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GoldenGlimpses Autumn 2019
Past Executive Council Member Receives her Golden Violet When Jeanne Johnson decided to attend Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK in the fall of 1969, she had not planned on participating in sorority “rush.” Knowing that Jeanne had been active in high school activities and events, a friend suggested that this might be a way of being involved in her college environment. That was most certainly the case for this young woman from Broken Arrow, OK. Jeanne was the Corresponding Secretary during her collegiate years. She taught high school journalism following graduation. An unusual job followed that, as she did marketing work for a fisherman who traveled the world fishing and making TV shows. The largest portion of Jeanne’s career was spent working for Citgo Petroleum, spending over 20 years handling government and public affairs before retiring from there. Continued involvement with Tri Sigma has always been a part of Jeanne’s life. For five years, she was a member of the Houston Alumnae Chapter while working for Citgo in Texas. Her heart remained with the Tulsa Alumnae Chapter, serving as President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. Her National Officer service began as the Collegiate/Alumnae Editor of The Triangle but her most memorable Tri Sigma moment came when
she was elected to serve on Executive Council as Collegiate Vice President. Traveling throughout the United States and meeting so many other Tri Sigma women was a joy for Jeanne. She has attended 15 National Conventions, as well as Dunham leadership conferences, State Day events, and the other gatherings required of her as a Council member. Being on the Installation Team for many collegiate chapters were highlights for her as well. Having been awarded both 15- and 24-year National Service Awards, Jeanne continued to volunteer and served as a Walton House Board member and is still active with her Tulsa Alumnae Chapter sisters, as well as with community events in Broken Arrow. Her family is nearby, including two great-nieces and two great-nephews. One accomplishment of which she can be very proud is the Sigma Sigma Sigma Jeanne Johnson Service Scholarship at her alma mater. Each semester, an incoming freshman who meets the grade qualifications and who commits to complete 24 hours of community service is awarded this scholarship. Now as a new Golden Violet, Jeanne can look back on 50 years of loving service to, and involvement in, our Tri Sigma sisterhood.
From the National President
Cherish Your Tri Sigma Story Hello Golden Violet sisters ~ Since the summer solstice has not yet arrived, it’s a welcome treat to enjoy the mild temperatures, spring breezes, sunny days, and floral fragrances that fill the air while watching the flowers eagerly bloom. It is during a quiet moment, which are few and far between, that I sit out on our deck and appreciate the simplicities and joys of the season. Of course, with Convention quickly approaching, my thoughts are constantly reviewing, planning, processing and rehearsing, except right now.... my mind drifted to thoughts of you and “the Power of our Stories,” the theme of this Convention. The power of your stories, as Golden Violets, is truly so powerful, so impactful and ever reaching! I know there will be Golden Violets attending Convention and more sisters will be honored with this esteemed award, which excites me even more about the trip to Las Vegas for our 45th National Convention! Although I still have 17 years until I reach the Golden Violet milestone, I look forward to the achievement with great anticipation! I am sure time spent with our distinguished group of steadfast, devoted sisters will inspire all those in attendance at Convention. Amidst the official business and busyness of the grand event, I am certain there will be moments where I will feel as if I am unable to catch my breath, but I simply will think of all of you whose courage and patience and commitment have led you to 50-plus years of being true to Tri Sigma. So, thank you in advance, for being a vibrant source of inspiration. This Golden Glimpses storybook will be filled with tales recapping and reminiscing about our time in Las Vegas, and I wanted to get a head start to set the stage for Convention and all its glory! This momentous occasion will add yet another chapter to my novel, and I’m so thankful Golden Violets play a part in enriching my Sigma story. Happy reading and delightful summertime wishes to you! In our bonds,
Natalie Moore Averette, Gamma Beta National President
From your Golden Violet Coordinator
The Power of our Stories Dear Golden Violet Sisters, When I saw that the theme of the 2019 Tri Sigma Triennial Convention was “The Power of Our Stories”, I must admit I smiled. I thought to myself someone must have had the Golden Violets in mind when they decided that theme. In the last three years as the Golden Violet Coordinator, and a Tri Sigma sister for 54 years, I have heard many powerful stories. I have been privileged to present our unique violet pin to several of my New Orleans alumnae sisters. Our stories have a common theme since many of us were initiated into the same chapters. We can look back and remember the early days of our membership, the tears and the laughter, those first rituals and meetings, not really understanding about being lifelong sisters. Planning and attending the third Golden Violet Celebration Weekend at Walton House in October 2018 was a time for sharing a variety of stories, delayed flights, heavy traffic, and then the joys of being together at our Heart Home. Some attendees were visiting Woodstock for the first time, for others, it was a happy reunion. The theme for this event was “Sharing our Lifelong Sigma Memories”, and we did share mementos and stories galore! In preparing the “Spotlights” section of the Golden Glimpses, I often made personal calls to several Golden Violets. After what sometimes turned into a lengthy conversation, my husband would say, “Was that an old friend?” My answer was always, “Not really. We just had to share some Tri Sigma memories that we had in common”. Last but certainly not least are the stories that become part of attending a Convention. There are reunions with friends whom you haven’t seen in years, although you now keep up with their life stories on Facebook. You start to share remembrances with a sister or a new friend over a luncheon or dinner gathering. Then you return home, and someone asks you, “How was Convention?” You have so much to tell! Our Tri Sigma stories are powerful, life-changing, and a special part of our sisterhood experience. Always cherish them. In our bonds,
Mandy Chocheles Gamma Eta Golden Violet Coordinator
From the Foundation Chair
Be the Voice for Our Cause In August, Michaela started a new journey with Tri Sigma as a Leadership Consultant.
