Past Presidents Reflect on Tri Delta's Purpose
Leadership | November 15, 2014

Our Purpose is a promise to our sisters, and each individual Tri Delta must play a role in fulfilling that promise. Our collective Tri Delta experience is brimming with stories of sisters who have been inspired by Tri Delta and who seek new ways to live according to our treasured values and ideals. This Founders’ Day, Fraternity President Phyllis Durbin Grissom and eight of Tri Delta’s past presidents reflect on the role the Purpose has played in their lives.

Phyllis Durbin Grissom (left), Southern Methodist: I draw on Tri Delta’s Purpose for confidence! When I tackle a new task, whether it is saying yes to a new job in the PTA or organizing a group of neighborhood friends to plan a party, I am confident that I will be successful because I have the promise of Tri Delta’s Purpose in my back pocket. Tri Delta has taught me to be a lifelong learner, to be a woman of character, to serve others and to take on important responsibilities. I will always be grateful for the sisterhood that has had such a remarkable impact on my life.

Jeanne Johnston Phillips (seated), Southern Methodist: I was very shy when I went to college, but my Tri Delta sisters saw something in me. As a sophomore, I was elected rush chairman, and it was so encouraging to have a group of sisters who believed in me, no matter what. They gave me the opportunity and encouragement to be a leader. Developing a stronger, more womanly character and developing the ability to fulfill the potential that is there is the greatest benefit I’ve had from Tri Delta.

Sarah Coons Lindsay (second from right), Miami/Ohio: Each of Tri Delta’s 138 chapters has the privilege of being invited by the host institution to be part of the Panhellenic community on the campus. Each and every day, in my role as NPC Delegate for Tri Delta, I keep in mind the importance of developing mutually
beneficial relationships with the colleges and universities where our chapters are located. These institutions have the same expectations for our chapters as those written in our Purpose: strong academics, leadership, service to others and friendship.

Eve Woods Riley (right), Southern Methodist: I have found inspiration in the words of Tri Delta’s Purpose from my very first days as a new member and then especially as Theta Kappa’s chaplain (VPCD). Over my years I have come to realize that our Purpose is far more profound and universal in its application than I first thought. I see it now as providing lifelong guidance not only in our relationships with our Tri Delta sisters, but also in all our interactions with, and responsibilities to, others. Being always mindful of our Purpose has been for me an ever-present goal and guide, an inspiration, and a welcome challenge for living what I hope has been, and will continue to be, a meaningful life.

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