It’s not too often you get to celebrate a centennial. After all, they only come around once every 100 years. So it’s not too surprising that this past weekend was my first. I spent Friday, June 1 – Sunday, June 3 celebrating the centennial of Alpha Xi Delta’s Rho Chapter, a sorority of which I am incredibly proud to be a member.
One hundred years ago TODAY, on June 5, 1912, twelve young ladies welcomed Alpha Xi Delta‘s Grand President, Lena Grandin Baldwin and Vice President, Anna Miller-Knote to Lincoln, NE. These ladies (Mildred Bevins, Goldie Munson, Celia Malone, Maurine Hetzler, Evelyn Dobbs, Ruth Hyder, Christina Claussen, Hazel Robinson, Mildred Daniels, Beatrice Longtin, Bertha Ehlers, and Isabel Coons) were pledged into Alpha Xi Delta’s newest chapter, Rho chapter, at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Since that time, 2,400 additional young women have joined Rho Chapter, and become Alpha Xi’s for life. A number of these women were present this weekend to celebrate.
The weekend was filled with laughter, memories, and above all – sisterhood. The Centennial Committee did an INCREDIBLE job planning the events of the weekend. Everything was well-organized and ran smoothly. Yet it wasn’t the return to the physical house at 1619 R St. that made the weekend so memorable – though the tour of the new 4th floor made all of us quite jealous – it was the return to the chapter. It’s the women who make Alpha Xi Delta’s Rho chapter so vibrant, so welcoming, and so memorable. Looking back at my time as an active member, it is much clearer to see now, that it was always the women. Every woman who has ever made 1619 R St. her home, has impacted Alpha Xi Delta, and all of the Rho chapter girls to come after her.
So many things made this weekend exceptional!
It was the funny moments at the 1990s decade celebration at James Arthur Vineyards, like watching Lisa Beman Walker struggle with the shade to help warm us up on a chilly evening. It was laughing along with Carmen Helvey Pleskac while she described her morning, getting her four children ready for the day when all she wanted was to enjoy a delicious bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. (Carmen, as a girl who loves fashion, let me thank you for not allowing your Alpha Xi legacy, Lucia, to wear mismatched clothing!) It was watching Jess Meier Marsh walk around the grounds of James Arthur with her extra-large “koozy” filled with wine.
It was the spontaneous moments, like the initiating class of 1996 leading the banquet hall in a lively rendition of some favorite Alpha Xi Delta songs. “This whole house is Alpha Xi laughter, this whole house is Alpha Xi joy!”
It was the fun of getting to room with my real-life sister (and Alpha Xi sister) Amanda Mimick once more (and make a stop at Amigo’s with her!). Girls Night!
It was the sentimental moments, like seeing Jayne Wade Anderson (initiated in 1949) in attendance at Saturday night’s banquet. I always knew she was an incredible woman, but listening to her list of accomplishments blew my mind. There’s nothing this woman hasn’t done – including serving as Alpha Xi Delta’s National President!
It was the moments of pride, listening to Linda Schwartzkopf, UNL’s Director of Greek Affairs, and Sandi Edwards, Alpha Xi Delta’s current National President, talk about the many wonderful things that Rho Chapter has accomplished through its 100 years.
But above all else, it was the sisterhood. Seeing some of my favorite people, together again in one room, to celebrate all that Rho Chapter has done, and all that she will continue to do. Alpha Xi Delta has given me countless role models through my college years and to this day; women I strive to emulate and whose spunk I hope to have as I move through life (Alice Frampton Dittman, I want to be just like you!!!) So many of these women have helped make me who I am today.
Rho Chapter, here is my message to you, on the day of our Centennial:
Thank you for teaching me how to follow and how to lead.
Thank you for encouraging me to work hard at everything I attempt.
Thank you for showing me how to succeed and to fail, both with grace.
Thank you for helping me to realize my potential.
And thank you, thank you, thank you, for giving me my sisters…all 2,400 of them.
Happy 100th Year, Rho Chapter!