President Allison Poehler by Ellis. The Theta Gamma chapter also ushered in a new tradition. New Tri Sigma chapters will now take a group photo with their chapter shield at installation. Theta Gamma was the first to do this! The new Theta Gamma women have taken risks, learned some new things, given back to the campus and community and brought something new to the McKendree University campus!

Theta GAMMA Initiates Nicole Backer

Natalie Jennings

Arife Balazi

Megan Mark

Emily Battas

Emily Mouyard

Danielle Belobraydich

Brenna Olroyd

Lora Blackwell

Mika Ortega

Ashley Boyles

Allison Poehler

Courtney Cannigham

Kirsten Ratermann

The celebratory weekend began on Friday evening with a preinitiation meeting, where reflection-based discussions were hosted by Emily Ellis, Gamma Beta and National Vice President, and Regional Consultants Brittany Parrott, Epsilon Phi and Nikki Cowart, Gamma Mu. Members reflected on their time as Colony members, what ritual meant to them and their expectations for Saturday, when they would finally be initiated. The women then followed with a fun night which included matching T-shirts and games!

Rebecca Castillo

Chelsey Ray

Sarah Debruyckere

Jessica Roddy

Brittni Doane

Jenny Scheuchner

Samantha Fox

Danielle Shilling

Brianne Funk

Alexandria Stevens

Melissa Funk

Michelle Voegele

Bethany Hackmann

Caitlyn Westfall

Emily Hackstad

Alexandria Wonders

On Saturday, 32 collegiate members were initiated, concluding with the initiation of Honor Initiate Melissa Funk. The day would not have been a success without the hard work and dedication of the installation officers which included Ellis,

Starla Graham

dedication to values that the women demonstrated. Later that spring, it was officially announced that Tri Sigma would be joining the McKendree University Greek Community! After years of hard work, dedication and overcoming obstacles, the initial dream of bringing a National sorority to campus was realized when the Theta Gamma chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma was installed on Saturday, April 9, 2011.


T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011

Julie Guenther

It’s All Happening at the Zoo! Emmy Smith, Epsilon Pi and Features Editor Lions and tigers and Tri Sigmas? That’s right! On a lovely, spring-like Saturday in February, 75 South Carolina Tri Sigmas met at Columbia’s Riverbanks Zoo for 2011 State Day. Collegians from Delta Pi, Eta Beta, Epsilon Pi and Zeta Chi, together with alumnae from all over the state, gathered at the zoo for a day of Sisterhood. Participants mixed, mingled, and made new friends while elephants strolled by the window. National Vice President, Emily Eure Ellis, Gamma Beta, shared a video review of all that Tri Sigma had accomplished in the last triennium, as well as updates since Convention. Cindy Harms, Alpha Epsilon and Foundation Development Officer, shared what the Foundation has been up to and how to get involved. The day also included time for programming that ranged from Resumes and Cover Letters with Leslie Brady, Delta Pi and Foundation Board member, to the Future of Tri Sigma with Laura Ward Sweet, Alpha Sigma and National Panhellenic Conference Delegate.

Sisters made the day complete with lunch, some giveaways, a little shopping at the Foundation table, and a ride on the carousel. SC Sigmas raised nearly $800 for the Foundation at State Day, and plans for next year are already in discussion. Emily Lewis Lee, Alpha Upsilon, summed up the day with: “It was a fantastic event!”

College roommates Stacy Sumerel Nuessle, Epsilon Pi and Julia Eccles Bellon, Epsilon Pi

T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011


inside sigma sigma sigma

A Weekend in the Windy City Dunham Women of Character Institute and CAB & Volunteer Summit Emmy Smith, Epsilon Pi and Features Editor and Mandy Chocheles, Gamma Eta and Alumnae Editor “Sororities let you pick the people you grow up with and the people you grow old with,” Callais says. She encourages women to really read and understand their ritual “because until you understand where you came from, you don’t know where you can go.”

Back row: Courtney Haines, Penn College Colony, Britny Livingston (Theta Beta) Kristin Mercado (Alpha Iota), Sylvia Larsen (Eta Zeta), Esther Kim (Eta Phi). Front row: Laura Mul (Delta Chi), Sydney McLain (Alpha Zeta), Leah Connolly (Epsilon Eta) On a sunny weekend in May, almost 250 Tri Sigma women gathered at the O’Hare Marriott Hotel for what could be called an “educational extravaganza.” Both collegians and alumnae arrived in Chicago for the Dunham Women of Character Institute and the CAB & Volunteer Summit. Participants were greeted with karaoke, a photo booth, and other fun activities when they arrived on Friday night. The 155 collegians who have been tagged as emerging leaders and been chosen to attend met with mentors and discussion leaders in different forums. Meanwhile, National Officers, Collegiate Advisory Board members and other alumnae representatives were just as busy, with a full plate of sessions to choose from. Saturday started off on a musical note, peppered with humor, as keynote speaker Dr. Mari Ann Callais gave her presentation. Her dynamic way of getting across a message, her knowledge of Tri Sigma (she is a past National President of Theta Phi Alpha), and her spirit of Panhellenic cooperation were the perfect beginning to the weekend. She pointed out that Sigma is a way of life, not just a meeting or a social event but a lifetime journey.


T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011

She summed up the sorority life experience as this: “Recruitment equals dating. Bid Day is like that boyfriend/girlfriend stage. The new member period is like being engaged. Initiation is like the wedding, and you’re even wearing white. And then you wake up six months later and think, ‘oh crap, I got married’. We work so hard to get people to say ‘I do’ on Bid Day, but what’s really important is how many people graduate as active Tri Sigmas.”

Sisters were asked to comment on what they thought about our eight Founders, and what those brave young women might think of our sorority today. Stories were also shared about how Tri Sigma has affected our lives, and how living our ritual is something to be cherished. “You might leave Tri Sigma, but Tri Sigma will never leave you,” said Callais. “If people challenge you beyond what you think you can do, and they support you, then you can reach higher heights. ”In her closing, she picked up her guitar and sang the perfect song to remind the Sigmas of the commitment to and the possibilities we have in each other: “If there hadn’t been you…all my dreams would still be dreams.”

At the conclusion of the conferences there was a lively auction of T-shirts and jewelry items that had been donated, to benefit the Sigma Sigma Sigma Foundation. Thank you to all the participants who brought T-shirts for the auction and who bid on items. About $5,000 was raised for the Foundation for leadership programs! “I just can’t believe it!” exclaimed Jan Horner, Beta Xi and Foundation Board Chairman. Way to go ladies!

Nicole Steele, Epsilon Nu, Brenda Christie, Alpha Iota, Cindy Harms, Alpha Epsilon The Dunham Women of Character Institute really kicked off next with StrengthsQuest and Fighting Apathy. Women learned their top five strengths and how to use them. In the Fighting Apathy presentation, they learned how to be a change manager and how to lead a change effort. A case study at the end allowed groups to apply their strengths and the change management techniques. The afternoon session revolved around using Tri Sigma technology. National Webmaster Kellie Parker, Alpha Beta, encouraged participants to use the event calendar on the national website, as well as Sigma Connect and the blog. She provided instructions for reporting errors, requesting changes and for linking chapter websites. The afternoon continued with Dr. Callais and a discussion about reclaiming traditions. She defined tradition as something being passed on by word of mouth or practice. This includes our ritual. However, in most chapters, doing something twice makes it a tradition, and social media is playing a huge role in this. The negative images of Greeks that really began in 1978 with the movie “Animal House” are being perpetuated. Greeks played up to the image, and now we’re questioning and evaluating the traditions that were instituted. “Sometimes just saying it’s not OK can change a tradition,” Callais shared. She asked participants to think of some traditions – songs, new members wearing letters, paddles, families within our chapters, saying grace, composites, etc. Some of these are new traditions, and some of them are old traditions that are being re-evaluated. “We have to understand who we are. It’s often said that new members need to earn their letters, but do we earn our letters every single day?” Callais challenged the participants with this question “Think of what others think of us with our traditions. WWOFD – what would our Founders do?” At the same time as the Institute was going on, alumnae and national volunteers attended the Summit. Attendees had many additional sessions to choose from during the Institute. National President Kaye Schutte Schendel, Gamma Phi, reported on the number of new chapters, news of an all-time high in membership numbers, the continued interest in expansion on several campuses where we will be involved, and items that the Executive Council is addressing at this time.

Other sessions covered topics such as “Mentoring Relationships: Finding Your Little,” where they learned about traits and responsibilities of a good mentor, “BillHighway Tips” (important for Chapter Financial Advisors), “Retaining Volunteers” (a concern of almost every alumnae chapter and CAB), “Utilizing Technology” (an easy-to-understand update from Webmaster Kellie Parker), and “Tools to Attract New Volunteers.” Kyle Witham, from The Leadership Institute (Women with Purpose), facilitated a program called “Creating a Coaching Culture.” The goal of the interactive session was to equip participants with the skills necessary to coach the students they advise and create such a culture in their organizations. Roundtable discussions, as always, were lively and enlightening. The weekend closed with a dinner where NPC Delegate Laura Ward Sweet, Alpha Sigma, presented an amusing video, and a few reminders of the rules for dinner table etiquette. After dinner, National Awards Chairman Suzan Rome Bosarge, Gamma Mu, gave attendees a chance to celebrate the 2011 award winners, both collegiate and alumnae, via a Power Point presentation. The closing speaker was someone who has kept Tri Sigma in her heart and in her commitment to the fraternal world. Kelly Jo Karnes, Pi, spoke about defining moments that should occur in the life of every Sigma, and incorporated music and humor in her presentation. She reminded everyone to “take care of yourself, each other, and this place.” As always, when Tri Sigmas gather, new friends were made, new skills were developed, and plans were discussed for an even better and stronger Sisterhood. The most influential part for me was Dr. Mari Ann Callais. She had such passion for what she was talking about. She was hilarious and kept it interesting. I enjoyed her so much. There were two things she said that really stood out to me. The first was ‘You may leave Tri Sigma but Tri Sigma never leaves you’ and ‘You are there because you said you would be in the very beginning.’ When Mari Ann had people go up and tell their stories about what their Sisters had done for them I cried. I cried because I have never had anything like that happen with me, and I never had an experience like that. I decided after that, even though I have not had a moment like that, I am going to change someone’s sorority experience. I am going to be in their success story. At the end of the night, when we were picking our one sentence that we live by, that is why I picked ‘I AM.’ I didn’t live by that sentence until that night because I decided that I AM a leader, and I AM going to make a change.

– Britny Livingston, Theta Beta

T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011


inside sigma sigma sigma

Convention Planning Picks Up Steam Are You Ready to Join Your Sigma Sisters in 2013? A First Timer’s Point of View: Convention Isn’t Just for the Collegians! By Brooke Toluba, Epsilon Pi I was incredibly nervous about attending Convention. As a fairly recent graduate and a newly appointed CAB member, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. However, from the moment Brooke Toluba, Epsilon Pi, at her first Convention Minneapolis 2010 we arrived at the hotel I was instantly put at ease. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly. At the CAB and Volunteer Summit, I was quickly surrounded by fellow newcomers to Convention and Convention veterans. As soon as I sat down at my assigned table, I started chatting and bonding with the other advisors. It was like having instant friends with whom you all share something in common! The programs were exciting and engaging. I especially liked “StrengthQuests” and the “Phired UP! Recruitment” programs. Both were great! For those first time alumnae out there thinking of attending the 2013 Convention in Orlando, I strongly encourage you to go for it! It will be an excellent Sigma experience that will stay with you for a lifetime!

Out of My Comfort Zone By Jenna Lyons, Eta Beta There were three of us heading to Minneapolis, MN, to represent the Eta Beta chapter from Newberry College in Newberry, SC. Newberry is a small school, with a student population under 1,100, so Minnesota was a far ways off, both figuratively and literally. As we started our road trip, we were jamming to the radio and brainstorming about fall chapter activities. Before we had stepped foot in Minnesota and Convention, we were in the Tri Sigma mindset. With each state line we passed, our excitement continued to build. We finally arrived at the hotel in Minneapolis. Before we were even able to park the car we saw Tri Sigma women, and we knew we were in the right place. Walking into


T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011

the hotel ballroom, we experienced something we never had before. There were more than 600 Tri Sigma women present, representing chapters from all over the nation. In that moment, the three of us (and I am sure everyone in the room felt something similar) were filled with a sense of belonging and understanding. We knew that we shared something with each of these women. We all shared the same values and had found our home with Sigma Sigma Sigma. Throughout the Convention, we were able to take part in workshops that opened our eyes to the possibilities of being a Tri Sigma, and we witnessed important changes taking place and put into action. Character Counts! was announced as our new service partner and more than twenty amendments were added into our Bylaws. It was a whirlwind of a time and when we loaded up to leave that last day, we were all exhausted and energized. We were eager to get back to Newberry to start implementing all the changes and excitement we had experienced in Minnesota. Convention is certainly one of the best experiences of my life, and it will be for any Tri Sigma Sister lucky enough to attend. The next Convention, scheduled for 2013, will be held in Orlando! I have every intention to attend, and I am sure, without a doubt, that as soon as I walk through the doors of that hotel, I will be overcome with that same feeling I had at my first Convention – the love and the Sisterhood. That is what I love about Tri Sigma. I am always filled with wonder at the commitment I have made to the Sorority and the commitment Tri Sigma has made to me. See you all in 2013!



