Friday, July 20, 2012

A few Q and A's with Colleen McGuire

Welcome to Delta Gamma's 7th Executive
Director Colleen McGuire, Pi-Montana.
On August 1, 2012, Delta Gamma Fraternity welcomes its 7th Executive Director, Colleen McGuire. Colleen is originally from Missoula, Montana, and is an initiate of Pi chapter at the University of Montana where she earned a degree in broadcast journalism. Her education includes a master’s of military arts and sciences from the Army’s Command and General Staff College, and a master’s of national security and strategic studies at the Army War College. Colleen’s alma mater recently awarded her the University of Montana’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Colleen is a retired brigadier general in the United States Army, most recently working at the Pentagon as Director of Manpower and Personnel, The Joint Staff. She is the first woman in the history of the U.S. Army to hold the highest law enforcement office, Provost Marshal General of the Army; first woman to command the U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigations Command; the first woman to command the Department of Defense all-male maximum security prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and one of only 26 female executive leaders in an organization of over 500,000.

Below is an excerpt from a recent Q&A session with Colleen. Read more of our Q&A's on page eight of the summer 2012 issue of the ANCHORA (coming to your mailbox or inbox soon).

Q: What is your fondest DG memory (as a collegian or alumna)?

A: (This question brought the biggest smile.) I have many stories I hope to share in the years ahead but always, my fondest memories will be of my sisters of Pi chapter at the University of Montana. Peanie-toast at midnight, Heaven (sleeping quarters), the DG beach (where we sunbathed on the front porch) and the study room with manual typewriters. I know a lot has changed but my memories won't.

Q: If you weren’t entering this phase of your life with Delta Gamma, what would you do?

A: I would seek opportunities to work with and develop leadership potential and opportunities for young adults. I've witnessed tremendous transformations of young men and women who join the military, but the pace of change and high expectations challenge even the most grounded of our young adults. Every generation thinks they had it tough, but I think I had it easy compared to what these kids experience.

Q: How can you apply your military (or any other) experience to a fraternal organization? Do you see overlap, or is this role a complete departure? 

A: The military is a very fraternal organization. Its members, those who serve and have served, are bound by common values, ethics, and principles. In that manner, it is not too unlike a Greek Fraternal organization. Wherever you go, you have an instant "family."

Q: What do you imagine will be most challenging? 

A: To promote and reward our robust and active alumnae and volunteers will continue to be a challenge. Time is so valuable and DG is reliant on our active alumnae backbone. This isn't a new challenge but one that must always be in the forefront.

Q: What’s been your biggest frustration in your career so far? 

A: So much to do and so little time! 

Q: Do you have any hidden talents? 

A: If I do, they are still unknown to me. I have so many interests that probably distract me from honing any hidden talent!

Friday, July 6, 2012

What a Race!

Staff Director of Events Amanda Trueman
with blog contributor Kate Stanton.
 What a race! Our engines started. The laps (and iPhone flashes) were many. Flags waved with excitement all week. And, the victory lap of Convention 2012 concluded Saturday night with an award winning evening of excellence. Thanks to the Pit Crew (aka: EO Staff) and the hundreds of volunteers not a detail of this race plan was left to chance. From airport arrivals to Sunday’s goodbye hugs, the four day thrill was one of adventure, forever memories, and lasting laughter. You know that kind of laughter filled moment that makes you giggle even months (or years) down the line. Yep, that kind of laughter is how we laugh at Convention.

Similar to the rapid pace of an Indianapolis 500, Delta Gammas from every corner of our grand stand lands celebrated, shared, and united over sisterhood. The 65th Biennial Delta Gamma Convention represents my 6th Convention to attend, participate, and enjoy. I fondly remember 1998 Anchored in Atlanta as my first Delta Gamma Convention experience. Standing there in an Atlanta ballroom of 900+ Delta Gammas, I realized the Fraternity is so much bigger than one person, one chapter, one region. If you will, it is one of those “ah-ah” moments for my Delta Gamma heart. I can still remember seeing the lady in my Shield (aka: Dorris Flint) and becoming (only for a moment) speechless with the ultimate meeting of sisters from around the globe, but as well as the ladies who wear the emerald badges (aka: Council). Over the last four days, I met many collegians experiencing the same inspiring moments as well as alumnae enjoying their first Convention ride. From sitting in General Session watching Fraternity business conducted to sitting next to a sister you’ve never met (and discussing shared trials and tribulations of online dating), to singing Dream Girl with 900+ Delta Gammas (hello, tears), Convention continues to fill hearts (and tires) with the energy, courage, and hope to take home to our respected regions and chapters.

