On Greek Life from our President-Elect
October 1, 2012 § 3 Comments
With heartfelt gratitude, from the pen of our President-Elect and my friend Laurie Taishoff:
“When I was a young girl, around 11 or 12, I can remember sitting with my Dad in his home office one Saturday afternoon while he was catching up on some paperwork. My Dad told me to rummage through his bottom desk drawer for any new pencils, pens or markers that I might want to take for school. I started digging, and that is when I found it! There amongst all of the office supplies was this wooden paddle with a crest and these funny symbols on it. I asked my Dad “what is this?” He told me it was his pledge paddle from college, and he proceeded to tell me about his fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi, and Greek Life. I was mesmerized! It was at that moment in my Dad’s office that I knew…I just knew that I wanted to join a sorority in college. Fast forward a few years, and that is exactly what I did. I joined Chi Omega, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
As far back as ancient Greece, fraternal organizations have existed. Here in the United States, the concept of American college fraternities started in 1776 when Phi Beta Kappa was founded at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Over the years, as more and more chapters of Phi Beta Kappa were established at other college campuses, the idea of “secret societies” caught on. In 1824, Chi Phi was founded at Princeton University. In 1825, Kappa Alpha was founded at Union College in Schenectady, New York. In 1851, the Daughters of Rebekah was formed as a women’s auxiliary of The Three Link, a Latin literary society. In 1867, the first sorority that was modeled after a fraternity was established at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois. In 1871, the first fraternity at Syracuse University was established with the colonization of Delta Kappa Epsilon. Today, the Greek system is alive and well at Syracuse University. Student members of over 100 various social, honorary, service and other Greek-lettered organizations at SU are engaged with philanthropy and community service for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Habitat for Humanity, Alzheimer’s Society, Autism Speaks, Camp Good Days and Special Times of Syracuse, Golisano’s Children Hospital in Syracuse and Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation…just to name a few.
Last month I had the pleasure of meeting up with 32 of my Chi Omega sorority sisters for a weekend reunion in Boston, and even though I had not seen some of these women since graduation, it felt, even if for only a brief moment, like time had stood still and we were back in college! That special bond that existed all those years ago on Walnut Avenue was still there. Thanks, Dad, for sharing your college fraternity story during that Saturday afternoon in your office. Like father, like daughter…proud to be a Phi Kappa Psi, proud to be a Chi Omega.”
A big thanks to the SU Alumni Club of Minnesota and its President Jennifer Carnahan for hosting a very successful pre-game event for the SU v. Minnesota football game on September 22nd and the special guest appearance by Hall of Famer Floyd Little. Also, don’t forget Orange Central 2012 on November 9th – 11th - I hope to see you there!