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.