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.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Kate! It was true joy to see you! Litb... Amanda