Working with Jane: Advisor Apprecation Month

by Megan McGowen

Megan is seen in the front right with the other 1995 ELCs.

I first met Jane when she was Alpha Xi Delta’s National Extension Vice President (NEVP) and I was traveling as an Educational Leadership Consultant (ELC). Alpha Xi Delta was preparing for colonization at the University of Central Florida (UCF) where I was assigned as the colony consultant. Fortunately for me, Jane was not only the NEVP but she lived only 30 minutes away from UCF. From colonization through installation of the chapter, Jane was always right there when I needed her. She even invited me over for dinner with her family on a regular basis and let me “borrow” her washer and dryer. Whether we were at Jane’s house or training the new local advisory board, Jane always led by example and was easily able to work with the Greek Community, volunteers, officers and chapter members.  Jane taught me that being an advisor was not always easy or predictable, but that the rewards would far outweigh the difficulties. She reminded me that you have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of many women, if you just take the time to do so.

When I entered graduate school, I became the Chapter Advisor at Auburn University. Again, Jane was there if I needed anything. She took numerous phone calls throughout the years, both positive and negative, and was always there to encourage me and to provide constructive advice when needed. She has always reminded me that the reward for advising was watching members grow and prosper throughout their collegiate and alumnae years. Jane was right.

I have had the privilege of working with hundreds of collegiate women as an advisor and volunteer.  Sometimes I had to be the disciplinarian and other times a shoulder to lean on. Chapter members have studied for finals at my house and “borrowed” my laundry facilities. I have received countless late night phone calls, graduation announcements and wedding invitations. It is an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. Jane Sutton took the time to mentor me and wasn’t afraid to let me know when I was off course and for that I am truly grateful.

As Advisor Appreciation Month comes to a close, I encourage each of you to contact a special advisor or mentor and let them know that they made a difference in your life. Jane Sutton made a difference in my life, and I sincerely hope I have done the same for others.