Meet Gwen Kelley, Tri Delta’s house director at Washington State University! Originally from Spokane, Gwen had a successful “first” career selling heating and air conditioning (HVAC) wholesale. The job involved a lot of travel, allowing her the opportunity to visit many states and exciting destinations like Yellowstone National Park! Gwen treasures being a mom of two grown children and takes pride in her four active grandkids.
Why did you become a house director and why did you choose Tri Delta?
Gwen’s journey as a house director began at her sister’s Super Bowl party when a house director in need of a sub at Washington State University sparked Gwen’s interest. She seized the opportunity! After two decades supporting other Panhellenic sororities and then working as a consultant to house directors, fate intervened when a Tri Delta house director friend hinted that Gwen was her perfect successor—and Tri Delta became her cherished home!
How do you find work-life balance in the role?
“I’m grateful to have my family nearby, allowing me to spend time with them regularly. I’m dedicated to the Lions Club and make sure to attend their Monday night meetings. Our house director community is very close, and we make time for regular movie nights and we enjoy attending football games together. Most importantly, this role has given me the flexibility to support my family during important moments, like caring for my daughter after a serious cycling accident and being there for my granddaughter’s wedding.”
What do you love about being a house director?
“I take pride in fostering a familial atmosphere and want these young women to feel comfortable coming to me. To make them feel more at home, I play fun games such as hiding gnomes around the house for them to find. Whenever they find the gnomes, I snap their picture and reward them with prizes and treats—you’re never too old to play! Decorating the house is something I truly enjoy! I strive to create memorable events, whether it’s for Halloween, Parents’ Weekend or during football season.”
What does a typical week look like for you?
“I start by tending to the kitchen daily—must make sure it’s tidy and clean and coffee is brewing as well as open the blinds, adjust dining chairs, straighten up pillows and take a walk through the house to make sure everything is operating correctly. Other important tasks like cleaning out the fridge is every other week. There’s almost always a handyman around for about two hours, managing around 12 different projects. My prior HVAC experience has definitely come in handy.”
How has being a house director contributed to your growth and development—professionally and/or personally?
“At 75 years old, it keeps me young and involved. I get out and do things and have a LIFE! In fact, the last time I saw my granddaughter for lunch, she remarked at how positive this job has been for me! Working with these incredible sorority women is truly inspiring. Witnessing their passion and dedication motivates me to give my best. I’ve seen them knit hats for those in need for eight consecutive hours, then dive into DHOP activities—serving pancakes, creating banners and posters, decorating the house, moving furniture—it’s a whirlwind! The next morning, they’re out there volunteering to clean up the streets of Pullman! And they’re excelling in their studies. Their achievements and joy bring me so much happiness.”
What advice do you have for those interested in being a house director?
“Take it slow at first if you need to and get a feel for it. Get involved with other house directors on campus as they’ll help you and get a list of contractors! Your job is to keep the girls safe. Know that within Tri Delta you have a big community and resources. They all want you to succeed. Use the Executive Office and reach out if you need help.”
If you are interested in learning more about our house director careers, we encourage you to visit the Tri Delta Housing Career Page, Tri Delta Housing Job Board or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.