I recently heard a term that was new to me – “lost alumna.” For nearly twenty years, that term described me.
I left DG behind when I left college, in part because I lived far from my campus of initiation and my sisters were spread out across the country. I did not realize I missed DG until my daughter joined a different sorority at the University of Alabama before DG colonized here. When DG announced that it was colonizing at the University of Alabama, I sought opportunities to be involved in limited ways. Then I received an unforgettable phone call – I was asked to serve as an adviser. I protested that I had no time, but I was a push over because I wanted to contribute in any way I could to make sure the new Delta Gamma colony would be outstanding.
That call truly changed my life. I now spend significant time (hours I did not know I could find) consulting with collegians and assisting the officers, directors, and other advisers. In return, I receive rewards I anticipated: satisfaction from watching the collegians successfully complete major tasks; joy from relationships with outstanding young women who are just beginning to chart their paths in life; pride from observing motivated and caring young women develop into mature leaders; and fulfillment from relationships with the outstanding members of the advisory team. I also receive rewards I never imagined: knowledge and personal growth due to the extensive tutelage of our outstanding Council Appointed Consultant and Council Appointed Recruitment Coordinator; friendship and wisdom from numerous dedicated fraternity officers, directors and employees who have always willingly answered my numerous questions; and the development of skills in conflict management, leadership, teaching, etiquette, and communications from working with the collegians. To my surprise, I learn as much, or more, from the collegians than they learn from me! I am truly grateful to be a found alumna.
Appie Owens Millsaps, Zeta Beta - Dartmouth College, is an attorney at law in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She practices with the law firm of Owens & Millsaps. She also serves as the Advisory Team Chairperson for Beta Psi - University of Alabama. You can reach Appie at firstname.lastname@example.org.