C. A.

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Pi Chapter House Emporia State University, Emporia, KS History The Pi Chapter at Emporia State University purchased its current house in 1945. It was the home of the former university president. Before moving into this home the chapter lived in six other homes after becoming part of the national organization in 1917. Located on 12th Street the house is just southwest of the main campus.

House Facts The chapter home can house 43 women and a housemother. This past year the house was at full capacity due to increasing membership numbers and a desire by almost all eligible chapter members to live in the chapter house. The house has 16 member rooms, two sleeping dorms, a formal dining room, formal living room, meeting room, two TV lounges, and a computer lab/ study area.

Remodeling and Updates 1960: An addition to the back of the house was completed. It included two sleeping dorms and TV lounge as well as many extra rooms.

1979: With membership down and only nine women living in the house, the attic and basement were closed off as they were not being used. During Formal Recruitment, 15 women pledged and Pi Chapter was revitalized! Membership continued to grow.


T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011

1983: Central air conditioning was installed throughout the house. There was no air conditioning at that time, with the exception of one window unit in the dining room and one in the housemother’s quarters. The basement living quarters were opened and once again used. Mid-1980s: Membership continued to grow and it was determined that the attic was needed. The attic was totally gutted and remodeled to create three additional living quarters that could house 11 women, a bathroom and a TV room. The original wood floor was refinished.

The House Staff The chapter’s cook, Margaret Lusby, has been with the chapter since 1989. Last year the chapter women extended her a bid as a part of the alumna initiate program and she was initiated in fall 2010. “Margaret is well loved, and the women were excited to learn about the alumna initiate program as a way to truly involve her in the Sisterhood, says Adriane Edwards Lang, Pi and Pi House Corporation President. The current housemother, Beth Chartier, has been with the chapter for seven years.

House Events

1990: A two car garage that includes storage space was erected.

1996: Exterior of the house restored with historical accuracy.

2002: Chapter meeting room was renovated. 2003: The already active Emporia Alumnae Chapter formed a committee to raise funds for many essential and expensive projects. The committee worked tirelessly for seven years to see this fundraising campaign through.

2008: New, energy efficient windows were installed throughout the house. The house has continually undergone many remodeling projects from bathrooms to sleeping porches, mattresses, fresh paint and carpet. Renovation of the formal dining and living rooms and the addition of an egress fire escape from the basement chapter meeting room have recently been completed as well as insulation of the exterior walls in the sleeping dorms as a part of an improvement fundraising campaign.

In December 2009, the house was included in the Lyon County Historical Society’s Christmas Homes Tour. The house is open to groups of Sigma Sisters who want to have summer reunions. The women also open their home to members of other sororities on campus during The biannual Panhellenic Association sponsored sorority switch. The chapter women also host an ice cream social to raise money for the Robbie Page Memorial fund and Sigma S’ghetti to raise money for activities the women decide on each year. Their local philanthropy is Plumb Place, a battered women’s shelter. The women volunteer to help with upkeep projects as well as interacting with the children who are living there. “Living in the chapter house made my collegiate experience even more meaningful. I am proud that I get to help ensure other members have that same opportunity,” says Adriane Edwards Lang, Pi and Pi House Corporation President.

“We are so fortunate to have a beautiful house to call home and very lucky to have many alumnae dedicated to the care and improvement of our home,” -Adriane Edwards Lang, Pi and Pi House Corporation President.

Keep up with Chapter House Projects at T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011


Awards The Best of Tri Sigma


2010–2011 Award Winners Individual Margaret Freeman Everett Outstanding Senior Award The Margaret Freeman Everett award is named for a member of the Sigma chapter at Western State College in Gunnison, CO. Dubbed “Dixie” by Mabel Lee Walton, Margaret was small in stature but a giant in spirit. She was the 1939 Honor Initiate at the Colorado Springs National Convention. She was known to work hard as a collegian, holding a number of chapter offices, including President. Her experience as a collegian prepared her for her volunteer work as a Tri Sigma alumna. Margaret began her national officer service as the Exchange Editor in 1946. She was elected our fifth National President in 1956. During her tenure, she expanded the Robbie Page Memorial and helped to secure our National Headquarters. The candidate for this award must be a senior class member with acceptable academic achievement and have exhibited outstanding contributions and service to Tri Sigma. She should be devoted to Tri Sigma and to the joy of friendship. The Margaret Freeman Everett Outstanding Senior Award winner for 2010-2011 is Kimberlee Rogers, Delta Chi, University of Virginia. Rogers is earning a double major in history and biology. She embodies Dixie’s spirit as she has worked hard to strengthen the chapter’s relationship with the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life and has opened up lines of communication with advisors as well as worked tirelessly to get a full functioning Chapter Advisory Board. She lives the values of Tri Sigma in everything she does. She is mature and responsible, and gives back to her community through her volunteerism with the Rescue Squad, Tri Sigma fundraisers and service projects, and her church community. She shows compassion and love through her hard work for

Mabel Lee Walton demonstrated a lifelong interest and encouragement to collegiate members. She was presented a silver loving cup in 1917 as an appreciation of her leadership and the Mabel Lee Walton Leadership Award was first presented in 1945. All award recipients are expected to help carry onward the increasingly challenging tasks that a progressive organization requires. The collegian should have exhibited multi-faceted leadership capabilities in her chapter, on campus and in her community. This recipient will serve on the Alumnae/ Collegiate Advisory Committee. The 2010-2011 Mabel Lee Walton Leadership Award winner is Alexandra Simon, Alpha Chi, Murray State University. Those who nominated and endorsed Simon had this to say: “Change begins with the courage and conviction of one. Our Sister has brought a seismic change to our chapter quietly, lovingly and decisively. Because of her devotion to the service of others and her intrinsic desire to make contributions to her community she has inspired our chapter to become women who volunteer for community service at a level that is unprecedented in Greek organizations on our campus.” Her nominators went on to say, “She is a person who thinks outside of the box and is very open to new ideas and is constantly seeking new acquaintances and experiences. Most importantly she is a person of good character and moral conviction!”

Global Water Brigades, an organization

Congratulations, Alexandra, and thank you. We are proud

that helps provide safe drinking water

to call you our Sister.

in Honduras. Congratulations, Kimberlee, and thank you. We are proud to call you our Sister. Kimberlee Rogers


Mabel Lee Walton Leadership Award

T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011


As an attorney, she has directed her talents and strengths towards ensuring the legal rights of individuals who might not have a voice in the mental health system. Since being Margot Hammond, Gamma Mu, received the award from National President Kaye Schendel at the 2011 New Orleans Alumnae Chapter Founders Day.

with the Mental Health Advocacy Service, her special focus has been with juvenile clients. This includes taking steps to protect the children in question regarding their educational situations, and the proper course of their mental health care.

Emily Gates Alumna Achievement Award

Being a general advocate for these young people is of great

Established in 1938, this highest alumnae award is presented

importance to Margot.

annually to the one alumna who has been an outstanding business or professional woman or contributor to her community’s welfare and progress. Each chapter, collegiate

Thanks, Margot, for your efforts and contributions to our society.

and alumnae and all national officers are encouraged to

Steadfast Alumna Award

nominate such an alumna, with the selection handled by

The term “steadfast” is a fitting tribute to many alumnae;

the awards committee and Executive Council.

however, national recognition is given annually to one

The Sigma who is commemorated with this award was a charter member of the Zeta Chapter. Active in all Zeta affairs, Emily Gates served her chapter as its vice president and president and was the Buffalo Alumnae Chapter delegate to the 1929 Santa Fe National Convention. Emily Gates gave unselfish devotion to all of her work.

individual. Since the 1962 National Convention, one alumna has been selected each year to receive this award. The winner of this award has demonstrated loyalty and has exemplified unchanging virtues in her own character. Tri Sigma’s continuing strength comes from the fine examples of these recipients.

She continued her interest in Tri Sigma having frequent

The 2010-2011 recipient of the Steadfast Alumna Award

appointments from the Executive Council.

is Marilyn Beiter, Beta Xi and Greater St. Louis Alumnae

Since the first award was presented in 1938, the winners


have been selected from many fields including music,

Her involvement in her collegiate chapter, Beta Xi, was

literacy, business, education, theater, civic enterprise, politics,

just a precursor to her longstanding service to Tri Sigma

medicine, personal management and research.

as an alumna. She has served the national organization as

The Emily Gates Alumna Achievement Award for 20102011 is awarded to Margot Hammond, Gamma Mu and New Orleans Alumnae Chapter. Since the earliest days of Tri Sigma, service to others has always been a trademark

extension chairman, ritual chairman, RPM Board Treasurer, Alumnae Editor and Historian. Marilyn has had the opportunity to attend all Conventions since 1979 and all National Officer Conferences since 1984.

of our membership. Hammond has shown that for more

As a long-standing member of the Greater St. Louis Alumnae

than 30 years. She has been steadfast in her membership

Chapter, Beiter remains a dedicated Tri Sigma and, over

in the New Orleans Alumnae Chapter. She demonstrates

the years, has held several positions. She currently serves as

the values of Tri Sigma in her daily life through her service

Panhellenic Delegate – President.

to others in many different capacities. Whether it is a child, family member, or friend calling for help, Margot has always provided that extra moment of support.

The Steadfast Alumna citation honors an alumna whose exemplary loyalty and commitment to the sorority,

From the time she was awarded a Robbie Page assistantship

for so many years, merits special

at the University of North Carolina, working toward her

recognition. Today, these principles

Master’s in Recreational Administration, she manifested

stand and Tri Sigma is grateful to

empathy for the rights of those with special needs. When

Marilyn for more than 25 years of

she saw a need for new programs to improve the lives of

steadfast loyalty and love.

those with whom she worked, she jumped right in and initiated services that were lacking.

Marilyn Beiter

T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011



Alumnae Awards Individual Outstanding Alumna of the Region Region 1 – Elaine Rashmawy Turner, Alpha Nu, Nashville Region 2 – Rhonda Regouffre Hodo, Alpha Zeta, New Orleans Region 3 – Jane Walsh Seiboldt, Beta Mu, Dallas

Outstanding Senior of the Region Region 1: Christina Lea Henderson, Zeta Rho Region 2: Melanie Ann Nichter, Alpha Chi Region 3: Angela Marie MacDonald, Eta Beta Region 4: Jackie Bhattarai, Nu Outstanding Advisor of the Region Region 2: Courtney M. Stone, Alpha Psi Region 3: Tara Bresley Purcell, Zeta Tau Region 4: Amber Krause Van Roekel, Eta Kappa

Alumna Recognition Virginia Holdren Andrews, Pi, Columbia Linda Baron, Beta Gamma, Long Beach Tarah Catherine Bjorklund, Epsilon Rho, Twin Cities Barbara Lee Buckley, Rho, Columbia


Judith Lynn Peisel Burkholder, Kappa, Denver

Member Development & Educational Programming: Epsilon Iota

Laura Hilton Culler, Epsilon Pi, Columbia Joan Pollock Gibbs, Beta Upsilon, Columbia Allison Moormann Hanson, Epsilon Rho, Twin Cities Jennifer Elaine Holtsclaw, Delta Pi, Columbia Virginia Allen McCuen, Gamma Xi, Columbia Sarah Ward Miller, Alpha Chi, Columbia

Chapter of the Year: Alpha Chi Jane E. Kinderman Standards of Efficiency: Gamma Pi Commitment to Excellence: Alpha Kappa

Creative Educational Program: Gamma Pi Panhellenic with 5 or fewer groups: Gamma Pi, Epsilon Rho Panhellenic with 6 or more groups: Alpha Phi

