Leslie Midget Held, Simpson, joined Tri Delta at our Delta Chapter during her freshman year in 1982. As of this month, Leslie is retiring from her position as house director at Simpson—but continues her lifetime of membership in Tri Delta!
Why and how did you get involved with Tri Delta?
After graduating, Leslie stayed connected as an alumna advisor and a volunteer for the local house corporation. “Since I still lived close to the chapter house, people would reach out to me and I happily continued to stay involved. When Tri Delta lost their house director mid-year, I thought, Sure, I can do that for a couple of months.
“Taking on the role allowed me to assist the chapter and also helped me pay my kids’ college expenses. To my surprise, I found myself falling in love with the job. I left briefly but realized how much I enjoyed it and decided to continue. I ended up dedicating the last 4-and-a-half years to the position. I can say that my involvement as a house director was truly a happy accident.”
What do you love about being a house director?
“What I love most about being a house director is the opportunity to nurture and guide these remarkable young women as they navigate their college years. Witnessing their personal growth from freshman year to graduation and being a source of support is a privilege. I offer guidance and support from advice on navigating relationships to helping them cope with academic pressures and overwhelming schedules. I love leaving them little notes and quickly learned that warm cookies will bring them running.”
What does a typical week look like for you?
Leslie oversees the overall functioning of the house and ensures everything runs smoothly. This includes being the eyes and ears of the local house corporation, whether it’s the lawn needing to be mowed or restocking supplies. “I work with the cook on meal planning and occasional grocery shopping, and I ensure the members stay fed even on a snow day. I stay connected with the chapter alumnae to keep them informed about the happenings within the house and to learn about any important updates or events. Since I have helped take care of the house since college, it has been helpful to know the physical structure and have relationships with local vendors. I also love the opportunity to organize special activities like shopping our local businesses, grilling for a picnic, sharing job opportunities or tapping into local events.”
How has being a house director contributed to your growth and development—professionally and/or personally?
“Watching the growth of the members has inspired and motivated me to strive to become the best version of myself. I love the mantra of ‘brave, bold and kind’ and its importance in all interactions, fostering a positive and supportive environment. Professionally, being a house director has enhanced my skills in communication, leadership and problem-solving.”
How has being a house director had a positive impact on your life?
“It keeps me young, and that might sound cliché, but it’s true.” Leslie says interacting with the members keeps her updated on the latest songs, terms and trends. And the relationships she’s built with these young women are truly fulfilling. Whether engaging in one-on-one conversations or gathering around the kitchen counter for a study break, they bring her joy and a sense of purpose.
What advice do you have for those interested in being a house director?
“Just go for it! This position offers incredible flexibility, allowing you to work around the other aspects of your life. The girls are truly helpful and respectful. You are able to live in a beautiful home with wonderful people. In the past, house directors were often retired, older women, but there is no longer a typical type and there is no longer a predefined mold to fit into. The key to being a successful house director is the ability to care for other people. If you have a desire to support and uplift others, you are already equipped for the role.
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 email@example.com for more information.