By Nancy Bennett (Delta Tau-Louisiana State)
As an avid gardener, I do landscape design part time as a business. With spring rapidly approaching, I was doing some prep work in the yard today. It involved digging out some invasive forget-me-nots I had planted that were choking out the groundcover. Also in my garden are some forget-me-nots that an Alpha Phi sister nearby gave me years ago – they have since have spread into unintended places.
It recently occurred to me that our Alpha Phi Founders may have had some gardening insight in selecting forget-me-nots as our main flower and the Ivy as our symbol. Forget-me-nots are early spring bloomers. When they do go to seed, the seeds stick to my socks and pants and hence, they spread easily to unintended places. Ivy, as anyone who has ever had it knows, spreads out long vines that root and quickly grow to cover a yard in a short amount of time as its roots dig in.
Just like the forget-me-nots, Alpha Phi sticks to you. Like the ivy, it roots itself in your being and becomes pervasive in your everyday life. It never goes completely dormant. Alpha Phi rooted itself in me from the very beginning. It grew to be a very important part of my life in college. At different times as an alumna, I have experienced new growth by always meeting new Alpha Phi friends and taking on new involvement with Alpha Phi. The old friends from college have remained close and have been sturdy and grown with me like the Ivy.
This August, 41 years after I joined Alpha Phi at LSU (Louisiana State University, Geaux Tigers!), I, along with my Delta Tau sisters, will get to experience a re-birth of our chapter. It will be like spring to me when the forget-me-nots are amongst the first flowers to bloom, showing their beauty after the long, cold winter. The anticipation of the re-birth of Delta Tau is palpable amongst our chapter sisters and other Alpha Phis in the area. We have gotten together regularly for years and the planned colonization has been a shot in the arm to our alumnae group.
So, as I hope many Alpha Phis would agree, embrace the ivy that takes root in each of us as we join. It will always be there, evergreen, deeply rooted—but always invite the new growth in Alpha Phi like the forget-me-nots because, the opportunity to meet new friends and have new experiences is very special.
I look forward to this August as a new spring, with new growth for Alpha Phi, for Delta Tau and for me!
Nancy Bennett (Delta Tau-Louisiana State) currently lives in Palos Verdes Estates, CA. She is an active volunteer in the community as a member of Junior League, DAR, PTA President, Animal Rescue Fresno, Fresno Alumnae Panhellenic and of course, forming an Alpha Phi Alumnae Chapter here that existed for about 14 years. She also served as a District Alumnae Coordinator for Alpha Phi for several years and has attended four conventions over the years. She is thrilled to have been a Delta Tau at LSU—especially with its upcoming re-colonization!