Abby Morse Snowberger, Alpha Beta, Northeast Ohio

Fraternity/Sorority Advisor of the Year: Meg Shamburger, University of Virginia

Winnie Wilson Warner, Alpha Beta, Northeast Ohio

Ritual and Values Programming: Beta Tau

Kirsten Bilteau Nicholas, Epsilon Alpha, Triangle Area

Website of the Year: Beta Pi


Collegiate Advisory Board of the Year: Epsilon Theta

Alumnae Chapter of the Year: Western WayneWashtenaw


Member Recruitment: Baton Rouge

Beta Delta, Beta Upsilon, Gamma Mu, Delta Theta, Delta

Excellence in Overall Programming: Nashville Outstanding Single Program: Nashville

Mu, Alpha Kappa, Alpha Theta, Alpha Mu, Alpha Xi, Omicron, Epsilon Sigma, Epsilon Upsilon, Epsilon Psi, Zeta Alpha, Zeta Delta, Zeta Gamma, Zeta Tau, Zeta Psi, Eta Beta, Eta Theta, Eta Kappa, Eta Xi, Eta Omicron, Eta Tau

Sisterhood Award for Alumnae Chapter in a College Town: Piedmont Triad

Accredited with Honors

Sisterhood Award for Alumnae Chapter not in a College Town: Dallas

Upsilon, Alpha Phi, Alpha Chi, Alpha Psi, Beta Alpha, Beta

Website of the Year: Greater Savannah Area

Gamma Pi, Delta Beta, Delta Delta, Delta Pi, Delta Chi, Delta

Nu, Pi, Chi, Alpha, Alpha Beta, Alpha Zeta, Alpha Iota, Alpha Pi, Beta Tau, Gamma Zeta, Gamma Lambda, Gamma Xi, Upsilon, Delta Psi, Epsilon Delta, Epsilon Epsilon, Epsilon

Collegiate Awards Individual Outstanding Member of the Region Region 1: Chelsea Hallett Henderson, Epsilon Chi Region 2: Breana Leigh Boyer, Alpha Phi Region 3: Ruth Corinne Owens, Delta Pi Region 4: Kyleigh Danielle Lindberg, Epsilon Iota


T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011

Zeta, Epsilon Iota, Epsilon Kappa, Epsilon Nu, Epsilon Rho, Epsilon Tau, Epsilon Chi, Eta Nu, Eta Phi, Zeta Theta, Zeta Kappa, Zeta Omicron, Zeta Pi, Zeta Rho, Zeta Upsilon, Eta Iota, Eta Pi, Eta Rho, Eta Chi, Eta Psi, Theta Alpha

Scholarships Scholarship Ring Recipients 2010-2011 Mallory Austin Angotti, Nu, University of Central Missouri

Ashley Marie Doucette, Alpha Psi, Eastern Illinois University

Jessica Elyse Mack, Beta Alpha, Northern Illinois University

Rachael Marie Antonucci, Epsilon Omicron, Illinois State University

Breanne Elizabeth Duell, Alpha Rho, Lock Haven University

Megan Claudette Mark, Theta Gamma, McKendree University

Madison Arnette, Gamma Beta, East Carolina University

Leah Elyse Durain, Eta Omicron, Sam Houston State University

Ana Leticia Marquez, Epsilon Iota, St. Mary’s University

Leslie Brooke Bagwell, Alpha Omicron, University of Central Arkansas

Rebekka Jean Evans, Gamma Beta, East Carolina University

Nicole Molnar, Epsilon Chi, Northeastern University

Allyssa Michelle Ferriell, Epsilon Delta, Gannon University

Elise Marie Obert, Eta Sigma, CulverStockton College

Kaitlin Elizabeth Flinn, Epsilon Mu, Rowan University

Sierra Marie Payne, Gamma Pi, Nicholls State University

Shannon Elizabeth Fosler, Epsilon Omicron, Illinois State University

Erin Danielle Persson, Epsilon Kappa, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

Erin Elizabeth Freund, Beta Alpha, Northern Illinois University

Kelly Eileen Quinlan, Zeta Eta, Winona State University

Courtney Layne Fricks, Epsilon Zeta, Southern Arkansas University

Kristyn Taylor Raney, Alpha Iota, Northeastern State University

Julianna Gillam, Eta Sigma, CulverStockton College

Lauren Manning Schaefer, Epsilon Phi, University of North CarolinaWilmington

Gabriela Natasha Barajas, Epsilon Omicron, Illinois State University Kelsey Bayse, Gamma Beta, East Carolina University Julie Ann Belmar, Beta Xi, Southeast Missouri State University Danielle Marie Belobraydich, Theta Gamma, McKendree University Jessica Ann Berberich, Chi, Pittsburg State University Lora Nicole Blackwell, Theta Gamma, McKendree University Brandi Lynn Boudreaux, Gamma Pi, Nicholls State University Stephanie Michelle Buffa, Epsilon Omicron, Illinois State University Kerri Ann Cahill, Theta Alpha, High Point University Leanne Christine Cary, Eta Sigma, Culver-Stockton College MacKenzie Rae Cherban, Gamma Rho, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania Sarah Kathleen Collins, Eta Tau, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Elizabeth Marie DalSanto, Delta Pi, Winthrop University Jessica Davis, Eta Sigma, CulverStockton College Jennifer C. Diaz, Nu, University of Central Missouri Kelly Lynn Dick, Alpha Chi, Murray State University

Starla Marie Graham, Theta Gamma, McKendree University Karrie Leona Guthrie, Eta Sigma, Culver-Stockton College Morgan Heine, Gamma Beta, East Carolina University Michaela Kelly Hernandez, Eta Zeta, University of Alaska-Anchorage Lacy Jo Higginbotham, Nu, University of Central Missouri Rebecca Kimchun Jalernpan, Zeta Lambda, Wingate University Christine C. James, Alpha Iota, Northeastern State University Andrea Carolyn Jones, Eta Kappa, Texas Women’s University Jessica Lynn Jurgella, Beta Pi, University of Wisconsin-Stout Kathleen Rose Kraft, Epsilon Delta, Gannon University Julianna Melane Leutz, Eta Tau, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Emily Loren Scherer, Beta Xi, Southeast Missouri State University Kathleen Beth Sickman, Alpha Alpha, Concord University Keri Ann Slepecky, Alpha Beta, Kent State University Ashley Elizabeth Smith, Eta Tau, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Alexandria Nicole Stevens, Theta Gamma, McKendree University Christy Anna Truesdale, Zeta Lambda, Wingate University Angela Marie Vecchio, Alpha Pi, Clarion University of Pennsylvania Michelle Rae Voegele, Theta Gamma, McKendree University Rachel Lynn Willis, Alpha Epsilon, Northwest Missouri State University Kayla Marie Zappi, Epsilon Upsilon, Marist College

T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011


We Are Always atHome feature

Sigma’s “Heart Home”: Walton House–The Early Days

and storage needed to be made. Kyle worked with local craftsmen to adapt existing buildings on the property, as well as a back porch for this purpose.

By Mandy Chocheles, Gamma Eta & Alumnae Editor With special thanks to Rachel Gabel Kyle, Beta Alpha

Meanwhile, Santee Dunham, Executive Secretary at the time, and Helen Cartwright, the first Walton House Hostess, moved to Woodstock. They literally “camped out” in the nearly empty house while coping with an assortment of problems. How do we move the furniture into the house that had been delivered “curbside”? How do we discourage pigeons that love to nest on the pillars of the front porch? How to cope with a heavy rain and water in the basement? With good humor, hard work, and a few tears, the house was ready for the Formal Dedication in the spring of 1966.

At the 1962 Biloxi, MS, Convention, it was enthusiastically voted by the delegates to purchase a Tri Sigma home and headquarters for Executive Office, and that it should be located in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. The search began, and by the fall of 1962 a beautiful mansion, known then as Muhlenberg Hall, had been located in Woodstock, VA. A member of the Walton family originally built it, and the house was known locally for the grand parties held there. As hard times hit, it was used as a bed-and-breakfast, and later became a hospital. Eventually it was sold to owners who restored it to its original state of elegance. Now it was for sale, and ready for Tri Sigma to furnish as the new Executive Office, and headquarters for Sigma officer conferences and collegiate gatherings. The Walton House Board was established with Lucille Morrison as Chairman; Helen Bates Cartwright as Treasurer; Eddie Schmidt, Secretary; Mary Hastings Holloway Page, Alpha, House and Grounds; and Rachel Kyle, Beta Alpha, as Decorating Consultant in charge of furnishings. Ellen Clark, Beta Alpha, also on the Committee, was a professional decorator, and had access to the showrooms at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, near where she and Kyle lived. The two of them spent many a day walking the long halls of the Mart, from one showroom to another, where they were able to coordinate furniture pieces, rugs, wallpaper and accessories, visualizing how they would fit into the rooms at Walton House. They found many antique furnishings, and were given gifts by generous members of Tri Sigma. The Craft House in nearby Harrisonburg was a primary source for authentic reproductions of beds, high boys, the dining room sideboard and chairs. Since Walton House was to also have room for our expanding National Office Headquarters, some provision for office space


T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011

It was a very special occasion. Mabel Lee Walton, Gamma and Omega, was able to be present, as well as the entire Board, to welcome the many guests and enjoy the new Sigma home and office headquarters. That summer, during the Roanoke Convention, a day trip to Woodstock and tour of Walton House was for scheduled for all Convention attendees. Kyle remained as Decoration Consultant on the Board until Morrison retired, and then became chairman for a nine-year term. For a number of years, she spent a few months each spring as Hostess at Walton House. Tri Sigma has been fortunate to have had a continuing number of Sigma volunteers, along with our present Executive Director, Marcia Cutter, Beta Gamma, who dedicate their time and energy to preserving the “heart home” of Sigma Sigma Sigma.

No Place Like Home Marcia Cutter, Beta Gamma and Executive Director It has been known by many names: Executive/EO Office, National Headquarters/NHQ, Heart Home, Mabe’s House, Walton House, and Central Office. It is actually Tri Sigma’s home, the Mabel Lee Walton National Memorial Headquarters and how appropriate to once again write about Tri Sigma’s official home in conjunction with this issue’s theme – “Home Is Where Sigma Is.”

ΣΣΣ Head Buy quarters a Cam Brick paig n

• Kaye Schendel, Gamma Phi – 20 pillows

•B  onnie Rainey, Alpha Sigma and Beth Deines, Beta Kappa – hair dryer and money toward the purchase of a washer/dryer • Fort Wayne Alumnae – lamps •D  enver Alumnae – money toward purchase of drapes • Central Florida Alumnae – refurbished sign • Northern Virginia Alumnae – artwork

I’ve called many places home, but none like Walton House, residing in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. There is nothing so peaceful and beautiful as looking out my office window and gazing at the beautiful mountains or listening to the local church bells playing “How Great Thou Art” at noon time. Tri Sigma has lived in the Valley for close to 50 years and we never tire of answering the knock at the front door and taking whomever is on the other side on a tour, or listening to them telling us they’ve driven by for years and wanted to see inside; or when they tell me they were born here (when it used to be a hospital); or greeting new and familiar Sigma Sisters. We’ve greeted more than 150 visitors in the last 12 months. When will you visit Tri Sigma’s home? Walton House is funded by member dues and fees, Buy-ABrick campaign, member/chapter donations and gifts and the Legacy Fee, which is a $5 fee paid by each undergraduate member each year. This typically covers normal and routine operating expenses. Special projects and major repairs come from Tri Sigma’s operating funds. Individual members and Alumnae Chapters have graciously supported Walton House though donations or gifts. Recently, we received these items from the following individuals and chapters:

Individuals or Chapters can check the Walton House Wish List on our website to see other opportunities to make a gift to Walton House. And then there is our “Buy-A-Brick Campaign” which enables individuals to purchase a brick as an honorarium or memorial. These bricks are added to our Sisterhood Walk. We have a few spaces left – have you bought a brick yet? Our major project this year was to renovate the third-floor bathroom. Only those who knew what it once looked like could appreciate the complete renovation, including a built-in pantry and a wonderful new toy – a stackable washer and dryer. Oh, what a luxury! A big thank you to Sigmas for this gift. If you’ve never been to Walton House, I urge you tour at and click “Meet Us” to see for yourself. As you walk from room to room, you can feel the history (and you can also feel Mabel Lee’s eyes follow you) of Tri Sigma. Inhale the Virginia air and be comforted that Home Is Where Tri Sigma Is.

Making a House a Home By Emmy Smith, Epsilon Pi and Features Editor and Barbara Bonapfel, Rho and Housing Coordinator

Home is not where you live but where they understand you. – Christian Morgenstern Tri Sigma homes come in many forms – free-standing houses, attached houses, dorm suites, lodges, or just a single floor in a dorm. Some are owned; some are rented. Some require staff, and others may not. Some may only be a chapter room or meeting space. It’s the responsibility of the National organization and the local housing volunteers to see that the house is a safe environment that provides a welcoming atmosphere for the building of Sisterhood. The collegiate chapter members are charged with maintaining the fond memories developed by the chapter’s alumnae and preserving the living situation for those Tri Sigmas yet to come.