When I think about giving to our Foundation, I think about how I can invest in the future of Tri Sigma. It’s about the stories of those to be initiated for years to come and the opportunity to serve others. The Foundation Board of Directors has been evaluating how we serve our sisterhood and make an impact within our communities. What we know is the Foundation is striving to provide solutions to issues that require an army of donors, volunteers, and advocates. We need empowered leaders in our communities and world that are character-focused and committed to serving others. We need to provide more scholarship funding to support our members’ academic achievements and to offset the rising cost of higher education. We need to fight for the health of all moms and babies as premature birth rates in the US continue to rise. The Foundation has worked to communicate better the impact our mission has on our members, chapters, and our sisterhood. For me, it’s about sharing the stories of sisters like Michaela Daniels, a recent alumna of Alpha Iota. I first met Michaela in 2016 at Dunham Women of Character Institute, where she was one of my mentees. Everyone has experienced an instant connection with another. It was that way for me. The following year Michaela served as a Dunham mentor. Never have I been so proud of someone seeing how much Michaela had grown and matured in a year. I’ve followed Michaela’s college career closely. In 2019, Michaela was named Top Greek Woman on her campus.
Michaela’s story of leadership is only one example of the Sigmas impacted by your generosity. And even though we have made progress within the Foundation, we cannot rest. Our philanthropy is a cause worth fighting for, and I believe you can be the voice for our cause.
We still have a lot of work to do to impact more women, children, and families. Will you share the story of a Golden Violet sister who has endowed a Foundation scholarship? Will you share the story of how you have seen the Foundation grow and impact others? Will you share the story of how your community has been impacted by a therapeutic play grant or Sigma Serves Children project? Join us as we continue to spread our mission and prove that Tri Sigma women are empowered women. In Our Bonds,
Bonnie Rainey Chair, Foundation Board of Directors
P.S. Save the date for our first Giving Day! 4
A Passion for Philanthropy Emerging Philanthropist of the Triennium Veronica Atkins, Eta Omicron & Southern Nevada Alumnae Chapter According to Veronica’s nominator, she “dedicates herself to multiple organizations and nonprofits to better the future for our community and youth. She is constantly working with the women of our chapters to assist in finding their strengths and how they can contribute to the community as well.” Her devotion to philanthropy includes work with the Girl Scouts, Opportunity Village, and currently the Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation where she serves families in the Southern Nevada community.
Emerging Philanthropist of the Triennium
Philanthropist of the Triennium
Lauren Green, Alpha Mu & Lafayette Alumnae Chapter
Liz Hoffert, Beta Xi & Phoenix Alumnae Chapter
According to Lauren’s nominator, she “demonstrates exceptional generosity by giving what she can when she can. She understands the importance to donate to causes that are important to her friends and family. When friends share or create a callto-action for a cause they are passionate about, more times than not she will donate something to help support causes that others are promoting. She believes that even if you can’t afford to give thousands of dollars – it’s important to give what you can when you can.”
According to Liz’s many nominators, “since she joined the Beta Xi Chapter in 1968 she has spent her Tri Sigma life setting an example of generosity with her time, talents and financial abilities. Her love and kindness are shown by her consistent willingness to give back to the community and her Tri Sigma sisters. She is passionate about the role Tri Sigmas play in the community and is always right there to step up and help the alumnae chapter and individual members in any way needed.”
Golden Glimpses Spotlights Autumn 2019 In each issue of the “Golden Glimpses”, we shine the spotlight on just a few of the many women who are now considered Golden Violets.
