by Jana Clayton, International Vice President of Alumnae
The month of May is always an important one for Alpha Delta Pi.
First, on May 15th, we celebrate Founder’s Day. As we celebrate the 167th year since our founding as the first (and finest) secret society for women, Alpha Delta Pi stands strong. We now have more than 275,000 initiated members, and we continue to remain a strong influence in the Greek community, with more than 22,000 collegiate members.
Not only is May the month in which we celebrate Founder’s Day, but it is also the month where many of our collegiate sisters graduate. As we prepare for the next class of sisters to begin their post-graduate journeys as alumnae members of our organization. During this exciting time of year, one specific line from our creed stands out in my mind:
I believe in Alpha Delta Pi. I believe that my sorority is more than a ritual, more than a symbol; that it is a way of life.
Our organization, which was founded upon the ideals of sisterhood, values and ethics, high academic standards and social responsibility, imparts lasting knowledge upon our sisters during their collegiate experience, but the connection does not – and should not – stop there. Alpha Delta Pi truly is a way of life for many of our alumna members, and alumnae experiences are a crucial next step in the membership experience, so I thought it would be beneficial to compile my top five ways to stay connected after graduation.
1. Participate in Jewel Degree:
I hope all new graduates have the opportunity to participate in one of my favorite ceremonies – the Jewel Degree.
Established in 1915 and named for Jewel Davis Scarborough, this secret ritual ceremony marks the transition from collegiate membership to alumna membership.
Graduating seniors are granted alumna status after graduation even if they’re unable to participate in Jewel Degree, but any graduated member of Alpha Delta Pi (in good standing) or member who has left school permanently (in good standing) is eligible to receive the Jewel Degree at any time.
If you are an alumna who has not had the privilege of participating in the Jewel Degree previously, I highly recommend that you reach out to your local alumnae association for an invitation to the next ceremony.
2. Give back to collegiate chapters:
Active and involved alumnae are an integral part of a strong collegiate chapter. One of the most impactful ways you can support chapters is by serving as an advisor, house corporation member, international officer or other approved alumnae volunteer. You can learn more about volunteer opportunities here and even submit an alumnae involvement profile to express your interest.
Even if you don’t have the time to commit to one of these more permanent positions, you can still be involved by assisting with Total Membership Education workshops or by attending mock recruitment events. During the recruitment season, you can also help out by submitting Potential Member Profiles and Legacy Introduction Forms.
Please also consider paying your Alumnae ReMember Dues each year. These dues are only $30 and are a key investment in opportunities to support both the collegiate and alumnae membership experience.
3. Let Alpha Delta Pi give back to you:
Take advantage of our Pi Resource Center, which was created to connect sisters – especially young alumnae – to resources to help them live a well-balanced life. The PiRC is a mentoring and professional development resource that includes awesome benefits from sisters who donate their time to help empower alumnae and set them up for success, with services like career coaching, resume reviewing and preparing for interviews.
If you are pursuing a post-graduate degree, we also have special grants and scholarships just for our alumnae.
4. Continue to represent Alpha Delta Pi well:
Once you join Alpha Delta Pi, you are a member for life. Being part of our organization is a privilege that should not be taken lightly. After graduation, feel free to display your letters proudly at your workplace by using Alpha Delta Pi-branded water bottles, coffee mugs and more!
Also make sure to keep your badge in a special place and wear it when you return to your chapter for special events. If it interests you, your badge may be converted to permanent or temporary jewelry settings, such as a ring or pendant.
5. Stay active in the sisterhood:
As you know, being part of Alpha Delta Pi isn’t just for four years – it’s for life. We have special membership ceremonies and pins for alumnae when they reach 10, 25, 50, 60 and 75 years of membership.
One of the best ways to stay connected is by joining your local alumnae association, as well as your chapter alumnae association if there is one. Alumnae associations plan fun events throughout the year that are perfect for connecting with sisters of all ages – and networking! Even if you plan on moving after graduation, we have Alpha Delta Pi sisters all over the country. Find your closest alumnae association here.
And, make sure to keep your contact information current on Pride Online so you can receive The Adelphean, Alumnae Chronicle and other important messages.
I hope that you continue your involvement with Alpha Delta Pi throughout your lifetime. And, wherever your post-college adventures take you, I wish you nothing but the best. Thank you for helping Alpha Delta Pi remain the First. Finest. Forever. Since 1851.
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Jana, thanks for reminding us of ALL the ways to continue investing in our sisterhood. You set a great example!