My Holiday Charity

As a sorority woman, my member group and the National Panhellenic Conference have taught me the importance of helping others. During the holidays, I often reflect on how blessed my family is, and I know that we can never give enough to those in need. However, if as sorority women we all do one thing with our families to provide service or funds to an organization we hold dear, the potential to meet many needs is great.

During the holiday season, I fill shoe boxes as a volunteer for Samaritan’s Purse – Operation Christmas Child. This organization sends shoe boxes filled with gifts to children across the world. In 2010, 8.17 million shoe boxes were delivered to children on four continents, brightening their holidays.

I encourage you this holiday season to remember the NPC Creed, “The opportunity for wide and wise human service, through mutual respect and helpfulness, is the tenet by which we strive to live.” Then, think about the one thing you and your family can do this holiday season to aid the less fortunate. We have the potential, it’s your move.

My Christmas Tree

Everything about the holidays is “tradition” to me. I love getting out the Christmas decorations and ornaments. Many of them were made by my mother and grandmother or my husband's mother. As we decorate, particularly the tree, we reflect on the person who made the ornament or the trip we were on when we bought certain ornaments. Take a look at my tree, the sequin and bead balls were made by my great aunt and sent to me each Christmas as a child. The ornament with a red heart says, “My First Christmas – 1981,” and was cross stitched for my daughter Mary Leah’s first Christmas by her aunt. There are four china bells that have been passed down through three generations. Our tree may not be designer, but it was designed with the love of a family throughout the years. Now with our daughter in her own home in California, I have shared some of these family ornaments, so when we go there for the holidays ... the tradition lives on.

The AFA Annual Meeting

The Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors is comprised of professionals and volunteers who work on college campuses, work at a fraternity/sorority inter/national headquarters, work for businesses that support fraternity/sorority members and/or volunteer locally or nationally for their fraternity/sorority, or for organizations that support fraternities and sororities.

Two of the Association’s primary purposes are professional development and support for members and advocacy for the fraternity/sorority advising profession. The cultivation and consistent demonstration of these competencies are keys to success among professionals and volunteers who work with fraternities and sororities.

As a supporter and member of AFA, NPC representatives, including myself, attended the AFA annual meeting in St. Louis last week (Nov. 30 – Dec. 3). My experience at AFA was beneficial and here’s some points that outline why.

• Passion, dedication, engagement ... that's what I experienced when talking with the FSAs.

• Appreciation for the support NPC gives to College Panhellenics and FSAs.

• Desire for continued dialogue on NPC processes such as extension, recruitment and RFM.

• Enthusiasm for dialogue and partnership with the newly appointed NPC FSA Advisory Committee.

Thanks to all of the fraternity and sorority professionals who made this meeting a success, and thanks for all you do to advance the sorority experience.

Give us Three Minutes of Your Time

In all of our lives as Panhellenic women, we’ve been hit by the all too common stereotypes that follow when we choose sorority life. But it’s time to put them to rest. It’s time to turn our hearts and our minds to what we know the truth to be – that sorority is a personal calling.

To read the rest of my chairman's message please click here.

Thanksgiving Reflection

When my family and friends gather at the table for Thanksgiving dinner, my husband Bob always shares a special Thanksgiving reflection. Below is one of his reflections, and you can share it with your family too.

Thanksgiving Reflection

So often times, as any other day,
When we sit down to our meal and pray,
We hurry along and make fast the blessing:
"Thanks amen. Now please pass the dressing."
We're slaves to the olfactory overload.
We must rush before the food gets cold.

Bur I'd like to take a few minutes more
To really give thanks to what I'm thankful for:
For my family, my health, a nice soft bed,
My friends, my freedom, a roof over my head.
I'm thankful right now to be surrounded by those
Whose lives touch me more than they'll ever possibly know.
I have been blessed beyond measure,
In my heart lives life's greatest treasures.

So please bless this food which has been provided
And bless each and every person invited!

Thanksgiving Brunch

On Thanksgiving morning my family and friends gather for brunch with special breakfast casseroles like, grits and greens, and we always have sausage rolls. Enjoy my traditional sausage roll recipe, and maybe it will become a tradition for you too!

Sausage Rolls

1 sheet Pepperidge Farm Frozen Puff Pastry
1 lb. sausage

Thaw pastry for 20 minutes. On lightly floured surface roll to a 15 1/2 X 9 in. rectangle. Cut rectangle into three strips, each 3 inches wide. Divide sausage into thirds. Roll each into a 'snake' the length of the pastry. Place each roll along one edge of a pastry strip. Roll pastry around sausage. Wet edges with water and press to seal. Chill the rolls for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut sausage into 3/4 inch slices and place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 12 minutes or until pastry is puffed and golden.

My Thanksgiving Traditions

I'm all about 'tradition.' That's probably one of the reasons why I love sororities: our rich history and traditions! For Thanksgiving, we always gather at my husband Bob and I’s home in Florida. Mother comes in from North Carolina, my daughter Mary Leah flies in from Los Angeles and Linda Dinus, past AXiD National President, and her husband Ron come in from Bellingham, Washington.

