By Fraternity President Kimberlee Di Fede Sullivan, Pepperdine
Have you ever thought about what it would have been like to be there on that Thanksgiving Eve in Boston – 129 years ago – when Sarah Ida Shaw and Eleanor Dorcas Pond founded our sisterhood?
What was it like when they spoke the words and shared Tri Delta’s Ritual for the very first time with Isabel Morgan Breed and Florence Isabelle Stewart?
This year I had the chance to do just that… To share the words of our Ritual for the first time with one of our newest chapters, Epsilon Pi at Louisiana Tech. It brought back my own memories of being a founding member of the Gamma Rho Chapter of Tri Delta at Pepperdine University 21 years ago.
The words of our Ritual are so powerful. And they bring new meaning each time we hear them, especially as we enter different phases and stages of our lives. But hearing them for the first time is exceptional… And so very memorable. Founders’ Day provides us the opportunity to reach back to those first-time memories as we celebrate our sisterhood.
Do you remember your Initiation… The first time you experienced Tri Delta’s Ritual? How did it make you feel? I had so many emotions! I was so happy – and so honored – to be a Tri Delta. But I also remember feeling a great deal of responsibility to uphold the Purpose and ideals of Tri Delta.
I also felt a responsibility to live up to the expectations of the women who had come before me, and to pave the way for those who would follow me. I was particularly struck by the words the new member educator said as she pinned the Trident above my heart: “The wearing of this badge does not allow you to think better of yourself, but it does allow others to expect great things of you.”
Those words – written by our Founders – continue to serve as an inspiration for our work in Tri Delta. As Tri Delta’s governing boards set about the task of developing a strategic vision and plan for Tri Delta, we took a deep dive into our history, our Purpose and our Ritual. With the help of volunteers, we identified the three pillars of Tri Delta’s Purpose – living, learning and leadership. And with the help of public relations and branding experts, we’ve developed a new logo, a new tagline – “Bring You” – and a set of words that describes not only what Tri Delta does, but who we are:
Tri Delta is an assembly of women with shared values where you can be yourself and belong to something bigger. We are brave, bold and kind. We are passionate about serving others, committed to becoming the best version of ourselves and dedicated to helping women live, learn and lead – with Purpose – for a lifetime.
The idea of “becoming the best version of ourselves” is so powerful. It’s exactly what our Founders call us to do. Practice self-reverence, self-knowledge and self-control. Embrace the values and ideals that are core to our sisterhood. Bring YOU to Tri Delta and become the best version of yourself. In turn, YOU will make Tri Delta better and stronger.
How? Why? Because membership in Tri Delta is for a lifetime. It allows you to be yourself and belong to something bigger – “something distinctive, something dynamic and something worthy of the best that is in you,” as Sarah Ida Shaw described our sisterhood.
Over the past year, I have had a chance to meet and work with women across the country – collegiate and alumnae who are bringing the best versions of themselves to Tri Delta. They embody the spirit and passion of our Founders.
They are brave, bold and kind. They are passionate about serving others. And they ARE dedicated to helping women live, learn and lead – with Purpose – for a lifetime. They are women who make me proud to say, “I Am Tri Delta.”
It is my hope that all of you share that same pride. With more than 213,000 alumnae members and 17,000 collegians, Tri Delta is stronger than ever. In the last two years, we’ve added nine new collegiate chapters to Tri Delta’s roster, and have introduced new programming to ensure a meaningful and memorable lifetime membership experience. We have also upgraded our database to enhance communication with our members, especially our alumnae.
I am honored to serve as your Fraternity President. You are Tri Delta. We are Tri Delta. Individually unique, but stronger together as we fulfill Tri Delta’s Purpose through powerful bonds of truth, self-sacrifice and friendship.
Click here for a printable PDF of this proclamation.