By Sara Bedwell, Tau-University of Kansas, Recruitment & Marketing Director, President of the Greater Kansas City Alumnae Panhellenic, Greater Kansas City Alumnae Association Panhellenic Delegate
Not Just Four Years – The Gift of Our Lifetime Membership Experience
With collegians at Alpha Eta-Kansas State
The gift of our Lifetime Membership Experience is the one thing that makes sorority membership different from all of the clubs and organizations available on college campuses. When I was a collegian at the University of Kansas, I would hear these words about ADPi lifetime membership, but they didn’t mean very much to me then. I was living in the moment and absolutely loved my collegiate chapter experience. I was an active and engaged member, but I never ran to serve as an Exec Officer or in a large collegiate leadership position.
About a year after graduation, I realized how much I missed ADPi, and that I wanted to get involved as an alumna member. I reached out to our local Greater Kansas City Alumnae Association, and also to the local Collegiate Province Director looking for opportunities to engage. Since I had not been a chapter leader in college, I didn’t know what getting involved would look like, but I was eager and determined to find local ADPi connections. This was in 2003, and 20 years later, I have an incredibly rich and rewarding alumna experience, that in many ways, is just as impactful (or even more so!) than my amazing collegian experience.
There are so many ways to experience ADPi as an alumna member. Here are three ways that I give back and serve our organization today:
1. Give back to our Collegians
Group of RMD’s at RMAA in Dallas, October 2022
My first ADPi position was as a Standards Advisor at Delta Phi/University of Missouri-Kansas City. I was 23 years old, and Standards probably wasn’t my greatest skillset, but it got my foot in the door to working with collegians and with other advisors who were from different chapters, and were of different ages. Before this experience, ADPi to me was just my home chapter, but through working with another chapter, I began to see ADPi through a different lens, and it broadened my scope of our organization. I spent twelve years as a local advisor, and then have spent the past 8 years working on the International Officer Team. Today, I work with recruitment officers and advisors at seven chapters in Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas. I also get to serve on the Recruitment & Marketing Director Team, with 20 other sisters from across the country. I am inspired, challenged, and motivated daily by this incredible group of women who I crossed paths with due to alumnae volunteering.
2. Give back to our Alumnae Community
GKC Tacos & Treat Bags event for Week of Service
When I graduated, I wasn’t sure about the Alumnae Association. I had a picture in my mind of what it was and wondered if I would fit in. When I reached out for the first time, I was kindly welcomed and began making it a priority to come to events. I met so many incredible women from my chapter and from so many others. Again, my perspective of the huge impact that Alpha Delta Pi makes began to widen. Engaging with our local Alumnae Association made my city feel smaller, and helped me to have social and philanthropy events to put on my calendar. I have been a general member, and have also served on our local AA Board, which I do today as our Panhellenic Delegate. It is so important for me to be a part of making ADPis in Kansas City feel warm, welcomed, and accepted, and to be a part of a team working to find ways for sisters to engage through social events, philanthropy projects, and more.
3. Give back to our local Panhellenic Community
With GKC Alumnae Panhellenic leadership. Sororities represented in this photo: Alpha Gamma Delta, Phi Mu, Pi Beta Phi, Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Kappa Delta, Zeta Tau Alpha
I have always been fascinated with Panhellenic and sisterhood between sororities. I served as a Recruitment Counselor in college, and this is where that passion was born! When our local Alumnae Association was looking for a Panhellenic Delegate, I was quick to raise my hand to show interest. Did you know that most large cities have an Alumnae Panhellenic? These groups operate like collegiate Panhelleics, many times with Delegates and Alternates representing all area sororities. I began this role with my AA in 2015, and currently serve as the President of the Greater Kansas City Alumnae Panhellenic. It is such an honor and privilege to represent ADPi and to work hand in hand with incredible women from other NPC sororities to make our community better. We raise money for scholarships for local sorority women, support philanthropic causes, provide educational opportunities like Recruitment 101 for local PNMs, and more. I am a better ADPi because of the love and support from Panhellenic Sisters!
I am so unbelievably grateful for the opportunities and experiences that I have gained from experiencing ADPi in many ways as an alumna member. Many of my dearest ADPi friends are from different chapters and different decades. I would never have crossed paths with these women if not for alumane engagement.
I encourage you to reach out and put yourself out there! Get involved….it is NEVER too late. Even if you haven’t been involved in years. Even if you weren’t a collegiate officer. Even if you have never done anything like this before. Even if you haven’t thought about your ADPi membership in a while. There is always ADPi work to be done and opportunities to be seized! You never “were” an ADPi….you ARE one, forever and always.