Wednesday is the traditional 'make the pies' day. Mother makes the homemade crusts, Mary Leah makes the fillings, pumpkin and pecan, and I supervise!

On Thanksgiving morning we gather for brunch with special breakfast casseroles like grits and greens, and we always have sausage rolls. Then we watch Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and with high anticipation, we wait for "the real Santa Claus" to appear at the end of the parade. All the while, the smells of Thanksgiving permeate the air ... turkey roasting, yeast rolls baking, the stuffing and my 'special' cranberry sauce, check out the recipe below. When we gather at the table, there's always a special Thanksgiving reflection that my husband Bob gives.

All in all, it’s a wonderful weekend shared with some of my favorite people. Thanks for letting me share my Thanksgiving with you. I hope yours is filled with fun. Happy Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Sauce

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup port
4 cups cranberries
1/4 cup orange liquor

Stir together sugar, port and 3/4 cup water in heavy 3 qt. saucepan until blended. Add cranberries: bring to a boil and cook over medium high heat, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes or until cranberry skins begin to split. Remove from heat and let cool 15 minutes. Stir in orange liqueur. Cover and chill 8 hours before serving. (Stores up to 2 weeks in refrigerator.)

NPC knows how to Wordle!

Do you know what a wordle is? NPC does! A wordle is a piece of text which has been rearranged into a visual pattern of words. The bigger the word, the more times it was used in the original text. Usually, wordles contain different colors and fonts to help separate the various words from one another. These designs are also referred to as word clouds or text clouds.

At this year’s annual NPC Conference in Austin, Texas, NPC distributed its very own wordle! The wordle was made by collecting terms from each of the NPC Executive Council members and their mission statements. The wordle appeared on the front of a postcard, and when flipped to the back, individuals were introduced to the 2011- 2013 NPC Executive Committee. See the wordle and postcard below, and if you like it, try making your own!

The 1961 NPC Conference

In 1961, Mary Burt Nash, Alpha Theta '30, was the third Alpha Xi Delta to rotate into the role of NPC chair. Before Mary Burt Nash, only two other Alpha Xi Deltas served NPC in this capacity. Both Ella Leib and Lena Baldwin were only out of college for 10 years before rotating into the chairmanship. When it was Mary Burt Nash’s turn, she was different. Mary Burt Nash was out of college for more than a decade when she was installed, and she had a great deal of education under her belt. Mary Burt Nash held a B.A. in history, an M.A. in history and a law degree.

When Mary Burt Nash was installed, the conference was no longer referred to as the Intersorority Conference or the National Panhellenic Congress. Now, it was officially titled the National Panhellenic Conference. The 1961 meeting took place in Chandler, Arizonia, and this was the last time, before Jane, that an Alpha Xi Delta was installed as the NPC chair. The events of the 1961 NPC Conference and Mary Burt Nash’s installation were recorded in the January 1962 edition of The Alpha Xi Delta, the Fraternity’s magazine at this time.

To read the article that appeared in The Alpha Xi Delta on Mary Burt Nash and the 1961 NPC Conference, click here.

Jane's Installation Recap!

Alpha Xi Deltas had so much fun in Texas watching Jane Sutton become the National Panhellenic Conference chairman! The installation took place on October 15, 2011, during the weekend-long NPC annual conference.  For those of you who missed the event, we have plenty of photos and videos to keep you up-to-date on everything that happened in Austin, Texas!
Saturday morning was off to a busy start. NPC held various meetings to conduct NPC business. All of NPC's Panhellenic organizations were in attendance throughout the weekend to take part in the annual meeting. Once the meetings and sessions concluded, Alpha Xi Delta began the celebration for Jane and her new role as the NPC chair!
As many of you know, this event marked the first time in 50 years that an Alpha Xi Delta served NPC in this capacity. In order mark the occasion, Alpha Xi Delta had a “Xi-esta” celebrating Jane and 50 years of Alpha Xi Delta! Sisters from the Beta Alpha Chapter at the University of Texas and the Theta Lambda Chapter at Southwestern University were at the "Xi-esta" to show their support for Jane and Alpha Xi Delta.
The event was filled with Alpha Xi Delta spirit and excitement for Jane. There was lemonade and snacks for everyone to enjoy. As individuals walked around the room, fact cards provided them with a little Alpha Xi Delta history and some memorable pop-culture moments from the past 50 years. Sisters also had the opportunity to fill out their “Congratulation’s Jane” postcards and  meet Jane. Everyone had a great time.

Following the "Xi-esta," the day concluded with NPC's Closing Banquet. At the banquet, awards were handed out and Jane Sutton was installed, along with the other members of the NPC Executive Board. Once Jane was installed, she delivered her first speech as the NPC Chair!

After Jane’s installation, the weekend continued with a “Celebrate Jane” theme to honor Jane and her new NPC position.

Now that the weekend is over, be sure to check back to receive updates on Jane and NPC. Follow Jane on Twitter @NPCChairman, and before you go, check out the video below to see the moment when Jane was installed as the new NPC Chair!