Sandra Koch Sandel, Alpha Phi As Sandra Koch Sandel arrived
Starting with the 1977
on the campus of Central
Convention, Sandra has
Michigan University, her eye was
attended ten of these triennial
set on joining another sorority
meetings, several times as
that had been recommended
a delegate for her Central
to her. Fortunately, she realized
Michigan Alumnae Chapter
that the Tri Sigma women she
where she has served as
met during recruitment made
President and Treasurer.
her the happiest. Her position
Keeping involved as an alumna
with her Alpha Phi Chapter has
Director in the Alpha Phi Chapter
allowed her to be an Advisor
was only a steppingstone to her
and a longtime Housing Corp
path as an involved alumna and National Officer. Sandra spent her entire 34-year career in education with the Alma, MI Public School District. She taught several different elementary grades and completed her master’s degree, plus 90 hours. She was recognized in Who’s Who
member. A special memory for Sandy is receiving the Alumna of the Region Award at Alpha Phi’s 75th Anniversary. Her National Officer service includes being a National Collegiate Chairman for six years where she had the opportunity to exemplify to her collegiate sisters that there is life after graduation.
Among America’s Teachers seven times before
Sandra says that the skills she learned as an Alpha Phi
her retirement in 2006. She has continued to be
helped her throughout her professional and personal
involved on a volunteer basis teaching German to
life activities and challenges. She now relishes the
study groups in middle school as well as providing
time she has with her two grandsons, who can be very
math and Olympic lessons to 4th graders. Her
proud of their grandmother as a Golden Violet, one
other community activities are numerous, but Tri
more reward for being a steadfast Sigma for 50 years.
Sigma has always remained an important part of her busy life.
Nancy O’Brien Branigan, Beta Xi While many young women
of Tri Sigma alumnae chapters in several of those
who start college have
locations. Once back in Denver permanently, that
the experience of joining
alumnae chapter has benefitted from her membership
a sorority in their first
in many ways. She has been President, Treasurer and
days of freshman year,
Parliamentarian. She cherishes the friendships made
Nancy O’Brien Branigan’s
over forty years. It is a vibrant and diversified group
introduction to the Beta
working with the local Eta Pi collegians, who admire
Xi Chapter at Southeast
their alumnae sisters.
Missouri State University
Nancy has also dedicated much of her time to the
began somewhat later. It
Denver Area Panhellenic, having served as President,
wasn’t until mid-January
Vice President and Secretary of this very active
of her sophomore year that she was initiated. A friend
organization. She received the Alumnae Panhellenic
told her about the sisterhood and lifetime friendships
Recognition Award, as well as Tri Sigma’s Outstanding
that she had discovered in Tri Sigma. Nancy became
Alumna of the Region. In her “spare” time, Nancy
involved quickly, serving as Panhellenic Delegate and
has done house painting for Habitat for Humanity,
Treasurer, and received the Beta Xi Collegiate Award
raised funds for Race for the Cure, and founded and
for Outstanding Active Member.
chaired children’s clothing sales at two elementary
Upon graduating, she was a Business Education
schools, bringing in approximately $15,000 a year.
teacher for two years, then an accountant. In 1985
She and her husband Mike have three grown children
she was hired by the Internal Revenue Service and
and six grandchildren. Having attended two previous
had found her “calling.” Prior to that, Nancy had lived
National Conventions, Nancy can now proudly add
in Denver, CO, San Jose, CA, St. Louis, MO, Salt Lake
Las Vegas to the list and the special honor of having
City, UT and Naperville, IL. She became a member
received her Golden Violet award there.
Jan Weaver Zeipen, Gamma Phi For someone who had the collegiate experience of being a Tri Sigma for only one year, Jan Weaver Zeipen certainly has made her mark on her sorority. She joined the Gamma Phi Chapter at Wisconsin State University-River Falls after helping research national groups for her local chapter to affiliate with. During that year as a charter member, she was also the Music Chairman. A longtime member of the Twin Cities Alumnae Chapter, she has been their Vice President/Communications, the 50th Anniversary Chairman, and CoAssistant Chair for the 2010 Minneapolis Convention. An elementary teacher for 35 years in the same school district, Jan became a National Collegiate Chairmen in 1977, a Collegiate Area Director/West from 1980-1989, and the Collegiate Vice President on Executive Council from
1989-1992. During that time, she also trained Tri Sigma’s Field Consultants, attended numerous national meetings, was an installing officer of the Epsilon Rho Chapter and was the Nominating Committee Chairman in 1995. One would say that Conventions were a thing of joy to Jan since she has attended 14 of them, including the recent one in Las Vegas. As Tri Sigmas, we have all heard the phrase, “To receive much, you must give much.” Jan believes that her volunteer opportunities, such as what she does at the Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction Studies, are a pleasure and she owes this to Tri Sigma. She has been recognized for her dedication with the Founders Award at Convention 2016. Her alumnae chapter sisters, rightfully proud, call her a “bright light” for them and a “living Tri Sigma legend.” Having presented the Mabel Lee Walton Award to Past National President Kaye Schendel many years ago, Jan was pleased to receive her Golden Violet Award from National President Natalie Averette this past June. Looking forward to attending the 2019 Convention in Las Vegas, Suzanne says that attending these special gatherings “fills her Sigma soul!”
