April 27, 2016

Alumnae Life: Redefining your Alpha Phi Experience

In August of 2011, as I drove away from the life I knew for the past four years, I made a phone call to see what I could do to continue my time with Alpha Phi. For four years Alpha Phi was everything to me, and I knew that I wanted Alpha Phi to be a part of my life forever.

I started volunteering with the Zeta Xi chapter at Elmhurst and met wonderful women whom I still talk to now. I volunteered there for three years, and then while attending Convention 2014, I found out that Alpha Phi would be opening a new chapter right down the street from me at the University of St. Francis. I was so excited that I immediately started to figure out how I could help open a brand new chapter at a University that had never had a sorority or fraternity.

After a lot of hard work and effort I was able to be the Chapter Advisor of the Iota Phi chapter at St. Francis University. I used my new-found home and role to find advisors that would be willing to help start this new chapter and help make it succeed like all the others before us. After a year of working with Iota Phi, I got the news that my husband was being relocated to Wisconsin for work. The first question I had was “What about my role with Alpha Phi??”

I was devastated to leave this brand new chapter that I had helped create but knew that my time with Alpha Phi was not over. Before I even moved to Wisconsin, I had been in contact with other volunteers from the Iota chapter at University of Wisconsin Madison. Being able to volunteer with the Iota chapter has given me a new life line here in Wisconsin. Having to leave behind your entire family, your job and all your friends is not an easy thing, but with Alpha Phi you always have a home no matter where you go.

As an alumna of Alpha Phi you have an opportunity to meet so many more people than you do as a collegian. I have met so many wonderful women, and I know I will always have someone to turn to no matter where my life takes me. Every year I get so excited to attend Leadership Conference in February because I get the chance to see all the amazing volunteers and staff members that have helped me through not only my college years but also my volunteer years. I always meet new people and get to reconnect with those I haven’t seen since the previous Leadership Conference.

The women that I have met through Alpha Phi have become my best friends and sisters in more ways than one. They are the women that I can’t wait to share good news with. They are the women that are there for me when something bad happens and help me figure out what to do to make it better. They are the ones that I couldn’t wait to tell that I would be having an Alpha Phi legacy. They are the ones that no matter where I am in my life, will always be there to support me and have my back. They are the ones that I look up to and hope to be.

I loved being an Alpha Phi as a collegiate, but being an Alpha Phi as an alumna is even better. I hope that I can inspire the women that I work with the way I have been inspired by so many before me.

Alyson Shelton Feminis (Epsilon Delta - Northern Illinois)

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