Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Diamonds in the Desert: Part I

So I'm thinking that I may have to make my Convention post in to several since there were SO MANY amazing events that took place. If it's a tad bit long for you sorry, it was a jam packed and amazing week so I've got a lot of catching up!! Before I left, I must have packed, unpacked, and repacked so many times 'cause my indecisive self couldn't decide what to take. I definitely packed enough clothes for 3ish outfit changes a day. On the bright side, at least I know I'll be able to pack enough clothes when I travel and stay under the 50 lbs airline limit!

The beautiful view at the Arizona Biltmore. 
Photo Courtesy of Sister Ashley

After taking one of the shortest flights from LAX on one of the smallest planes I've ever been on, I landed in Phoenix last Tuesday and met up up with my fellow consultant Ashley to shuttle to the beautiful Arizona Biltmore Resort. Let me just say that this place is absolutely amazing and Marilyn Monroe was one of the many famous and frequent guests of this hotel. The customer service is absolutely amazing also. I began my year of losing things with a bang (and if you know me, I know this isn't a surprise to you) and by the end of the week Security knew who I was from all the items they returned to me from lost and found, embarrasing, I know, I'll call myself out for it, it's cool.

Chapters I visit,
I'll be leaving you some money to use towards postage to send me the things I leave behind! 
Haha, juuussst kidding, I'm working on it. 

We had some time to settle in and met up for lunch with all the incoming consultant and our wonderful sister/boss Annie! Love her! We quickly reviewed our schedule for the week and headed off to training with one of my favorite ADPi's, District VI Panhellenic Relations Director Lindy.

One of the big lessons of this training: 
Image is much more than just your outward appearance. 
It is how you carry yourself, your personality, and non-verbal actions.
It all ties into to that whole "Dress for the job you want to have" idea. If you're dressing how you would like to dress/where you would like to work, you are exuding that image of the place you are striving for. By keeping these things in mind I'm sure you'll see some remarkable changes in how you and others view yourself.

We also met with some of our sisters who are Release Figure Method (RFM) specialists. Definitely answered a lot of questions we all had with the "behind the scenes" aspects of recruitment. The National Panhellenic Conference is definitely doing some big things with recruitment and we all have a MUCH better understanding because of this training.

Grand Council and International Officers
After quickly freshening up, we headed over to Our (now Former) International President Mrs. Claire Brown Gwaltney's suite to have a meet and greet with Alpha Delta Pi's Grand Council. I've had the opportunity to briefly meet some these women at past conferences and presentations but it was absolutely amazing to really have a sit down and get to know each other. For those of you who may be wondering what this "Council" thing is, they are pretty much the Board of Directors for the International Organization.They do all the "bigger picture" planning while other alumnae volunteers oversee the various regions of the organization (to get an idea of the organization's structure, click here). These women come from all types of backgrounds and was honored to sit down with them. We ended the night with the International Officer Appreciation Dinner where sisters were honored for their years of volunteer service to Alpha Delta Pi and a House Corporation training session.

To my Alpha Delta Pi and Panhellenic Sisters,
 If you are an alumna member of your organization, stay involved!! Join your local chapters House Corporation or look into advising. Join an Alumnae Associations. Don't have one? Start one!! It's such a rewarding experience and it was great to see so many dedicated volunteers.
If you're still a collegiate member, make sure you're involved. The time goes by so fast and next thing you know you'll be graduating!

Business and Photo Shoots
After a quick breakfast in our super awesome Executive Lounge in Ocatilla with my incoming consultants, we headed to the Pre-Convention Program where Alpha Delta Pi's Strategic Plans, Election Nominees, and Proposed Bylaws and Resolutions were reviewed. Although I was familiar with these, it was so interesting to go more in depth in the all the "behind the scenes" action AND was great preparation for the business meetings we'd attend later in the week. We then headed to the Volunteer Luncheon where speaker Rick Barnes from CAMPUSPEAK made his first presentation at our Convention. We had our photo shoot for The Adelphean  and took various photographs throughout the resort so make sure to look for us in the next issue! Our Convention photographer Charles Walton IV was loving our picture (and it was his 16th or so Convention!!!)

Before Convention, we were all asked to take a personality test and let me tell you, did my result hit it right on the nose! We used our results in our next training session with former Grand President Mrs. Beth Gentry Mannle. This was the perfect setting to not only get to know our fellow consultants but ourselves as well. We talked about likes, dislikes, strengths, weakness and lots of other things. After having a round table with my LC sisters, we all realized how much we all have in common and got somewhat of an idea of what those fabulous sisters in ADPi had in mind when they selected us as LCs. We also discussed the upcoming colonizations at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Penn. and Loyola University in Chicago, Ill. I'm thrilled to help with our newest additions!!

"Welcome to the Sights, Sounds and Strength of Sisterhood"
After our training, Andrea and I headed off to become OFFICIAL Pi members of Alpha Delta Pi. Our ritual never ceases to amaze me and I am so happy I was able to experience it at the 160th Anniversary Convention. At the Welcome Dinner, (which I have not yet mentioned that the meals are AMAZING. Dessert after each meal, yes please!!) Rick Barnes spoke again, this time to the collegiates as well. Some highlights from both presentations...

Some ask "why join a fraternity or sorority?"
Well, why higher education?
My answer: To become a better person

Why do we volunteer?
"To give back to an organization that has given us so much"

Ritual holds us to higher standards. 
I am a better person because of (insert your organization's name here) 
Alpha Delta Pi.

Elizabeth Williams Mitchell
Portrait of Elizabeth William Mitchell
Alpha Delta Pi was the first secret society for collegiate woman founded at the first college chartered to grant degrees to woman. We were founded before sorority was even a word and to quote CBG we are the first to celebrate our 160th. 

That's kind of a big deal #justsayin

We knew a good deal of information about 5 of our 6 founders and have their portraits hanging at Memorial Headquarters but there was one who just seemed to elude us. Finally, after years of search, the descendants of Elizabeth Williams were found!! Using old photographs, an artist was hired to make a portrait of our founder which will now hang in the Founders' Gallery AND to make this whole thing even more unforgettable, Elizabeth Williams Mitchell's great-great-granddaughter (I think I got all the greats) was an alumnae initiate later in the week. AMAZING!! She actually attended Salem College in North Carolina which was the home of our Beta Chapter until 1908 so her guard will say Beta instead of Omega Alpha which is the Alumnae Initiate chapter. It's mind boggling to think that six young women created a society that would change the life of thousands. I will never forget this moment and am so privileged not only to have been there, but to be part of this extraordinary sisterhood. To read more about this story, purchase (or borrow) a copy of More Sisters. I already I have my copy and got it autographed by Grand Council and past International Presidents :)

So I know this was definitely one of my longer posts and I only have two days covered SO I will wrap it up tomorrow. Hope this isn't to mundane for some of y'all but obvi, I have to document this AMAZING week!


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