Monday, January 23, 2012

My Two Cents...

Periodically, DG Anchors will ask some of our esteemed members these ponderous questions. Today's responses come from current Fraternity President Elizabeth (Beth) Bell Searcy, Epsilon Gamma-Virginia.

Q: What is your all time favorite Dee Gee memory?
A:  There are too many. Running into my best friend's arms when accepting my bid? Saying the Oath of Friendship around the marker at the site of the Lewis School? Being installed as Fraternity President? Having sisters from across the country be my champion at my mother's funeral? Presenting the charter to a newly-minted Delta Gamma chapter?  Applauding a young leader who found her voice and stood up to behavior contrary to our values? Singing Dream Girl to my newborn baby daughter, full of the hope that the Fraternity will impact her life as it has mine. I cannot choose, and I am thankful. 

Q: Which Delta Gamma convention was your favorite and why?
A: Palm Dessert, both 1992 and 2008. The 1992 Convention was the only one (so far) I have attended as a visitor, and it was so relaxing and fun. Plus, the earthquake was just unforgettable. At the 2008 Convention, I was installed as President, an honor that was, and is, overwhelming. 

Q: If you have one piece of advice for a new member of Delta Gamma, what would that be?
A: Do Good. If you focus on what you have to give, what you get will be remarkable. Serve, and you will be served immeasurably in return. Lead, and you will be led to grow and develop to your personal best. Live our values, and you will enjoy the pride and richness of a virtuous reputation. Open your heart to hope, and you will be bathed in the beauty of a glorious sisterhood.

Q: What have you learned from being on Council?
A:  That it's absolutely true that people may not remember what you did, but they remember how you made them feel. That we can impact women in significant ways if we don't care who gets the credit and we don't keep score. That doing what's best for the Fraternity is always, always the right path to take. That spending time with members and listening well is more valuable than a dozen conference calls. 

Q: What is your hope for the future of Delta Gamma?
A:  My hope for Delta Gamma is that we find the right balance of holding on to our heritage while embracing the opportunities of the future. The college landscape is very different than it was in 1873, but our mission is still exceedingly relevant to women today. Blending the two is essential to offering a relevant, meaningful membership experience to today's college students and alumnae by focusing on how to reach a broader demographic of women, how to offer a less structured but still impactful membership experience, and how to encourage women to lead authentic lives, have healthy relationships, and take action in a global community rooted in our core values. It will mean superimposing a timeless, treasured frame over a modern, changing picture.  We can do it; we are doing it. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I Recall...

Periodically, DG Anchors will ask some of our esteemed members these ponderous questions. Today's responses come from long-time ANCHORA editor and current archives committee member Frances Lewis Stevenson, Zeta-Albion, who now resides in Florida.

Q: What is your all-time favorite Dee Gee memory?
Shortly after I was initiated, I was home for the weekend and ran out of gas. I coasted to a stop, and another car pulled up to offer help. Out jumped a person I had admired very much in high school, and she, too, was wearing a Delta Gamma pin. My immediate problem was solved, and I had found a new lifelong friend.

Q: Which Delta Gamma convention is a favorite and why? A: I am neither brave enough nor foolish enough to compare the qualities of 26 conventions in a period of 58 years! The first few were at some of North America's notable resort hotels--how can one forget the hotel dining rooms, open choices on the menu, and a permanent orchestra which could respond to any request and knew every college song ever written.  However, in 1948 my first convention also included the overwhelming sadness of the editor's death in a plane crash en route and a flu virus which not only circulated speedily but would result in a day of absenteeism for each victim. I attended most conventions as a staff member, usually with some special duty which could prove to be a knotty and tangled problem or involved a lot of "special duty" time. For example, at Portland (1966) I was to do an historical pageant for which we had shipped around 50 costumes. I spent a good part of that convention in my room at an ironing board readying the clothing to be worn and bagging accessories for each one. One comment on that convention: It must have been memorable, for we noticed that those who attended were through the years more generous than others in their gifts to the Foundation and that 1966 attendees were also most likely to agree to holding province offices or chairmanships.

Q: If you have one piece of advice for a new member of Delta Gamma, what would that be? A: Never forget that Delta Gamma is a lifetime membership. There will be new friends wherever you go--my best friends today are people I didn't know before we moved here, Delta Gammas from all parts of the country. Wherever you go, find an alumnae group--and don't give up after one visit. Become part of whatever is happening.

Q: What have you learned from being a Delta Gamma leader A: I have had a special advantage being so many years on the Executive Offices staff--knowing each generation as young women come and go, understanding that change is inevitable but not all bad.

Q: What is your hope for the future of Delta Gamma? A:  My hope and trust is that we will continue to add people like you who will accept responsibility for things they are really good at--as you are doing. My immediate hope is that a Delta Gamma will appear on the scene who will be a top notch executive director.


The Frances Lewis Stevenson Archives at Executive Offices are aptly named after our beloved Fran. As a member of the EO staff for nearly 40 years and a loyal volunteer ever since, Fran is known for her remarkable ability to remember the most miniscule details. She can often recall in which ANCHORA issue a historical fact appears. She would be thrilled if you would make plans to visit the archives in Columbus, Ohio, to learn about DG's treasured past and view some treasured artifacts.