December 17, 2009

Message from the COL

Dear Sisters,

The process of slating a new International President and new International Executive Board is currently under way. As part of this process, the Committee on Leadership (COL) is actively seeking to engage Alpha Phis around the globe by participating in candidate feedback.

In order to provide feedback to the COL, members are asked to follow this link to an electronic survey tool no later than Jan. 8, 2010. The COL takes candidate feedback seriously, and in confidence. In turn, we ask members to submit feedback that provides insight on a candidate in relation to the knowledge, skills and attributes that have been identified as key characteristics for potential board members.

The following women are currently being considered for the 2010-12 International Executive Board:

Jane Kirby Arkes (Omicron-Missouri)
Susan Weiskittle Barrick (Beta Omicron-Bowling Green State)
Alison Begor (Beta Alpha-Illinois)
Linda Long Boland (Gamma Kappa-CSU/Long Beach)
Laura Lynn Davidson (Beta Delta-UCLA)
Andi Etwaroo (Zeta Omicron-Johns Hopkins)
Deana Koonsman Gage (Gamma Iota-Texas Tech)
Julie Renee King Gomez (Gamma Xi-Wichita State)
Valerie Lawlor (Omicron-Missouri)
Sara Christine Mayer (Delta Chi-William Woods)
Susan L. McNeice (Epsilon Nu-Delaware)
Coree Christine Smith (Epsilon Theta-Northern Iowa)
Diane Spry Straker (Delta Alpha-East Carolina)
Sonja-Lou Bark Clary Stunard (Delta Mu-Purdue)
Amy Jordan Tvrdik (Omicron-Missouri)
Renee Smith Zimmerman Zainer (Beta Epsilon-Arizona)

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about the candidate feedback process, please contact Carole Salerno, chair of the COL, at If the COL has questions or needs clarification about your feedback, you will be contacted by a member of the committee by early February 2010.

December 8, 2009

Alumnae Perspective

Each month, we'll be having our collegiate and alumnae blog writers post about their Alpha Phi experiences. Want to write for the Alpha Phi blog? E-mail
The prior blog post seems to take on a seasonal approach so with that in mind, December is the holidays, a time for celebration and thanks for our many blessings. Unlike many Americans trying to speed up the start of decorations, my husband and I resisted the pressure and continued to enjoy family in town for Thanksgiving, fall decorations and most importantly, football, specifically college football. But, yesterday I began to cave in by boxing up my fall decorations and doing little things to get ready for the full blown decorating assault come Saturday. And, to make it official, we received our first Christmas card yesterday, which was from another Alpha Phi, Terri Brooks.

So, it only seems fitting to say that during every December as the cards come in, I think of all of the Alpha Phi's that we know and I am reminded of how blessed I am to have these friends. There is never a season of the year, nor a month, nor a day that goes by that I do not have some contact with Alpha Phi, either via phone, e-mail, letter or best of all, in person. It really sinks in as an alumni to realize that I have been an Alpha Phi longer than I have not; it is so ingrained in me that it is who I am.

These Alpha Phi friends certainly are not all from my college days at LSU. They are from all stages of my life as I have met friends through alumnae chapters, advisory boards I have belonged to, being a District Alumnae Coordinator, meeting Phi's at work or as moms at my son's school. Each of these friendships has meant so much to me at different stages of my life—from realizing the trust I placed in Alpha Phis that were co-workers (knowing they would always have my back and could always be trusted); to my son's first caregiver (a nurse between jobs); to a dear friend being legal guardian to my son if something happened to us; to a fellow mom giving me " the wave" as we dropped our boys at elementary school when no one was looking! Alpha Phi has meant making new friends each time we have moved: I became the Rush Advisor at Arizona State the morning after I contacted the Chapter Advisor shortly after moving to Phoenix, and I formed an alumnae chapter here in Fresno a year after moving here. I have met Alpha Phi's where there was not a collegiate or alumnae chapter by joining the local alumnae Panhellenic and making contacts.

In counting my blessings this time of year, I realize that the old adage could not be truer as an alumni member: the more you put into something, the more you get out of it. In college when sometimes you were working so hard for the chapter and there were some frustrations mixed in with great times, you could not always see that so clearly. But now I fully comprehend how my efforts to volunteer for Alpha Phi have benefited me far more in true friendships than I have ever put in.

And, despite making friends with Alpha Phi's from so many different chapters as I have moved and volunteered, I hold a special place in my heart for my chapter sisters, the ones who knew me in college and still love me in spite of it! We get together each fall informally, usually in the south and of course not on a home football weekend. We just had our mini reunion in early November and had a wonderful time as usual. We don’t talk specifically about anything from college and there are women there that were not in the house when I was, but we all share that bond of sisterhood, more so being from the same chapter.

I am very grateful for my many Alpha Phi friendships and I am sure that anyone reading this blog feels the same way about Alpha Phi and all that it has meant to them as a person. So, thank you Terri Brooks for sending the first of many Alpha Phi cards we will receive and thanks to all of my Alpha Phi friends at Christmas time and during every season of the year.

Happy Holidays!

Nancy Theisen Bennett
Delta Tau - LSU
For more information about alumnae chapters, to locate the closest chapter or to start up a chapter, visit the alumnae chapter listing or contact Paige Stallings at 847-316-8925 or e-mail at

December 3, 2009

The Inside Story

The holiday season has begun at the Executive Office! Here is the view into the Marian Wiley Keys Living Room, where we have placed our holiday tree.

To see close-ups of all our Alpha Phi tree ornaments, be sure to check our Facebook and Twitter pages, where we'll post daily photos!
*note: Marian Wiley Keys, the namesake for the Executive Office's formal living room, was a 1920 graduate of the Alpha chapter of Alpha Phi at Syracuse. She held the position of International President from 1954 to 1958. Keys passed away in 1975, after a life of much service to Alpha Phi.