T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011


feature bathroom. All of the chapter meetings and rituals were held in the house, but the chapter soon outgrew the space. “My senior year, they announced that they would tear down the house that summer. It was a sad time because people loved living in the house,” said Gibson. The chapter would soon move into a bigger house on campus, but made sure they left their mark before moving on. “That fall we had an awesome recruitment! I remember the girls running up the driveway, which was the tradition, and we were all screaming. Before their initiation, the new members painted the bottoms of their feet purple and walked up the driveway to leave their mark before the university tore down the house,” remembers Gibson. Epsilon Theta has a new house now, but the memories of the first home live on.

Home Within a Room mnae d eta alu an on Th ill Gibson, il s p E err ity – e nivers Hamson, M new hous U e orp ndi the Ogleth Smith, Bra front of lle er in Miche Sarah Cart

A House Becomes a Home Epsilon Theta, Oglethorpe University, Atlanta, GA

Epsilon Nu, University of North Carolina – Greensboro For many chapters, the “house” is simply a hall in one of the university dorms. This is the case for Epsilon Nu at the University of North Carolina – Greensboro. However, the hall creates the same environment for chapter members to learn and grow together. Alumna Rachel Kaplan, Epsilon Nu, recalls living on the hall as a great opportunity to interact with other sororities in the dorm, as well as their own members through the kitchen

The house at Oglethorpe was originally a modest cinderblock house. It started out as a fraternity house but was given to the Epsilon Theta colony after the fraternity lost its charter. “It was a real mess,” remembers Merri Gibson, Epsilon Theta and President of the Atlanta Alumnae Chapter. “The Sisters in the colony really had their hands full shampooing the carpet, cleaning, and painting every room. But the house was a must have! By the time I came along, they had really fixed up the house and painted the cabinets in our tiny kitchen purple with sailboats along the bottom.” The colony members worked together to get the house in order for their first fall recruitment, as well as saving money to reach their charter goals. Since there wasn’t a lot of money, they relied on parents to donate furniture. Gibson recalls the curtains her mom sewed for the house – floral patterns that were very “in” at the time. Her dad donated some old black vinyl couches from his office. Four Sisters lived in the three small bedrooms and shared a single small


T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011

Alumnae –Rachel Kaplan, Carrie Nu Epsilon N tter Varn u and edore, G amma Psi

and the parlor. “Doors were always open when Sisters were there. And the chapter room gave us our own space where we could craft, have movie nights, study, and just hang out with members that didn’t live on the hall,” says Kaplan. Even though the chapter shared some of the typical living facilities, they did have their own space. The chapter room was decorated with awards, scrapbooks and other Tri Sigma items. Members also found themselves spending more time there since it was one of just a few rooms on the hall that had air conditioning. Rachel says, “The hall was our home. Living on the hall gave us a close bond because we would spend many nights lying around in the hallway just talking and spending time with each other. It was like a slumber party every night!”

Creating A New Sigma Home As women graduate and move on, they leave their chapter homes, whether those be houses or halls or no physical structure at all. However, for many women, they find a new home within an alumnae chapter. “As hard as it was to walk into a room where I knew no one and had only chatted online with a couple of Sisters, the minute I did my life changed,” says Carrie Nutter Varnedore, Gamma Psi. “Joining the Piedmont Triad Alumnae Chapter led to very important friendships, a job, and volunteer opportunities within Tri Sigma. When I moved to North Carolina, the only person I knew was my husband. The alumnae chapter helped make NC feel like home.” Monica Cusick, Epsilon Lambda, tells of a similar experience. “When I moved to Boston, I had no friends. So, I went to an alumnae chapter meeting to make some friends. Helping to build that chapter has led me to staying involved with Tri Sigma.” As Cusick moved around the country, she contacted the local alumnae chapter first thing. “No matter where I am I in this country, I know I can find someone who I share bonds with, who I can laugh with, and who I know has my back. It’s an amazing feeling, and I wish that I could make everyone understand how different and special alumnae life is. I will never say ‘I was in a sorority’ because I AM in a sorority, faithful until death. I give much because I’ve received so very, very much. Tri Sigma is always home.”

matter what type of Tri Sigma home exists, we all have the responsibility of taking care of it – collegian and alumnae. However, not having a physical structure doesn’t mean you don’t have a home. Each woman’s heart belongs to Tri Sigma, and that’s home enough.

When Homes Are Gone… On April 27, 2011, a severe weather system spawned tornados from Canada to the Gulf Coast. Alabama was hit particularly hard, especially Tuscaloosa. Many of our Sisters were impacted by the storms – from days without power to completely losing homes. Beverly Wegwart Trowbridge, Psi, documented her experience: On Wednesday, April 27, 2011, the big event in the Trowbridge home was my 14-month-old granddaughter Jayden having tubes put in her ears. Her mother, Lisa Kay Trowbridge, Iota Alpha, arrived home from the procedure with plans to venture out again to pick up Jayden’s prescriptions. At that time, tornado warnings estimated the arrival of the twisters around 2:30 p.m., so she felt she had plenty of time. A few minutes after leaving the house, I heard radio warnings that a tornado was in the center of Madison, AL, and everyone should seek shelter. I called Lisa Kay who was still driving into town. She answered my call with “Oh, I see it coming. There’s a tree going down. I have to find shelter.” Then nothing. I began praying as I attempted to call Lisa Kay again. Finally, she answered and told me that she and Jayden were waiting out the storm at a grocery store. An hour later, they were lucky to make it home. She had to weave around downed trees and even dodge a roof, as wide as the road, that flew in front of her car. We waited out the rest of the storm in our in-home concrete shelter. We were so fortunate to remain safe through the storm. So many of our neighbors faced the loss of their homes and loved ones. Neighbors have been helping neighbors, and the outpouring of volunteer help has brought out the warm feelings of community. It reminds me so much of the warm feelings of Tri Sigma’s Sisterhood. Tri Sigma Sisters all over Alabama have been reaching out to each other to offer comfort, assistance, and prayer. Together, we will rebuild and continue moving ever forward.

Tri Sigma homes take all sorts of physical shapes, and some of those homes are community-based only. But no

SSS T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011


The Reach of Tri Sigma isWorldwide! feature

• 22 with Armed Forces postal addresses • All 50 States • 157 in Alaska • 44 in Hawaii • 35 Countries • Top 5 Populated Alumnae States: -PA (5,049) -IL (4,730) -VA (4,515) -MO (4,304) -NC (2,947)


T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011

our collegians

Taking the Lead Alpha Pi Heads Up Operation Warm Last fall the Alpha Pi Chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority and Clarion’s Panhellenic took the lead again to sponsor a fundraising event for Operation Warm. Due to 2009’s success, the 2010 campaign doubled and we were able to provide more than 120 new winter coats to children in Clarion County. This success is attributed to the Sorority’s dedication as well as Clarion’s alumni, family and friends. Operation Warm provides new winter coats to children in need through strategic and community partnerships around the country. Since 2009, Clarion University’s campaign has raised more than $3,000.00 and provided more than 200 new coats to children in Clarion County. This year we hope to raise more funds so we can provide more children the opportunity to have a new winter coat. Operation Warm’s vision is that every child, wearing a new winter coat, will be healthy, able to attend school regularly and develop strong self esteem. If you are interested in joining us with our fundraising campaign for 2011, please contact: Shannon Thomas at 610-721-6472 or via email at

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“Over a Century of Sisterhood”

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T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011


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Home is Where Tri Sigma is Collegiate Chapter Reflections ALPHA | Longwood University By Aubrey Neuf During the last week of Longwood University’s spring semester, a few of my Tri Sigma Sisters and I decided to venture to the dining hall for lunch. Eating in the dining hall with my Sisters happens multiple times a day but this particular lunch was different. It was the last time we would sit and eat together before summer break. Instead of talking about papers, exams, grades, and assignments, we were discussing where each of us hailed from. “Fairfax,” One of our graduating seniors replied, when asked where she lived. Even though Fairfax, VA, is a lot more northern than where the majority of our Sisters lived, the table immediately began calculating the distances between each of us and brainstorming for convenient meeting places and middle grounds. They were willing to drive hours up north to see her, just as she was ready to drive south to meet up with the rest of us. The conversation at that lunch table really made me realize how much each of us values our Sisterhood, to the point where we sit around a lunch table and devise a plan where all of us, from different parts of the state, can meet up to hang out during our summer vacation. College breaks are always bittersweet because even though we get a nice vacation from the stresses of school, we also are separated from each other – our family, and in other words, our home. It means distance…and also getting accustomed to day-to-day life that is strangely quiet without numerous Sisters around. The conversation at the lunch table that day also made me realize that not being with your chapter each day does not mean you no longer have a home. Sooner or later, everyone graduates college and enters into the “real world,” which means no longer going to chapter meetings on a weekly basis, calling the chapter room your home base, or having Sisters around you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s a scary thing for many Sisters to think about, but it is also reality – every year more and more Sisters graduate and adjust to a new lifestyle. However, that does not mean that they are gone forever or are no longer a part of the chapter. The more I reflect upon it, the more I do realize that Sisterhood is not the kind of thing that simply fades. Once you are a Sister, you are always a Sister. Once you are a Sigma, you are always a Sigma. Home is not a physical thing: It is a feeling. Sisters will always have a home because they will always have each other.

ALPHA RHO | Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania By Laura Kucsan Alpha Rho has always been my family while I have attended Lock Haven University. I have watched this family grow from 16 to 39 Sisters in just four short years. I have watched my big Sister graduate as well as two of my little Sisters. Now that it is my turn to graduate, I realize what the statement “Home is Where Tri Sigma is” truly means. My Tri Sigma Sisters are anywhere I am. They are in the picture frames I hang


T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011

on my wall. They are my new roommates once I graduate. They are in the real world helping me find a job. I have watched my entire chapter be initiated and took vows to love them all as my Sisters. I have also had the opportunity to see my youngest Sister become a Tri Sigma. This fall my middle Sister will hopefully be taking the same vows. Alpha Rho will always be my family no matter the chapter’s size or silly disagreements. I love my chapter and all the accomplishments we have achieved as a whole. I will truly miss these girls when I graduate in May, but I know I will never be alone.

ALPHA PHI | Central Michigan University By Bailey Klein If someone were to ask a hundred sorority women why they decided to join, the answers given would be incredibly diverse and unique to their personal life experiences. This is no different for the women of the Alpha Phi chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma. Each of us has a different reason why we decided to join Sigma. However; the common thread among us is that we wanted a home away from home and a family that would replace the one we all left when we came to college. The Sigma house is the best place for our Tri Sigma “family” to all come together. It truly is a place where every member, collegiate or alumna, can feel accepted and loved. We all strive to create a comfortable place where women of different backgrounds, new member classes, and ages can come together as one. The members of the Alpha Phi chapter strive to create an “open door” atmosphere that allows every member, even those who do not live in the house or those who have alumna status, to have the opportunity to feel as if the house is their own. On a common afternoon one would find various members sitting on the couches conversing and strengthening their Sisterly bonds. Aside from the Alpha Phi chapter house being open to all, it is also a place where all members look forward to living. Alpha Phi President, Danielle Ternullo excitingly says that, “I have been waiting to live in the Alpha Phi house since I joined Sigma in fall 2008. While the reasons each of us decided to join a sorority are different, each member of the Alpha Phi chapter has used the house and our ever-strengthening bonds to make it a home away from home that we will continue to experience even after college graduation.

ALPHA PSI | Eastern Illinois University By Allison Fenger The Alpha Psi members of Tri Sigma have made their chapter a home away from home. By working together to support one another and by giving to others, the chapter has become a family. Over the spring 2011 semester the chapter has supported multiple Sisters’ families who were in need. Most notably, we each chose to donate to the community of a member’s grandmother that was affected by a tornado. We also gave to a family whose house was destroyed by a fire. These acts of generosity strengthen our bonds of Sisterhood and make our chapter feel like a family. Members are always comforted by the idea that if we were in need, our Sisters would rally behind us and give us the support that was needed. The Alpha Psi chapter serves as the family members need when far away from home.

Delta Zeta | Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania By Michelle Kupugi Tri Sigma has always made it point to not only welcome everyone but also make people feel at home. It is clear that the bond among Sisters in Tri Sigma is strong. Everyone is always there for each other and always willing to help in any way they can. Even when we’re not all together, we still keep in touch and talk daily. After joining Tri Sigma I not only consider all of these girls Sisters, but I look at the sorority as a family, a home away from home.