NPC Facebook Icon

Have you seen Alpha Xi Delta's new NPC Facebook icon? You too can show your support for NPC and Alpha Xi Delta's NPC delegates. Upload the icon below and use it as your Facebook and/or Twitter profile pictures this week leading up to Jane's installation.

Every 52 years, Alpha Xi Delta has the opportunity to become the NPC Chair. Before Jane Sutton, only three other Alpha Xi Deltas, Ella Leib, Lena Baldwin and Mary Burt Nash, served NPC in this capacity. Let's show our support for these special Alpha Xi Deltas and NPC!

Tool Kits Now Available!

This NPC Tool Kit should be used to educate your Panhellenic delegate and additional chapter members on the National Panhellenic Conference. It contains information on what NPC is and what the conference does, information on Jane Sutton and the importance of her role as the NPC Chair, media samples, such as press releases, pamphlets and flyers your chapter can use.

If you have any questions about this tool kit, contact the Associate Director of Area Development for your territory, or Lauren Felts, Director of Communications and Marketing.

Send a Card to Jane!

On October 15, 2011, Jane will be installed as the new NPC Chair! This is a very exciting time for Jane and Alpha Xi Delta, as it is the first time in 50 years that an Alpha Xi has served NPC in this capacity. 

If you want to show you support and say congratulations to Jane, we made it easy for you! All you have to do is click on the “Contact Us” tab on the top of the page and download the congratulations card for Jane. Then, print it, personalize it and send it to Jane! 

Send your congrats now!

Meet our Previous NPC Chairman

Ella Leib
Ella Leib, formerly known as Ella Berry Boston, was born on November 21, 1877 in Knox County Maine, and began school at Lombard College in September 1893. She joined Alpha Xi Delta in 1894 and was highly active in the Fraternity. On October 29, 1902, Ella married Dr. John Robert Leib, and they resided in Springfield, IL. During this same year, Ella served as Alpha Xi Delta’s first Grand Secretary of National Council, which was then referred to as the Grand Chapter. During her time as Grand Secretary, Ella served with our most famous founder, Cora Bollinger Block, who was, at the time, Grand National President.  On May 14, 1904 at Alpha Xi Delta’s second annual Convention, Ella Leib was elected Alpha Xi Delta's Grand National President. 

Ella Leib served as the National Panhellenic Conference delegate, then called the Inter-Sorority Conference, in 1905. She attended the fourth Inter-Sorority conference on September 15, 1905, along with delegates from Kappa Alpha Theta, Delta Gamma, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Pi Beta Phi, Alpha Phi, Gamma Phi Beta, Alpha Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Chi Omega and Alpha Omicron Pi. At this particular meeting, Ella Leib was declared Secretary of the Conference. Ella also attended the fifth Inter-Sorority Conference on September 14, 1906. This time the group was joined by a delegate from Sigma Kappa.

Lena Baldwin
Lena Baldwin joined the Eta Chapter of Alpha Xi Delta in October 1904. She was a junior at Syracuse University when she entered our Sisterhood. After graduating cum laude in 1906, Lena stayed involved with the Fraternity. She joined the Syracuse Alumnae Association and was Directress of Division III from 1909 – 1911. She went on to serve as Alpha Xi Delta’s Grand Secretary in 1911, and eventually became the National President on October 28, 1911 at Alpha Xi Delta’s sixth National Convention.

Lena attended the eleventh National Panhellenic Conference, no longer referred to as the Inter-Sorority Conference, on October 17, 1912 as an Alpha Xi Delta Delegate. At this meeting, Lena joined the Committee on Chaperones along with James H. Crann from Alpha Chi Omega. In 1913, Lena Baldwin joined the NPC Executive Committee as its Treasurer in 1913. She held this position from 1913-1914. She attended the twelfth National Pan-Hellenic Conference on October 16, 17 and 18, and this time she was placed on the Auditing Committee. Lena later became the first Alpha Xi Delta to serve as NPC Chair. During her time in this position, Lena composed the Panhellenic Creed, which all members of NPC still recite today.

Mary Burt Nash

Mary Burt Brooks Nash joined Alpha Xi Delta’s Alpha Theta Chapter at Northwestern University in 1930. She was dedicated to service for the greater good, and exemplified her dedication and leadership within the Fraternity. She served as Alpha Xi Delta’s National President from 1957 – 1962 and held the National Panhellenic Conference Chair from 1961 – 1963. Mary helped establish the Alpha Xi Delta Foundation in 1957, to help fund educational programming and leadership opportunities for the women of Alpha Xi Delta. 

Mary Burt Nash attended the 34th National Panhellenic Conference in November 14 – 18, 1955 as Alpha Xi Delta’s National First Vice President. She was then considered to be the alternate NPC delegate. When she was installed as Alpha Xi Delta’s National President in 1957, Mary Burt Nash became Alpha Xi Delta’s NPC delegate. She was the National Panhellenic Conference Treasurer from 1957-1959 before becoming NPC Chair in 1961.


Alpha Xi Delta is thrilled to welcome Jane Sutton as the NPC Chairman in October. Stay tuned to this blog for updates from Jane, NPC news and Alpha Xi Delta news.