By Lucy First, DePauw; Chapter Council Adviser, Ohio Wesleyan; Contributing Writer/Editor, The Key
I remember many things from my senior year at DePauw University: my 30-page senior seminar, the multitude of job applications completed in the wee hours, and, of course, the bittersweetness of commencement. But one of my strongest memories came in November, when the incoming Vice President-Organization was sworn in, taking my place on Chapter Council.
Since joining Kappa I had taken an active leadership role, eventually being elected Membership Chairman and then VPO. Despite the extra responsibilities, I loved every minute of it. I truly felt I was leaving a positive, lasting contribution within our chapter. I worried what my relationship with Kappa would be without these leadership roles. How would I find meaning in Kappa after graduation?
After graduation, I moved back to my hometown of Columbus, Ohio, and quickly realized that I knew very few people. Luckily, I had kept in touch with some Kappas from my summer internship at Fraternity Headquarters. One of them, Libbi Rettew Vynalek, Virginia Tech, encouraged me to attend Founders Day with the Columbus Alumnae Association. I was nervous. It would be my first official Kappa event as an alumna, and I had no idea what to expect.
It was at that dinner that I would start my next chapter with Kappa. The Advisory Board Chairman and Chapter Council Adviser at Ohio Wesleyan, Ericka Greene, informed me that she would be stepping down to become a Province Director of Chapters. She asked me if I would be interested in transitioning into the role of Chapter Council Adviser. Without hesitation I said, “Yes!”
Now, I am working with my third Chapter Council at Ohio Wesleyan. Just like my college days, I spend late nights working on Kappa emails and my to-do list. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Working with the undergraduate members of the chapter has allowed me to continue to find meaning in Kappa while also giving back to the organization that has given me so much. Perhaps most unexpected is the multitude of friends– spanning across the country and several generations–that my Kappa volunteer work has brought into my life.
About a year after I graduated, my mom asked me what was the best decision I made while in college. My answer was easy: joining Kappa. Not only because of the four years of memories in the chapter, but also because of all the friendships and personal growth it has afforded me in the years after college.
Staying involved with the organization after graduation is easier than you may think. You can use the Kappa website to find a local alumnae association. You don’t have to attend every event, but try to attend at least one. You never know who you might meet or what opportunity may come your way. If you’re interested in serving as an adviser, your local alumnae association can help you find chapters in need of alumna support or you can reach out to the PDC near you. Whether you have a little or a lot of time to devote, there’s so many ways that you can keep Kappa a part of your post-graduate life.
Everyone writes their own Kappa story. But let me speak from personal experience when I say the best ones include Kappa after college. What will your next Kappa chapter be?