Mary Anne Gill Asbury, Kappa Mary Anne Gill Asbury became a member of Kappa Chapter at Miami University of Ohio looking to meet new people as her college career began. The Tri Sigmas she met were genuine and warm and compatible with her personality. Graduating Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa, she was a French teacher, an insurance claim adjuster, a paralegal and a law firm manager. She moved to Cincinnati in 1975 and lived there until moving to North Carolina 42 years later. Mary Anne’s experience with her Kappa sisters taught her that the bonds of sisterhood are deep and strong. When they took a trip to Woodstock, Virginia, Mabel Lee Walton was still living there. Meeting her made the visit especially meaningful. She learned that “when everyone contributes their own talents, much can be accomplished. Sigma taught me how to respect and understand those who are different from ourselves.” A loyal and active member of the Greater Cincinnati Alumnae Chapter, Mary Anne served as its President and Triangle Correspondent as well as the local Alumnae Panhellenic Representative. An Alumna Recognition Award winner in 1989, she stays in close contact with her Cincinnati alumnae sisters as there is no alumnae chapter near her home in Province, North Carolina. She presently is a volunteer in local conservation groups and other local organizations. Having attended the 1986 Convention in Indianapolis, IN, Mary Anne was able to attend the Las Vegas Convention in June and was reunited with several of her Kappa sisters as she received her Golden Violet award.
Carol Juhasz Ladrigan, Kappa During those first days of college, as we made the decision to pledge a sorority, very few of us thought ahead to how long our new-found sisters would stay a part of our lives. The closeness that comes with collegiate chapter life often is lost after graduation has come and gone. People move on with their lives to new challenges and in new places. Carol Juhasz Ladrigan was one of several Kappa sisters from Miami University of Ohio, who have maintained close ties over the years, remaining involved with Tri Sigma right up until their recent presentation of their Golden Violet awards. As an Education major, Carol was a Pledge Trainer, Rush Guide and Historian. Rush parties in a small suite with no air-conditioning were just the beginning of this close friendship. She followed her dream of working with elementary and middle school students until her retirement and credits Tri Sigma with learning to appreciate people for what they are, even if they are not alike. As a longtime member and officer in the Greater Cincinnati Alumnae Chapter, she has enjoyed gathering with old and new members of the sorority. A trip to the 1986 Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana was a special Tri Sigma event. Carol has also been active in Delta Kappa Gamma International Service Sorority, helping to provide scholarship money for homeless and disadvantaged children. The love of teaching is shared with the members of this group, the love of learning has always had a special place in her heart. A â€œsnowbirdâ€? who spends part of the year in Ft. Meyers, Florida has joined Tri Sigma alumnae in the Florida Gulf Coast Alumnae Chapter on many occasions. Carol keeps busy in retirement with gardening, crafts, travel and appreciating the long-time relationships with those special Kappa sisters.
Noteworthy Congratulations to the following Golden Violets who were spotlighted in the fall 2018 Golden Glimpses and received their pin during Convention.
Roberta Flath, Kappa Nancy McGowan, Kappa Bette Russell, Alpha Nu Friends to the end, sisters always. Diane Unger Zens and Ann Marie Potter Fabos were both initiated into the Beta Lambda Chapter at University of WisconsinMilwaukee in 1968 and the rest is history. This beautiful friendship has remained close throughout the years, both joining the Milwaukee Alumnae Chapter and receiving their Golden Violets at a Founders Day luncheon. 9
Eligible Golden Violets Elizabeth Johns, Delta Omicron and Tri Sigmaâ€™s National Archivist, reports in the latest issue of The Triangle that the first Golden Violet Award was presented in 1954 when it was given to Mabel Lee Walton. As the first recipient, Mabel Lee was recognized for her 50 years of faithful membership and dedication to the sorority. Liz goes on to report, â€œbut just being a Tri Sigma for 50 years does not automatically earn one this special award; it requires that the member has been loyal and steadfast through the years. Alumnae must be nominated by a chapter or individual member and must have demonstrated loyalty to the sorority for 50 years or more through active participation in alumna life, serving the sorority as a volunteer and paying lifetime dues or dues for over 20 years. If you know of other members who have been steadfast to Tri Sigma for over 50 years, nominate them and they, too, could join this special group of women.
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The Golden Glimpses publication highlights the stories of membership and commitment to sisterhood for Tri Sigma's Golden Violets. With more...
Published on Sep 11, 2019
The Golden Glimpses publication highlights the stories of membership and commitment to sisterhood for Tri Sigma's Golden Violets. With more...