It was a Founders’ Day celebration unlike any before. On Sunday, Nov. 8, more than 350 sisters from around the globe joined us online for our first-ever virtual International Founders’ Day event, celebrating 132 years of Tri Delta with a message of hope and resilience!
Tri Delta’s Executive Board hosted the celebration, which featured a very special guest, 2014 Olympic champion and 2010 Tri Delta Woman of Achievement, Meryl Davis, Michigan, who shared her own stories of courage and sisterhood.
Courage and Sisterhood
Meryl Davis first fell in love with ice skating on a frozen lake by her childhood home outside of Detroit. In 2014, she and her ice dance partner, Charlie White, became the first Americans to ever win an Olympic gold medal in ice dance. Immediately following their 2014 Olympic win in Sochi, Russia, Meryl and Charlie continued to dance into the hearts of Americans on the hit TV show, “Dancing with the Stars.” Meryl again came away with a win and the coveted Mirrorball trophy.
Meryl offered words of hope as she reflected on how our organization, and the world, has evolved and changed over the last 132 years, and the power of sisterhood in supporting one another through good times and bad.
“While the world has changed tremendously since the founding of our organization, it’s clear that we find ourselves not at the end of that long and difficult journey towards societal betterment, equality and justice for all, but rather still deep in the pursuit of significant and critical progress,” Meryl said.
She continued, “I hope the meaningful bonds you’re forming today in these troubled times will continue to serve you as you face life’s obstacles together. While I wish as little heartbreak, turmoil and difficulty as possible for each of you, sometimes it’s in the darkest moments that the true value of sisterhood shines brightest.”
“Let’s be patient with ourselves, relentless in the support of one another, and trust in the power of sisterhood to see us through good times and bad, challenge us to be the best versions of ourselves, and to inspire us to live up to the dream of kindness and equality that inspired our founders to establish our beloved fraternity 132 years ago.”
Hope and Resiliency
The theme of resiliency was also evident in the Founders’ Day Proclamation by Fraternity President Megan Shaw James, Millsaps. In it, Megan shares an uplifting message of how Tri Delta has always turned challenges into opportunities—in fact, that is a part of our founding story.
“Here’s to facing the year ahead by renewing our commitment to truth, self-sacrifice and friendship; being brave, bold and kind; and leveraging our collective influence in service and kindness to all,” said Megan.
Although we were unable to be together in person for the event, sisters were still able to share the experience across time zones and connect via the chat feature, with a flurry of Founders’ Day well wishes. The chat was especially active while virtually recreating our beloved Founders’ Day tradition—candle lighting and roll call—with sisters adding their chapter names as they were read. International Founders’ Day came to a close with the singing of Alpha Theta Phi brought to us by our talented sister Zakiya Young, Pittsburgh.
If you weren’t able to join on Sunday, you can view the full event recording here.