Delta Upsilon | Widener University

BETA EPSILON | Western Illinois University By Michelle Kapugi As my second year as a Tri Sigma of the Beta Epsilon chapter at Western Illinois University began to wrap up, I gazed upon all of the memories that my Sisters and I had made inside our big, white house on the hill. Packing up all of my things and seeing the room become barer and barer greatly saddened me. It was hard to believe that another year had already passed me by and even harder to believe that I only had one year left. It was unbearable to imagine leaving the place that has been my home for the past two years. Then I realized, our memories did not happen because we were in that big, white house on the hill. They happened because we were together. I also realized that our bonds have become so strong, that no matter where our lives may take us, Tri Sigma will always keep us together. I realized that this house may be our home for four years, but home will always be where Tri Sigma is. Thank you, Tri Sigma, for giving me a house I will always love, memories I will never forget, and Sisters that have changed my life.

BETA PI | University of Wisonsin-Stout By Randi Hirte

College was never a choice for me. Life seemed to be saying, “Go to college and succeed. Don’t and fail.” So I did what I knew was best and started college at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in the fall of 2010. From the beginning I hated it. My home became a sanctuary for me, a place to escape; even though it was three hours away I’d jump at the chance to go back there. Going home for Christmas break was a huge tease, tempting me with the delights and safety of my shelter. After brushing the tears away and ignoring the inevitable pain, I returned to college for the spring semester. This semester was different, however, because this semester something saved me: Tri Sigma. I was welcomed into the beautiful, powerful embrace of nearly 50 Sisters, all unique, all talented, and all with fears and dreams like mine. This group of amazing girls became my new sanctuary, my home at college. Because of Tri Sigma, I now had friends for the first time at college, and even better, they were Sisters, family. We are forever linked because of love and passion for Tri Sigma. Home is where I feel safe, where feel I belong, and because of these girls, home truly is where Tri Sigma is.

At Widener University, the Delta Upsilon chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma has been, and continues to be, home to more than 100 Sisters. Whether they lived in the house for a semester, year, two years, or not at all, the “SigMansion” is considered a safety net and a home away from home for every Sister. Each room in the house is decorated to each Sister’s personality. One year a bedroom may be a deep red, and the next it is sporting a blue beach theme. Living in the house has a different meaning to each Sister. To Justine Levchak, living in the house is “…a great experience with tons of closets to go to if you need an outfit, beds to run to for comfort and advice, and Sisters everywhere to hang out and joke around with. It’s my home away from home.” The physical structure of our house is not what makes it a home, but rather the people in it. Tri Sigma has offered each Sister the support that they may not have had, family that they can call on regardless of the time of day, and Sisters bounded together by love instead of blood. Living in the house may be a great experience, but it is being a piece of that house that makes the experience even better. If the structure were to ever be knocked down, we would all still be able to find our home away from home because we build our home within our hearts.

DELTA CHI | University of Virginia By Denise Wagner The Delta Chi chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville provides a true home to its women. Sure, the beautiful Victorian-style house that serves as the sorority quarters is an added bonus, but is what’s inside that structure that provides a supportive and motivating home to the women of Delta Chi. This past semester I lived in the Delta Chi chapter house. Going into the school year, I was admittedly nervous about living under the same roof as 15 other women. As it turns out, my experience living in the sorority house was nothing short of fantastic! But it was the women and experiences within the walls of that house that made the house a home. For example, our Founders Day celebration this year was held on our front lawn and included plenty of Sisterhood bonding time, a delicious catered meal and a speech by our president, Meredith Sloan. One of our outstanding Sisters, Kim Rogers, was even honored with the Margaret Freeman Everett Outstanding Senior Award for 2010-2011! Tri Sigma became even more of a home for me, not because I lived in the physical sorority house, but because I became so much closer to my Sisters and realized that each one of them is consistently there for me with a supportive comment, an empathetic experience, or just a shoulder to lean on.

Epsilon Epsilon | The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey By Sara Young Although some women define “home” as the house they grew up in or surrounded by their immediate family members, the Sisters of the Epsilon Epsilon Chapter have found that blood doesn’t always define family; these women have created a new home in their Sisterhood. Throughout the struggles of class, work, and life, these diverse women

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our collegians have proven that no matter what they will always be there for one another. Their bonds in Sigma have brought them together and proudly resemble what family is all about. Unfortunately during the past year, one Sister’s health began to struggle. After many tests, and countless doctor’s visits, her doctor found a benign growth within the pituitary gland. Needless to say, her life was instantly filled with doctors’ appointments, medications, lots of sleep, and the constant fear of what was going to happen next. Her Sisters have been there with her throughout her battle. Although her battle isn’t quite over, she is doing well and happy to know she has more than 50 Sisters to turn whenever she needs them.

My freshman year, Oglethorpe was my school; my sophomore year, it became my home. I went through recruitment sophomore year. I already knew which house I wanted to go to, but I was one of those girls; “I just don’t have the time.” I had been approached by Sisters before, telling me that I would look great in purple, or should consider going through recruitment. However, one Sister really stood out, she exemplified Sisterhood and asked if I was going through recruitment. So, I picked up a form. That was it, a new color to add to my packed (and color-coded) planner: purple. I was now a Tri Sigma, faithful unto death.

The ladies of the Epsilon Epsilon Chapter have supported their Sister in need. If you ask any Sister, they will share how willing they are to drop everything to help out their fellow Sigmas. The love and bond they share is truly what makes the Epsilon Epsilon Chapter of Tri Sigma their home.

I have a new home. Now, our small house on Greek Row is nice, but that is not what I mean. Home is friends, and home is family, and Tri Sigma is both.

Epsilon Eta | East Stroudsburg University

By J. Vogel

By Katie Johnstone

For the Epsilon Iota chapter at St. Mary’s University, Sigma Sigma Sigma represents something different than it does for the rest of the chapters across the nation. The Epsilon Iota chapter does not have a Greek house because of the regulations set forth by the university and the county. But for our Sisters, not having a house does not mean that we do not have a home.

I have been up since 8 a.m., and I have dragged myself in and out of four hours of classes. My feet hurt from running around campus and my brain is drained to the point where I could nap on command. It’s Monday, and I still have a recruitment event, officer board meeting and a chapter meeting to go. I won’t be checking into dreamland for a long time, and the very thought of all those long hours makes me slightly depressed. My phone is exploding with emails that require my attention, forms and things I need to mail into National Headquarters. But as I recollect my sanity and arrive at our recruitment event, I hear all of my Sisters cracking up. Almost instantly after seeing their faces I find my energy again and begin to chirp into the laughter and conversation. I am now in a room full of at least 500 different girls. I didn’t know any of them before, and we are from all over the country. Some of them have thick Southern accents, and some of have tanned skin with light blonde hair. Some of them come from chapters with more than a hundred girls, where others come from chapters barely reaching 30. Some of them have traveled by car rides of eight or more hours, some of them have come in by plane, and some of them were close by in the neighborhood. This is Officer Academy. As I gaze around at the room packed with such diverse girls wearing the same letters I cherish, Tri Sigma is home. Tri Sigma is bigger than my university, East Stroudsburg University, and certainly bigger than my chapter, Epsilon Eta. Tri Sigma is home for miles and miles, for anyone and everyone. Seeing anything purple, skull and cross bones, sailboats, pearls, Care Bears, or hearing the Southern twang of our girl Carrie Underwood makes Tri Sigma home. All of these symbols only have meaning when you’re part of Sigma Sigma Sigma. Sure, you can still like all of those things without the letters across your chest, but it is the meaning that bonds all of us together. Each of these things reminds us of what we are a part of, the vows we took and the rituals that we live by. Tri Sigma is home through all of its symbols and their value.

Epsilon Theta | Oglethorpe University By Janet Wood This was it. The car was packed, I’d cried goodbye to all of my friends, given my dog that last goodbye hug and was on my way to Oglethorpe University in Atlanta. Oglethorpe University: (noun) 1. a place that I had only visited once. 2. a place where I knew no one and had no friends 3. the place I would call home for the next four years. Needless to say, I was a little intimidated. However, I had overcome the shyness I had acquired upon entering high school, and I vowed that in college, I would not fall back into it.


T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011

Epsilon Iota | St. Mary’s University

Instead, we choose to room with each other when possible, be each other’s suitemates or even share an apartment. Although we do not have a house, we see each other as often as possible by meeting in the ‘caf,’ studying in the library, walking to classes together, sharing meals or just being there. We relish in the moments when we are all in the same place because it happens to be such a rare occurrence. But this has not made our chapter weaker, it has made it stronger. It seems impossible to be part of a Sisterhood without having that common space for us to share. Even others question how we can have the full Sisterhood experience without a house. And it is an interesting phenomenon to experience. Because unless you live it every day, it is difficult to explain the overwhelming feeling of seeing a Sister who you may not have seen in a few days, a week, or even a month, just because your paths may have not crossed. But to each of us within the chapter, it is not something that is hard to manage because the whole university, all 135 acres of it, has become our home to share with one another. It seems ideal, to make our home the place that we have chosen to educate ourselves for four years (or maybe longer). For those chapters who do have a house, we say to them, embrace it! And to those chapters, who like us, do not have that privilege – we remind them to remember that our Sisterhood has created a home for us. It is a home that lives with the love we hold in our hearts for our Sisters, whether they are near or far. We have more than 60 members who have been united from across Texas, other states (near and far), and even international countries such as Belize and Nicaragua. But being part of a greater Sisterhood has allowed us to feel at home with any one of our Sisters. Although we may not have the physical “home away from home,” we have something that means just as much to us…a home within each other.

Epsilon Omicron | Illinois State University By Shauna Ubersox We were reminded that home is not just a place we live but our Sisterhood that lives in our hearts. Proof of the concept of ‘home’ was brought to our door in April when a fraternity house in our Greek community burned down. As our Greek community and peers rose to the occasion and worked to provide for the men who lost so much, it became even more evident that home is wherever we are together. The bonds of Tri Sigma provide a permanent place for all of us.

Zeta Rho | Johnson & Wales University By Sarah Ullrich The Zeta Rho Chapter located in Rhode Island has Sisters that commute from 10 minutes away to Sisters who are from Puerto Rico. Those who are far from their families find a home within our chapter. The bond we have within our Sisterhood has made us a family. No matter how far from home a Sister may be, they can be sure that they’ll feel at home when with Sisters. Family traditions from home are carried to our sorority by our Sisters. For example, some Sisters are from big families who have Sunday dinner. Occasionally Sisters will get together before chapter meetings or even during the week to have a “family dinner” and spend time with loved ones as they would back home. After winning Sorority of the Year, we celebrated together with a potluck.. Sisters made dishes that they normally would enjoy with their families and got to share a piece of their home life with all of us. While Providence may not be the original home for all Sisters, they can be sure that when we’re all together, it will feel like home.

Eta Alpha | Stephens College

Despite our different backgrounds, schools, and majors, we managed to find each other through our passion and dedication for our work, school, and community. Unlike most families, we forge bonds in the woodshop and studios as well as around the dinner table. When you live and work together 24 hours a day, you learn that your bonds of Sisterhood are deeper than you could have ever imagined. We celebrate birthdays, holidays, and triumphs together and support our extended families in times of loss. The Breast Cancer Walk and MS Walk have both become traditions in our chapter, especially because each has deeply affected our Sisters’ lives. Traditions like those remind us of why we joined Tri Sigma, even when we are overwhelmed with senior projects, internships and work. Whether we are from the Tri‐State area, the West Coast or a foreign country, Tri Sigma has become our family for life. The general artist population may not understand Greek life, but it remains clear on campus that we have become our own inspiring and encouraging family unit because of our positive presence, attitude, and traditions, not just our royal purple and white wardrobe, although it doesn’t hurt!

By Ana Avila

Theta Gamma | McKendree University

For some time now I had felt alone, lost, and in some sense I had given up. I had given up on school, family, love, life and myself. I was overwhelmed with school, work, and family problems that in the process of always helping others I had forgotten to help myself. I came upon Tri Sigma by complete accident and to be completely honest, I didn’t expect to love it as much as do. From day one my Sisters were nothing but true, real, kind, loving and humble. I had found peace of mind and I felt whole once again.

By Arife Balazi

“Home is where Tri Sigma is” because my Sisters made me believe in myself again, they have not only opened there arms to me but their hearts as well. I love all my Sisters for all that they are, for loving not only themselves but loving everyone and everything with all their might, and for always lending a helping hand.

