My Convention Experience

By Rachel Gurley, Alpha Phi Fraternity, Butler University

Rachel (right) with Alpha Phi's NPC Delegate and former 
NPC Chairman, Sally Grant (left), at the Candlelight Banquet.

When reflecting on my collegiate experiences as an Alpha Phi, it’s hard not to smile. I was fortunate to attend Alpha Phi’s Emerging Leaders Institute last summer as a sophomore member. When the opportunity presented itself for me to attend convention, I could not wait to reunite with my ELI sisters from across the country for another summer adventure with Alpha Phi. 

I was already aware the world of Alpha Phi expands beyond just my chapter from my experience at the leadership institute.  Convention immersed me in the big world of Alpha Phi once again. This time not only did I find that I am a part of an amazing organization that’s larger than my chapter, but I learned I also have many alumnae sisters that are very experienced, accomplished and great at what they do.

Every Panhellenic organization has particular alumnae that are famous members. Katie Couric, Sheryl Crow and Ashley Judd are all fabulous sorority women.  At convention I got to hear the stories of women (my sisters!) who are just as amazing as the pop culture stars we normally highlight.  

Sorority women are driven and passionate. Our International President, Linda Long Boland, said it all by using the famous Isaac Newton quote, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulder of giants.” Alumnae now and alumnae before them have broken down barriers to be successful in their fields. We are where we are today because of the women who served as giants before us. There is still work to be done. Women continue to struggle for equal opportunity, compensation and respect in the work place. But by following the examples of the leading women in our organizations we can be the giant for the next generation.

As a collegiate member, I am inspired by the stories I heard and the alumnae I met at convention. I saw examples of amazing women who truly live out the values of our organization. Sorority membership is for a lifetime. After attending convention I have a greater understanding of what lifetime membership looks like. How we choose to spend our lifetime is up to us. Why not ‘stand on the shoulders of giants’?