By Julia Kershner, Marketing Coordinator, Zeta Nu – Clemson University
The title “Grand Council” is said many times throughout Alpha Delta Pi’s endeavors, networks, and history. You may be new to ADPi, you may have a daughter or a friend in this organization, or you may be an ADPi yourself who has wondered at one point or another: what exactly is Grand Council? I had the opportunity to sit down with Alpha Delta Pi’s Executive Director, Amanda Sloan, as she answered the following questions.
Q: What is Grand Council?
A: Grand Council is Alpha Delta Pi’s governing board, a group of seven women who are elected to serve the organization for a two-year term. They meet quarterly in person and monthly by Zoom and they are responsible for guiding the organization in achieving strategic priorities.
Q: What are some of the specific roles that Grand Council holds?
A: Grand Council sets the strategic direction of the organization. With our strategic plan, Grand Council members serve as executive sponsors of each priority to ensure each area, and the supporting volunteers and staff, have the support and resources that they need. In their roles, they make fiduciary decisions, review reporting and trends, establish and revise Standing Rules and Policies (with support from the Strategic Leadership Team), define and uphold our values, traditions, and heritage, and ensure adequate resources are in place for our organization. They oversee the Strategic Leadership Team and make decisions that are in the best interest of the sorority. In addition to the Sorority, they have oversight of Alpha Delta Pi’s International House Corporation.
Q: Can you give me a little history behind the founding and evolution of Grand Council?
A: For the first 50 years of our existence, we had one chapter, our Alpha chapter, and it was not until the early 1900s that we had our first International President. We had a long-serving president from the mid-1940s to the late 1970s. During these first 125 years, we did not have term limits. In 1977, term limits became standard, and it was the first time we had more regular turnover of Grand Council members. In 2003, the number of terms the International President could serve changed from three, two-year terms to two, two-year terms. In 2019, we had an amendment go into effect at Convention when we moved from having a president and six “named” vice presidents, such as Vice President of Finance and Vice President of Alumnae, to having a president and six general vice presidents. This has helped Grand Council move toward a hybrid governance model where the board is more strategic in nature and is able to focus on the priority areas for the biennium.
Q: In a sentence or two, why do we have a Grand Council?
A: We have a Grand Council so that our organization can continue as an organization for the betterment of women as leaders at both the collegiate and alumnae levels. With governance and strategic vision from Grand Council, our organization continues forward.
Q: Is there anything that you would like to add as we bring on a new Grand Council?
A: I am excited to have our next Grand Council elected and installed! I have only been the Executive Director for this triennium. The majority of my professional time here has been with this departing group. We keep evolving, and the work of Grand Council has to bridge over with the next Grand Council so there is fluidity and we carry things forward. I enjoy being the Executive Director and strategic partner with Grand Council. We have strong elected officers, a robust volunteer pool, and knowledgeable staff. Across these partnerships, we can build an organization for the future, while remembering our history. I am looking forward to working with our new Grand Council members. We have a full onboarding in place, and while there always is a period of adjustment, please know that all sisters have a great leadership team in these women, to carry us forward.
We are pleased to officially announce the 2022-2024 Grand Council!
Dawn Victor-Herring, International President, Zeta Eta – University of North Alabama
Jennifer Brown Arends, International Vice President, Beta Sigma – Mercer University
Jessica Carr Belcher, International Vice President, Zeta Lambda – Texas A&M University
Sarah Davis-Candeto, International Vice President, Epsilon Psi – Tennessee Technological University
Tiffany Eisenbise, International Vice President, Delta Upsilon – University of Tennessee, Martin
Jacquelyn Hontalas, International Vice President, Zeta Pi – University of San Diego
Ebony Rose, International Vice President, Zeta – Southwestern University
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