On Saturday, April 9, 2011, we became the Theta Gamma Chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma. On this perfectly cloudless day, tears were shed, lives were changed, and history was made. In the week that led us to become the only national sorority at McKendree University, we joined together as a band of Sisters in more ways than I can explain in this article. We supported each other through the hardships, dried each other’s tears when the stress was too much to bear, pushed each other over every mountain that was placed before us and hand in hand, accept the responsibilities that came with the name we had worked toward for so long. As Caitlyn Westfall likes to say, “We are the EXACT definition of Sisterhood”. We are there to support, encourage, and push each other to strive to do the absolute best possible. The Theta Gamma Chapter is made up of 34 different women, each with her own story, her own struggles, her own worries and her own dreams and desires. But we all have one thing in common: We are Sigma Sigma Sigma.

Eta Tau | Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University By Katherine Iverson Many collegiate women seek something more than classes and casual friends, especially at a school that is predominantly male. Tri Sigma can provide what these women are looking for; like, personal growth, lifelong friends, campus involvement and, most of all, a home away from home. At the Eta Tau chapter, we have Sisters from not only all over the United States, but Sisters from all over the world. The saying “home away from home” becomes very important when some of our Sisters actual families are thousands of miles away. Whenever a Sister has a problem or needs help, all she has to do is send out a mass text and in no time there is a reply and help is on the way. “Home is where Tri Sigma is” also goes farther than the collegiate level. Eta Tau has a close connection with our local alumnae chapter and stays involved with them throughout the year. And even though all of our Sisters are very busy, we always find comfort in knowing that we can always rely on each other and have somewhere to go when we’re not near our actual families.

Eta Phi | Pratt Institute

By definition, a home is a house, apartment or form of shelter that people live in with their families. However, a home is so much more than that. Home is where you will find the people that love, support, and accept you for all you are and push you to strive for all you can be. Home is where the heart is. It is Tri Sigma.

I have dreaded writing this article since the day I found out about it, not because I did not want to or because I was too busy, or because writing is not one of my best strengths, but because I am at a loss for words as to what Tri Sigma means to me. But here goes. I joined, like almost everyone else, because I wanted to become involved. I wanted to be a part of something bigger. As a freshman, joining Tri Sigma was looking to make friends, meet new people, and build relationships. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined what was in store for me. With Tri Sigma, I have found a group of women who will always be there for me. To quote Ashley Boyles, “I can completely be myself. I know that even when I am in a crazy hyper mood I won’t be judged.” With Tri Sigma, I have found a place where I belong. I have found a HOME!

By Chloe Kalna New York City can hardly be classified as homey. People wander in and out of the city every day to create a new life or leave an old one behind. Your experience is defined by the adventures you have with the friends you meet. Sometimes, with a little luck, you can turn a cold, impersonal city into a home. Lucky for me, I found at least fifty reasons, to consider New York my home, thanks to my Sisters in Tri Sigma at Pratt Institute. T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011


Leadership Volunteer Leadership

our leadership

How do we, as members of Tri Sigma, define character? Is it something that can be defined and explained outside of our ritual?

We think so. Our organization is called to create an environment where women can grow, learn, and develop skills for a lifetime of Sigma service. Character is so important to us as Sigmas that the theme of our Spring 2012 issue of the Triangle is “Women of Character.” And, recently, a number of Sisters participated in a program focused on character development.

A group of 24 advocates gathered together in early May in Chicago, Il., to participate in the Character Counts! Character Development Seminar – an intense, three-day workshop designed to provide a cornerstone of ideas on how we might integrate Character Counts into the Tri Sigma culture. It was very dynamic, and included workshop discussions, video, group projects and presentations, resource materials and culminated in a brainstorming session where the advocates discussed how the Character Counts! Program might be implemented into Tri Sigma. What is next for Character Counts!? After participating in the dynamic training, a select number of planning team members were named as lead advocates. The Character Counts! Advocacy Team exists to provide a vision, create an implementation plan, curriculum development, and training for Sigma Sigma Sigma’s national partnership with the Josephson Institute and Character Counts! (CC!) Team members were selected after an application process, and/or are identified as change agents within the organization. Various duties for these women include familiarizing themselves with CC! curricula and the Tri Sigma initiatives developed in support of this new partnership, serving as a facilitator and/or trainer at CC! events, and provision of feedback to CC! Lead Advocates about incorporation into Tri Sigma’s larger structure and culture. We can assure you that as we explore the potential for Character Counts!, we will be purposeful and mindful of the needs of our women. We certainly know the conversation will be valuable and could help to shape our choices. The future, as always, is defined by our choices. We can continue to be innovative as we look for avenues to develop women of friendship, character and conduct.

Impacting the Fraternal Experience 2011 NIC/NPC Congressional Visits Greek Leaders make a difference on their campuses, in their community and in government as well. Each year, the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) and the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) send fraternity and sorority leaders throughout the country to Washington, D.C. to participate in Capital Hill visits. During this time, both student leaders and fraternity and sorority alumnae representatives meet with today’s political leaders to build Greek/government relations and to lobby for support of and passage of legislation which directly impacts the value of fraternal life. Our goal is to help gain support of legislation that will help make Greek housing safer and more affordable through the Collegiate Housing & Infrastructure Act (CHIA). Alexandria Hassien, Alpha Phi, Central Michigan University, and Jenna Roney, Epsilon Phi, University of North Carolina – Wilmington, were selected to represent Tri Sigma as student lobbyists and participated in the 2011 NIC/NPC Congressional Visits. On April 12, 2011, they had the incredible opportunity to meet not only fellow student lobbyists from colleges and universities across the country representing their own sororities and fraternities, but also senators, congressmen/women and their staff representatives. Student participation contributes greatly to the success of our endeavors as does alumnae support. Kaye Schendel, Gamma Phi, National President, Laura Sweet, Alpha Sigma and NPC Delegate, and Natalie Averette, Gamma Beta and NPC Alternate Delegate, also represented Tri Sigma in lobbying for support of the most important legislation affecting collegiate housing. After a little sightseeing in the nation’s capital, participants experienced training and preparation for a day in the world of politics, with the culmination of their efforts being a full, rigorous, yet exhilarating day of lobbying on Capitol Hill.


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our alumnae

Alumnae News Atlanta, GA Local alumnae and the Epsilon Theta collegians gathered for Founders Day 2011 to celebrate the awarding of two Golden Violets, as well as an award for their Chapter Advisory Board. At a separate event, CAB members Monica Cusick, Epsilon Lambda, Merrill Gibson, Epsilon Theta, and Chris Quackenbush, Delta Upsilon, represented the alumnae at the annual luncheon of the Atlanta Alumnae Panhellenic Association (AAPA). They proudly watched outstanding Epsilon Theta member Sarah Daniels receive an AAPA scholarship. The AAPA annually awards two scholarships each for undergraduate and graduate studies to outstanding NPC Greek Women, and two scholarships to graduating high school seniors who plan to attend universities with NPC sororities. Cincinnati and Dayton, OH Members of both chapters gathered for Founders Day 2011 to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the Dayton chapter. Several Golden Violets were in attendance. Members of these two groups look forward to their annual reunion and celebration of longtime Sisterhood.

Eastern North Carolina alumnae help with the needs of the Ronald McDonald House in Greenville, NC.

Eastern North Carolina, NC This newly chartered chapter has been busy during the past year. Members have been collecting can tabs for the Ronald McDonald House in Greenville, NC. The tabs are turned in to a local recycling facility for money towards the home. The Sigma alumnae were able to take a tour of the home and meet with

some of the family members who need to use the facility while their children were being treated at Pitt Memorial Hospital.

Charter members of the First State (Delaware) Alumnae Chapter celebrate receiving their charter from Megan Brandt Gonzalez, Alumnae Chapter Coordinator (back row, center).

First State, De Another new alumnae chapter made its first Founders Day a special one. Their guest speaker was Christine Barabasz, Communication and Foundation Relations chairman for the fund for Children’s Health for the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE. Alumnae from various collegiate chapters made plans to attend a formal affair at the hospital during the summer. In June 2013, alumnae will participate in the opening of the newest Children’s Hospital facility in Orlando, FL, during Tri Sigma’s next National Convention. Fort Wayne, IN Since there are no active collegiate chapters of Tri Sigma in the state of Indiana, the Fort Wayne Alumnae Chapter has been reaching ”across the border” to the women of Defiance College in Defiance, OH. A strong relationship has developed between the Eta Iota chapter and Fort Wayne alumnae. The two groups have been meeting together for several years to celebrate Founders Day. The Eta Iota women all received a gift bag full of goodies to help them with their finals week. Each collegiate woman also receives a goody bag to share with a non-Sigma friend, to promote lasting friendships that may grow into Sisterhood for new Tri Sigma women.

T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011


our alumnae

Alumnae News Greater Dallas, TX This chapter, which proudly boasts of 65 years of continued activity, enjoys its ongoing relationship with the Eta Kappa chapter at Texas Women’s University in Denton, TX. Members meet with the collegiate women at the university for Founders Day and Sisterhood activities. Younger members of the alumnae chapter are assuming leadership roles, allowing the Sigma spirit and reputation in Dallas to move ever forward.

Recently, during National Child Life Month, the alumnae chapter was recognized by the hospital as one of their most generous supporters. Dondi Buchrucker, Alpha Lambda, represented the chapter at the award ceremony at the Eighth Annual Child Life Skills exchange, which is a gathering of Child Life Professionals from Southern California, who share innovations and techniques for providing the best possible care to young patients, siblings and their families.

Harrisburg, PA Another alumnae chapter traveled across state lines when members of the Harrisburg, PA, alumnae group went to Shepherdstown, WV, to celebrate Founders Day with the Beta Delta Chapter at Shepherd University. An additional trip included a visit with the Alpha Pi chapter at Clarion University, Clarion, PA. During both of the visits, alumnae chapter members held Circle Degree for graduating seniors. Several members traveled to support the Tri Sigma representative for a presentation at Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA. Plans are in the works for the 50th anniversary celebration of this busy chapter.

Metropolitan Washington, DC Forty Sigmas from Maryland and Virginia enjoyed fellowship and the celebration of many years as Sigma Sisters at the recent Founders Day 2011, held in College Park, MD. Five Golden Violets were honored and presented with living miniature violets and purple candles. Lynn Minnelli, Epsilon Delta, presided over this year’s event, which alternates between the Northern Virginia and Metro Washington, DC, groups. One of the projects that the Washington chapter has been supporting for the past three years is to provide for the young mothers at St. Ann’s Infant and Maternity Home in Hyattsville, MD. They give supplies needed for the infants, as well as gift cards to retail stores such as Target, Kohl’s, Sears, Walmart and others. The gift cards provide the young mothers an opportunity to shop for their own child.

Indianapolis, IN In March 2011, the Indianapolis Suburban Alumnae chapter hosted a fair-trade fundraiser in celebration of International Women’s Day. It was held at The Village Experience, a socially responsible fair trade and travel organization. The meaning and purpose of the organization was presented, as well as an opportunity to speak with the leaders of this female-run business. Alumnae members were able to discuss the impact that fair trade and responsible travel can have on communities abroad. A variety of handmade fair trade products supporting women’s groups from around the developing world were available for purchase, with a percentage of each sale donated to Sigma Sigma Sigma’s philanthropic efforts. Long Beach, CA For many years the Long Beach Alumnae have supported Miller Children’s Hospital of Long Beach by making stuffed dolls and lap robes for surgery patients. They have received grants from the Sigma Sigma Sigma Foundation to support this effort.


T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011

Lynette Medeiros (Epsilon Epsilon) and Amy Skinner (Eta Nu), worked on making blankets for the TN Linus Project with No. Jersey alumnae Sisters. Nashville,

The Nashville Alumnae Chapter was honored this Founders Day with two national alumnae awards. Emily Ellis, Gamma Beta and Sigma National Vice President presented the awards for Excellence in Overall Programming and Outstanding Single Program. Connie Steely Herrell, Alpha Chi and Nashville Alumnae president, proudly accepted the awards for her chapter Sisters.

Connie Steely Herrell (Alpha Chi), Nashville Alumnae Chapter president, receiving overall Programming and Outstanding Single Program awards from Emily Eure Ellis (Gamma Beta) and National Vice President.

Northwest Arkansas, AR Members of this chapter have the right idea! “Becoming a member of an alumnae chapter opens the door to a new Tri Sigma home after graduation, with a new family diverse in age, background and talents. As an alumnae member, you will find that this new group of Sisters teaches you more and helps you continue the growth that began in your collegiate chapter. In the NWA Alumnae Chapter, we are lucky to have this bond, and welcome any area Sister to join us as an addition to our family.” Thank you, Northwest Arkansas alumnae for sharing these thoughts.