As a higher education administrator and a self proclaimed hostess that adores theme worthy favors, I’m always searching for the “take away” moment or representative item for any occasion. For me, my truest take away 2012 Convention moment came during Saturday’s Panhellenic Lunch featuring Ginny Carol, founder of Circle of Sisterhood and CEO of GiNuity. With her passionate and humor based presentation style, Ginny asked each of us to discuss the following: “With one other person, share the time when you’ve felt the most proud to be a sorority women.” As my tablemates turned to one another, many had tears in their eyes as they shared their moments. Later, Ginny asked us to ponder: “Why are you proud to be a DG?” Ginny explained each and every one of us needs to be prepared to loop our answers into our responses when one asks why we serve, volunteer, and give to our organization. Think about it. Think of how many times someone inquires about your Delta Gamma membership and the responsibilities of our oath. When we wear our letters. Traveling to a meeting. Attending an event. When we take time off of a paying job for our DG job. Setting aside time for our Delta Gamma roles. And, the list goes on. Realize we are given multiple opportunities to promote our beloved Delta Gamma. Within those moments, we have the possibility to forever impact another’s perception and therefore their reality of Delta Gamma - the finest women’s organization in North America.

Ginny encouraged Convention attendees to continue to share our responses to one another as we “Set the Pace” for Delta Gamma pride. I did. As I saw two collegians (aka: young women wearing DG shirts and holding convention bags were my clues) claim their baggage, I asked them these “Ginny questions” and instantly I witnessed their passion and belief in our values based organization. I challenge each of you to share with another why you are proud to be a Panhellenic woman as well as why you wear the golden anchor. If not today, hopefully you’ll consider using this exercise as you open your chapter and alumnae meetings this fall. Can you imagine the ripple effect if each of us spoke to the “do good” acts we find within our circle of sisterhood? I think it would be better than a room full of balloons, a fireworks finale, your love meeting you at the airport with flowers, and a 50% off sale on your must have dress for a sister’s wedding. Let’s do it.

I am so grateful to be a Delta Gamma. I am grateful for yet another Convention experience that reminds me why I’m anchored to this organization. I ask each of you to keep our 2012-2014 Council in your thoughts and hopes as they strive to continue our founders’ mission and be the truest examples of doing good.

139 years ago, our three founders formed an organization on mutual friendship and hope. Pete Smithhisler, current president and CEO of the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC), told us during Friday’s lunch, “Do good. Every day.” It is that simple my sisters. Be the soul that reflects our founders’ mission in all that all that you do, say, and believe. For hope. For strength. For life.

I’m full of hope to see you in Phoenix, Arizona for the 66th Biennial Convention!

Your champion,
Kate Stanton, Alpha Iota–Oklahoma

PS: Rest assured, I did find a few event favors to take home as well. Every Convention meal, event, script, and PowerPoint is matched perfectly to our Convention theme, Set the Pace. For my event planner heart, it is beyond impressive (Thanks Amanda!). As I worked to pack the favors in my overfilled suitcases, I realized they are merely trinkets. I already received the best favor in the world – my membership. October 27, 1995. Norman, Oklahoma. The day that connected me to each of you.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Another Lap, Another Lesson

Coming around the track for its 65th lap, convention has flown by, leaving us in a state of heightened inspiration and contemplation. With the swiftness of a racecar, Delta Gamma Convention 2012 presented itself with sleek glamour and shameless intention of leaving its mark – in true Delta Gamma fashion. Although only a few days, this year’s biennial session has offered much in experience and instruction for collegians and alumnae alike. Together we experienced the swooning power of a musician’s charm and observed time-old Fraternity traditions. We were inspired by countless speeches and further educated through general sessions. We fostered friendships with other like-minded fabulous women, and had a great time doing it all.

Over the past few days we have learned, or perhaps relearned, several things. For example, we discovered that mysterious looking food is actually quite tasty, but should still be approached with caution (just in case), and that expecting to remain well rested is quite simply unrealistic. While convention has been filled with innumerable, arguably trivial realizations, it has also produced many deeper thoughts. Lectureship guest speaker Michael Hingson reminded us that being a Delta Gamma is a privilege that provides us with a unique opportunity to positively influence the lives of others. In the Leadership luncheon lecture, “From My Perspective,” guest Pete Smithhisler reiterated our duty as Fraternity women to encourage others to “join the family” by living our ritual in our everyday lives and showing others exactly what membership in “the family” truly means. During the Panhellenic luncheon Alpha Xi Delta spokesman Ginny Carroll impressed upon us the significance of Greek life, articulately reasoning why Greek life is unique, necessary and, if done properly, self-sustainable.

Throughout the week we have been challenged to look deep within ourselves, striving to align our personal values with the Fraternity’s. And finally, any misconception that Delta Gamma thrives only at the collegiate level was effectively popped. For me this meant finally bursting my Alpha Zeta bubble and embracing the impressive scope that is our international Fraternity.

As these lessons are just the tip of the iceberg, one can only imagine the full breadth and wealth of knowledge disseminated throughout convention. A Founder’s Day speaker once told my chapter to place “attending a convention” on our Delta Gamma bucket list. I, and my fellow convention attendees, may now vouch for this statement; there are few things in life that will stick with you forever, and the convention experience is absolutely one of them.

Cadence Peckam, Alpha Zeta-Lawrence
2012-2013 Collegiate Development Consultant