Lifetime membership for Ann Marie Johnson McGee, Idaho, began while standing in line to reluctantly check in for recruitment prior to the start of her first year of college. In the line with the “Js” was a woman who would become a lifelong friend and sister. The two women checked into the same “rush” group, shared a room in a temporary dorm and kept each other from getting homesick. Fortunately, her new friend knew all about sororities and patiently educated Ann Marie. Bid Day found them sitting next to each other again!
“What a whirl those four years were!” says Ann Marie. “I had absolutely no idea what sisterhood would mean to me.”
For Ann Marie, a music performance major, sorority life provided a multitude of additional opportunities and possibilities. She held offices and learned marketing and project management skills. She also developed a deep love for service and giving back, and she learned what it meant to be there for sisters and to have sisters be there for her.
For more than 40 years, the Tri Delta collegiate experience has been woven through all facets of Ann Marie’s professional career, from being a faculty member at Arkansas State and Interlochen Center for the Arts, being part of several Silicon Valley startups, starting her own marketing consulting practice and, most recently, a natural foods products startup brand, Ziggy Marley Organics.
“I was not a one-dimensional music major at the end of my college experience. Tri Delta offered me the opportunity to experience all types of people and situations, and I developed the confidence to believe I belonged and could contribute in whatever situation I encountered.”
More than just professional success, Tri Delta also provided the deep roots for service and giving back that have become so important to Ann Marie. She is the current past president of the Mt. Diablo Alumnae Chapter, previously served as an alumnae specialist and currently serves as the alumnae resource coordinator. In addition, she was part of a recent capital campaign committee for her own Theta Tau Chapter.
Ann Marie also volunteers in other areas of her community. She is a former board member for the local crisis center and an agency serving teen parents. Currently, she is the Chair of the Board of Trustees for Northern Light School, a private inner-city PS-8 school in Oakland, California.
When asked why she dedicates so much time to volunteering, Ann Marie responds, “Why not? My volunteering introduces me to new experiences every single day that I could never have imagined. But, most importantly, I am able to impact the lives of others. A mother at Northern Light School recently sent me a note thanking me for what I was doing, but also shared that even though she worked and attended school, she was making time to volunteer at a local event because I had inspired her with my example. Definitely a question of who inspires who! And it all began with Tri Delta.”