Front: Debbie Ward, Jane Wiswall, Jessica Pope. Back: Patsy Cornelius, Brandi Moreira, Darlene Thibodeau, Carolyn Walker, Amy Alexis

North Jersey, NJ The North Jersey chapter knows where the heart of a home can be found: in the company of Sigma Sisters. The chapter recently gathered for a Sisterhood retreat in Lake George, NY, to enjoy food, shopping and views of the beautiful lake at sunset, as well as work on some philanthropic efforts. The Sisters worked together at the retreat to raise money to purchase a service dog for a young boy with epilepsy by making doggie treats for the local shelter. Chapter members also made homemade blankets for homeless children, often referred to as blankets for the Linus Project. Eleven women received the Circle Degree at the 2011 Founders Day luncheon at The Brownstone, in Paterson, NJ, where scenes from “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” have been filmed. No “famous” housewives were spotted! Northern Virginia, VA This busy chapter has been a longtime supporter of Bethany House Women’s Shelter, a program that provides accommodations for victims of domestic abuse, by donating items for the women and children affected. This year, the chapter visited Joseph’s Coat, a thrift shop which supports Bethany House, to set up the shop’s annual Christmas store. All the items, such as toys and clothes, are distributed directly to needy families. The chapter members had the opportunity to have a hands-on experience with this program, which they found to be an overwhelmingly humbling and rewarding experience.

Golden Violets, Mary Sue Nelson (Alpha Upsilon) and Shirley McKinley (Alpha Upsilon) at Northern Virginia Founders Day 2011.

T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011


our alumnae

Alumnae News Pittsburgh, PA Sigmas from around the region gathered in Dormont, PA, to celebrate Founders Day 2011, as well as to confer the Circle Degree on five women. Just two weeks later, another Circle Degree ceremony was conducted, this one in conjunction with the Beta Theta chapter at the University of Pittsburgh. Twelve women received the final part of membership Ritual. New chapter officers were elected, and area alumnae are encouraged to follow the group’s activities on their Facebook page, “Sigma Sigma Sigma Pittsburgh Alumnae Chapter.” Sarasota/Manatee counties, FL Sigmas from several communities in Florida, including Venice, Sarasota, Sun City Center, Fort Myers, Clearwater, Tampa and Bradenton, gathered together to celebrate Founders Day 2011. Jacque Lewis, Janet Tucker, Margaret Benthall, Gift baskets were raffled with the Gail Brown, Fay Donaldson, Allene Hazeltine, Donna Johnson, Lois Kurtz, Margretta Murphy, proceeds going to Jeanne Moore, Liz Nyman, Susan Struble the Sigma Sigma Sigma and Stacy Steindorf Foundation. A highlight of the event was the presentation of the Golden Violet to Jeanne Moore, Alpha Epsilon, of the Sarasota/Manatee Counties chapter. Savannah, GA This chapter continues its close relationship with the Eta Rho chapter at Armstrong Atlantic University in Savannah. After celebrating Founders Day with their collegiate Sisters, the alumnae enjoyed sharing a “down home” breakfast, and made plans for a summer barbeque with families and potential alumnae initiates. The chapter is steadfast in their assistance with Eta Rho’s formal recruitment, as well as CAB support during the school year. They are also busy with weddings and baby announcements within their chapter.


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Shreveport, LA In the spring, three Shreveport alumnae traveled to east Texas to visit our beloved Janet Pace Boswell, Alpha Zeta. Boswell served Tri Sigma in national service for many years and was a Left to right: Trish Allen Windham, member of the Houston, Tommie Blackbourne Simmons, Janette Pace TX, Alumnae Chapter Boswell (Alpha Zeta) and Natalie McDivitt Brock (Beta Mu) and is now a member of the Shreveport, LA, Alumnae Chapter. She is now retired and living with her sister Geraldine in Jefferson, TX. The ladies took flowers and a cake to help Boswell celebrate her birthday. Geraldine and her daughter, Paula, treated them to a delicious salad lunch. Another visit is on the horizon. Tucson sunshine, AZ A local fundraiser sponsored by the Tucson Daily Citizen is supported by this busy alumnae group. At their Holiday dinner in December, they continued their annual tradition of donating to “Send a Kid to Camp” charity. This allows children from low-income and military families to attend summer camp. The newspaper publishes the names of donors, noting “in honor of Sigma Sigma Sigma alumnae.” Founders Day 2011 was celebrated with an old-fashioned Cake and Ice Cream Social.

Back row: Megan Moore Holland (Eta Rho), Magan Harsh Dobson (Eta Rho), Jennifer Martin (Eta Rho), Sarah Bagby (Eta Rho). Front Row: Alexys Long (Eta Rho), Laura Pfeltz (Delta Omicron), Amanda Robinson Futrell (Eta Rho) with Sigma legacy Rosalie Futrell

Alumnae Achievements Linda Dietrich Farris, Beta Gamma, and an active member of the Muncie, IN, Alumnae Chapter, received the 2010 National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts’ (NAME) highest award for members, the Academy of Honor, at the association’s national Convention in Seattle. The prestigious award recognizes the creativity, quality of work as an artisan, commitment to the hobby of dollhouse scale miniatures, and service to NAME. Farris has her work in private and public collections and museums. She teaches her crafts in workshops and classes, and markets her creations at miniature/dollhouse hobbyist shows throughout the U.S. Her work has won many awards in juried competition, most recently for her scale creations of the unique “Dolls and Dragons Toy Shop,” and the finely detailed dressing room from “Phantom of the Opera”. Epsilon Alpha alumna Bridget Ryan Homer won a community award for her photography business. The Brentwood Press recognized the Brentwood, CA, resident, and mother of three, for Photography for 2010 with the GOLD Award. She has been credited for using her photo-journalistic style to “transform any space into a work of art, and she has a knack for helping people feel comfortable so that she can record those real emotions in the moment.” One of her award-winning ads featured an Epsilon Alpha alumna Sister, Jennifer Couts Gandara and her twins, Katelynn and Jackson. You can view samples of Bridget’s work at Sherry Sutton Curtiss, Epsilon Nu and Sigma’s Extension Team and Regional Support Team for Region 3, recently received the Honors of the North Carolina Speech Language and Hearing Association. This is the highest award given to a member of the Association. Curtiss is a Speech-Language Pathologist with Nash Health Care Systems. She is also the proud mom of Sigma legacies Eden and Gemma, and a longtime dedicated Tri Sigma volunteer. Jan Martin, Iota, began her leadership career while attending the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. She was studying to be a teacher, and held the office of Iota chapter president during both her junior and senior years. After transitioning from teaching to business, in the field of information systems (with an MBA in Finance from Regis University), Martin began to assume leadership roles in many community activities in the Colorado Springs area: the Arts Commission, the Pioneers’ Museum, Ronald McDonald House Charities, the National Association of Women Business Owners, and as a Tri Sigma alumna.

In January 2007, Martin announced her candidacy for an open position on the City Council, against six strong candidates — all male! She captured a decisive win in this city of about half a million people, and was re-elected to her second term in April 2011. She now serves as the President Pro-Tem of the Council. Martin states,” My desire is to serve the people of Colorado Springs and give back to the community which I call home.” You can read more about her and the Colorado Springs City Council at Alexis Sumner, Beta Tau, of Grayling, MI, was recognized on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on May 10, 2011, for her 210-pound weight loss, something she had achieved in less than three years. On what was one of the final TV episodes of the incredibly popular show, 100 individuals appeared, all of whom had lost more than 100 pounds, for a combined weight loss of almost 18,000 pounds! Sumner was one of 31 individuals who was brought to Chicago for a week of activities, which included a 10K run, and classes in Zumba and healthy cooking. Her Detroit alumnae Sisters are extremely proud of her. Regions Bank is pleased to announce Jan Culotta Clayburn, Gamma Pi, has been named Banking Center Manager for the bank’s Ave D location in Marrero, LA. She will be responsible for enhancing and increasing consumer and business relationships with the bank in the region. A banking industry veteran with more than eight years of experience, Clayburn previously worked for JP Morgan Chase. She is a graduate of Nicholls State University and is licensed in Life Health, Series 6 and 63.

Jan Culotta Clayburn

T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011



our alumnae

New Alumnae Chapters! Minot, ND Alumnae Chapter

FIRST STATE Alumnae Chapter

Congratulations to the Minot, North Dakota Alumnae Chapter, newly chartered on March 28, 2011. Charter members of this chapter are:

Congratulations to the First State Alumnae Chapter, newly chartered

Julie Kouba Benson, BI

Louise Felgengauer Archdeacon, AL

Barbara Gehrke Blikre, BI

Kathleen Manuele Brown, BK

Melissa McGowan Bliss, BI

Karen Straub Conte, AM

Linda Wagner Christianson, BI

Julie Ann Demgen, GS

Cheryl Rupp Hagar, BI

Angela Gose Feldman, BG

Sue Ellen Davis Johnson, BI

Elizabeth Belanger Fensterwald, AW

Dianne Maupin, BI

DiAnne Gatts, R

Jane Mindt, BI

Valarie Vail Gray, R

Sandra Loomis Myers, BI

Pamela Koenig, GI

Jo Ann Odum Aldrich, U

Debbie Steig Reinke, BI

Margaret Lehr, AK

Deborah David Schultz, BI

Beatrice Hemenway Parler, BA

Anna Shomento, BI

Maryann Larkin Shovestul, AT

Doris Slaaten, BI

Kristin Eckert Tipton, AW

Michelle Kincheloe Tollefson, BI

Philadelphia Area Alumnae Chapter Congratulations to the Philadelphia Area Alumnae Chapter, newly chartered on January 26, 2011. Charter members of this chapter are: Jennifer Endress Bowden, LZ Jessica Dowches, ZL Cheryl Etkin, AR Jena Lynn Mueller Harris, AR Leah McConnell, L Kate Menezes, EC Randi Pillion, LN Jessica Schmitt, AR Gina Spinelli, AR Shannon Thomas, AR


on March 28, 2011. Charter members of this chapter are:

T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011

Alumnae Initiates October 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011 Chapter Name Alpha Omicron Alpha Chi Gamma Psi Delta Pi Epsilon Rho Zeta Epsilon Eta Iota Theta Beta Theta Beta Theta Beta Theta Beta Theta Beta Iota Alpha Iota Alpha Iota Alpha Iota Alpha Iota Alpha

Initiation Date Name 12/5/10 NoraAnn Fisher Cummings 10/14/10 Debra Reeves Dick 10/22/10 Amanda Jo Thompson 2/26/11 Pamela Harvie Varraso 10/22/10 Laura Lynn Nielson 4/10/11 Lindsey Peters Jorge 10/24/10 Kimberly Ann Bercaw 11/20/10 Stacy Seibel Griffiths 11/20/10 Nicole Elizabeth Hosmer 11/20/10 Joanne Denise Jaruzel 11/20/10 Krystal L. Long 11/20/10 Danielle R. Wetherell 10/16/10 Judith Weinert Alspaugh 10/16/10 Katie Decker 10/24/10 Anjanette Scott Hauserman 10/22/10 Lori Beth Truxton Kmet 10/30/10 Andrea Axelson Lewis

Special Celebrations: Reunions & Anniversaries Several Sigma alumnae chapters celebrated special anniversaries recently. The Dayton, OH, chapter turned 85 years young.

Alpha Gamma alumnae gathered in Hays, KS, for

They shared Founders Day with alumnae from the

Homecoming 2010. The women took a tour of their

Cincinnati area.

old sorority house, which is now a dorm for a Catholic

The Ft. Wayne, IN, chapter held a gathering of women from Indiana, Michigan and Ohio to continue their yearlong observance of their chapter’s founding 65 years ago. Founders Day found members sharing not only good food, but scrapbooks, stories and photographs. Their commitment to local causes include donating books to Kate’s Kart, which supplies free books to hospitalized children, the Mental Health Gift Lift, serving the

boys’ high school. A picnic at a local park gave them the opportunity to meet one another’s families, catch up on personal news, and enjoy good food and friendship.

Almost any time a group of Sigma alumnae Sisters get together, it can be called a reunion. But some meetings are more special than others.

needs of those living with developmental disabilities, as well as supporting food pantries and local schools.

Alpha Omicron alumnae, representing five decades of

The New Orleans, LA, alumnae chapter had a surprise

Tri Sigma, gathered on the campus of the University of

guest at their 65th anniversary Founders Day luncheon:

Central Arkansas on a chilly spring day. Everyone

National President Kaye Schendel, Gamma Phi, traveled

agreed that the weather didn’t matter, just like the

south from Wisconsin on a beautiful spring day to honor

generations and years don’t matter when Sigmas are

the chapter, as well as to present two special awards.

together. The collegiate Sisters of the Alpha Omicron

Margot Hammond, Gamma Mu, was the recipient of

chapter opened their chapter suite to the 22 alumnae,

the Emily Gates Award, and Rhonda Regouffre Hodo,

stories were shared, and plans for a third-annual reunion

Alpha Zeta, was awarded the Alumna of the Region.

were already being discussed. Officers were elected

This chapter continues its service to the Gamma Mu

for the coming year. This was indeed an unforgettable

chapter by providing CAB personnel, as well as

example of Sigmas coming home.

organizing an outstanding annual calendar of varied programs for its members.

New Orleans Alumnae Chapter members join National President Kaye Schendel on the balcony of Ralph’s on the Park, the location for their 65th anniversary Founders Day celebration.

T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011


our alumnae

Sigma Sisters Getaway Mandy Chocheles, Gamma Eta and Alumnae Editor The greeting “Ahoy, Alumnae!” quickly changed to “Enjoy, Alumnae!” on Friday, June 10, 2011, as 13 Sigmas – and one husband – set sail on the Carnival cruise ship Imagination. Participants had traveled from several different states to sail from Miami to Nassau, Bahamas. Executive Council members Kaye Schendel, Gamma Phi, and Bonnie Rainey, Alpha Sigma, were among the travelers who dined together for the three nights of the cruise and then participated in different activities during the day. A one-day stopover in Nassau gave everyone the opportunity to enjoy the island’s tax-free shopping, visit the breathtaking Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, enjoy local Bahamian seafood and nightlife, or relax on gorgeous beaches. Aboard ship, there were delicious meals, shopping and entertainment opportunities, and the gathering of Sigma Sisters at various locations on the ship, usually on comfortable deck chairs overlooking the Caribbean. All too soon, the Imagination docked back in Miami on Monday morning. Several people stayed on to enjoy the South Beach area; others had come to Florida early in the week. But as usual, new friends had been made, contact information exchanged, and plans discussed about meeting again at future Sisters Getaways. If you would like to participate in future trips, be on the lookout for information via e-mail, the Sigma Facebook page, “Alumnae Update”, and our website and blog. Plans are now being made for a Getaway to Charleston, SC, in April 2012 and the San Francisco/East Bay, CA, area in July 2012.

Toledo Alum Chapter The Toledo Alumnae Chapter participated this spring in a project to benefit the children living in a local (Monroe, MI) homeless shelter. Members purchased pastel-colored Easter baskets and assorted items to fill the baskets. Items included Easter candy (of course!) but also those things that homeless children may not have such as socks, crayons, books, drawing pads, small toys, stuffed animals, and tissue packets. Fifteen completed baskets were delivered to the shelter the week prior to Easter. The picture shown here was taken April 16th at our Founders Day luncheon and depicts the nine members who attended Founders Day holding their basket. Shown at left: Ardath Franklin Olsen (Omicron), Carolynn Berger Newman (Gamma Delta), Jayne Hogrefe Werbylo (Omicron), Beth Jobse Demerritt (Gamma Delta), Ann Nickel-Swinkey (Gamma Delta), Kathy Daley (Gamma Delta), Debbie Richards Fischer (Kappa), and Margaret Hobson Merrill (Iota).

Alpha Gamma Chapter Reunion Alumnae members of the Alpha Gamma chapter gathered in Hays, Kansas in October 2010 for the Homecoming weekend. The women took a tour of their old sorority house, which is now a dorm for the TMP Catholic high school men. The women especially enjoyed a picnic at a local park where they reminisced, caught up, and met everyone’s families.


T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011

our foundation

Foundation Receives Generous Bequest Emma Claire Webster joined Tri Sigma’s Alpha Delta Chapter at Drexel in 1942. After graduating, she married Perley Webster and moved to Tampa, FL, where she was an accountant. She became part of the Omega Chapter in 2010. Shiffer never told anyone that she named Tri Sigma Foundation as a beneficiary in her will. But this year, her attorneys notified Foundation staff that she bequeathed $149,146 to the Foundation. “What a wonderful gift,” said Nancy Craig, Foundation Executive Director. “We wish we could have honored her as a member of the Foundation’s Heritage Society and said thank you during her lifetime.” The Foundation Board is considering ways to honor Shiffer’s generosity, perhaps with a special fund in her name. Thinking of remembering the Foundation in your will or trust? The office name is Sigma Sigma Sigma Foundation, Woodstock, VA. Leaving a gift to the Foundation might have tax advantages for your heirs. Please contact Nancy Craig,, if you have questions or would like a visit from a Foundation staff person to talk about your estate plans.

Letters...we get letters “I had the idea that a ‘good’ president was someone who followed the rules and kept her chapter out of trouble while making sure she remains on good terms with every member. I also felt it was important to win awards on campus and nationally. While I still feel all that is important, my idea of a great leader has changed completely after a week at UIFI. Now I realize that being a good leader is inspiring others to want to do better... I also want to focus on our ritual and values as a chapter. …I am so thankful for receiving a scholarship to attend this workshop. It is one that I would not trade for a life time…It re-lit the fire in me for Tri Sigma. If I thought I loved my chapter and Sorority before, I now love them ten times more.”

– Clarissa Pena, Epsilon Iota, attended UIFI (Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute) with a grant from the Foundation

“My darling two year old grandson has so enjoyed the respite of the Robbie Page Play Atrium during his ordeal of chemotherapy and surgery at North Carolina Children’s hospital. Our family cannot thank your sorority enough for supporting this philanthropy. I have never known of a sorority with a worthier cause.”

– A loving grandmother

Congratulations New Foundation Board Members Elected to the Foundation Board at its annual meeting for three-year terms were JeanMarie Komyathy, Gamma Kappa from Manassas, VA, Tracy Maurer Sary, Gamma Beta from Wake Forest, NC, and Marie Schrag Beck, Beta Upsilon from Sarasota, FL. Re-elected to a second three-year term were Suzanne Blanchard McGlone, Gamma Mu from Metairie, LA and Katie Henke Scherping, Beta Alpha from Denver, CO. Marie Beck, Beta Upsilon who previously served on the Foundation Board from 2002-2008, is the new chair. At its meeting, the Board recognized the long-time outstanding service of retiring Board members Jan Stroker Horner, Beta Xi, chair for the past six years, and Cj Havlik Donovan, Beta Lambda.

“I have been blessed by this amazing opportunity and have grown both professionally and personally. I truly appreciate your organization helping fund the Fellowship program. Without this opportunity, I would not have been able to prepare myself for a future career in Recreational Therapy and Child Life.”

– Laura Dail, Sigma Sigma Robbie Page Recreational Therapy Clinical Fellow

Mission Sigma Sigma Sigma Foundation provides transformational philanthropy: funding innovative leadership training for women, awarding scholarships, and investing in life-enhancing children’s therapy programs. As a non-profit organization, we are the conduit to help donors create this legacy.

T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011


our foundation

Foundation Awards Grants for Leadership, Scholarships and Children


This year the Foundation Board at its annual meeting voted to award Sigma Sigma Sigma $90,333 in grants for its leadership programming this year. “We’re very excited that we can fund these programs,” said Foundation Chair Marie Schrag Beck, Beta Upsilon. “The amount was made possible by generous Foundation gifts that donors earmarked for leadership and by members’ response to the Hoffert Challenge.” Last fall, Elizabeth Wakeman Hoffert, Beta Xi, made a $60,000 gift to the Foundation, setting aside $15,000 specifically as a challenge to members to match this amount for leadership programs. Donations tripled the original gift amount, and the Challenge proceeds will be distributed to Sigma Sigma Sigma for educational programming over the next three years. Additional funding for leadership programming was made possible through a special fund of $10,000 set up during Convention 2010 to honor former National President Laura Ward Sweet, Alpha Sigma. This fund will be used to begin, The Labrynth, a new Sorority program for alumnae and collegiate members.

Additional leadership programs funded by foundation grants are: Officer Academies (four) – $38,158 CAB and Volunteer Summit – $20,000 Dunham Women of Character Institute (for emerging leaders) – $20,000 Scholarships to UIFI (Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute) – $2,175 At its meeting, the Foundation also approved grants of: • $30,244 to Dallas and North Carolina Children’s hospitals for fellowships in play therapy/child life • $11,665.98 to local play therapy programs nominated by collegiate and alumnae chapters • $13,000 in scholarships

The Labyrinth program is planned as a five-day intense leadership experience based in Washington, DC, and Woodstock, VA. It is based on the five core values of Tri Sigma and will empower members to lead within their communities.


T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011

T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011


right omega page chapter

Omega Chapter During the period from December 1, 2010 and May 31, 2011 the following Tri Sigmas were reported to have entered Omega Chapter. We offer our sympathy to their friends and families and honor them for their lifetime commitment to Tri Sigma. Badges of members who have passed to the Omega Chapter may be buried with the member, bequeathed to another Tri Sigma member or returned to the National Headquarters.

Alpha Lucy Alston Smartt Sally Dunnington Whidden Iota Norma Bigano Cole Janice Reed Padfield June Helm Steinmark Kappa Mary Beth Oberlin Mu Virginia Robinson Lake Ruth Stith Roderick Julianne Stryker Stafford Nu Georgene Stump Brunner Dorothy Turner Dunn Mary Fields Streckfuss Xi Mary Eller Cromwell Omicron Dorothy Bouwman Gole Frances McIntyre Sowers GOLDEN VIOLET Marian Wollpert Trombley Pi Micia Kay Amos Margaret McClain Decker Lois Smith Patterson Gloria Wilson Redfield Judith Ball Taylor Rho Audrey Meeks Hickman Sigma Exa Clark Tabor Tau Jean Plunkett Malcolm GOLDEN VIOLET Chi Violet Hall Crews Donaldean O’Neal Gould Psi Rebecca Marshall Baylor Peggy Russell Fisher Virginia Russo Linsenmeyer Sara Parrish Little Betty Brown Watts Alpha Alpha Virginia Yancey Hurd Alpha Beta Marilyn Barnhart Bliss

Alpha Gamma Gail Suiter Johnson Alpha Delta Mary Cavanaugh Gilles Esther Seaman Murphy GOLDEN VIOLET Alpha Epsilon Nancy Walker Fischer Connie McDonald Lambright Elizabeth Mills Monk GOLDEN VIOLET Alpha Zeta Vicky Sansing Chrisp Jo Ann Breedlove Ford Sidney Campbell Hollenbeck Emily Willis Kell Felice Lemoine Viguerie Marcia Durham Wyrick

Alpha Chi Mildred Whitlow Hughes Aliese James Paschall Alpha Psi Ilene Mae Boudreaux Aletha Kreis Maleski Beta Alpha Martha Jenks Ball Beta Beta Betty Swinea Chaney Martha Kunkel Hoey Beta Gamma Jo Ann Durnbaugh Gentry Sharon Gault Hensley Patricia Stone Russell Beta Delta Beatrice Souder Carpenter

Alpha Theta Barbara Horton DeRosa Patricia Johnson Konz Clara Bedwell Richardson

Beta Epsilon Catherine Skelton Jasper JoAnn Elwood Taylor Susan Wright Stieglitz

Alpha Iota Nanabel Blankenship Porter

Beta Theta Cora Pancereve Obley

Alpha Mu Patricia Smith Michot

Beta Iota Virginia Dirksen Erdahl Arlene Wehrman McNally

Alpha Nu Ruth Gullic Barbour Merna Kanady O’Brien Deborah Lynn Ohlson Linda Adams Rosen Alpha Xi Reva Chatt Andrews Emily Roemer Jacobson Jane Riley Pettee Alpha Omricon Anna Mae King Townsend Alpha Pi Andrea Dillen Eckenrod Alpha Rho Geraldine S. Mertz Alpha Sigma Anne Crenshaw McCrary Kimberly Robin Ball Milling Alpha Tau Elvira Barton Little GOLDEN VIOLET Betty Jeanne Attebery Thorne Alpha Upsilon Nancy Faison Hughes Martha Johnson McCauley

Beta Kappa Diana Mynes Allen Jane Groth Stewart Oline Rotch Taraci Beta Psi Linda Hubbard Benton Gamma Delta Nancy Schlatter Van Looy Gamma Eta Mary Butler Gonzalez Gamma Lambda Caron Hollingsworth Paulson Gamma Mu Deborah Ann Blanchard Delta Zeta Lynne Bauman Greenly Epsilon Omicron Carrie Lynn Greene Zeta Mu Kimberly Marie Rychnovsky

T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2011


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Triangle - Fall 2011  

This is the Fall 2011 issue of our national magazine, The Triangle.

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