By Stephanie Parker Knott (Gamma Omicron, Marshall University)
When we joined Alpha Chi Omega, we were reminded of the longevity of the commitment: “It’s not four years; it’s for life!”
It is because of my lifelong dedication to Alpha Chi Omega and the extraordinary alumnae role models I had as a collegian that I volunteer as a province officer.
I had not been a deeply involved alumna when I reconnected with Alpha Chi Omega. I spent most of my years as a young alumna living in rural areas that made it difficult for me to connect with physical alumnae chapters, and those years were followed by the crazy and intense years of mothering a toddler while being at the height of my professional career. I reengaged by joining a virtual alumnae chapter, and that was the key to opening the door to so many other opportunities.
Our chapter president at the time was amazing at reaching out and making connections: “You live in the DC area, right? You would make a great province alumnae chair. Let me schedule a phone interview for you with the director of PACs.”
Four years after that phone call, I continue to serve Alpha Chi Omega as a province officer. The interaction with my chapters is so rewarding. Before the pandemic arrived, I had visited my physical chapters in Maryland and Washington, DC, for happy hours, plays, paint parties, brunch and alumnae initiations. I engaged with my virtual chapters to discuss outreach to new members and ongoing efforts to keep members connected and engaged.
The role of a PAC is primarily one of providing support to the chapters as they encounter challenges and of serving as a liaison between the Enterprise and the chapters. Through regular virtual meetings, province alumnae chairs gather information to relay to chapters and to take part in special projects to strengthen areas of our operation. I recently took part in a project that explored better ways of recognizing our members’ accomplishments wherever they might be along life’s journey. I also have served on the national Alumnae Awards Committee for two years, which provided me with wonderful insights into the best practices of our chapters. These are always valuable for passing along to those chapters I support!
As a collegian, my experience was blessed by so many amazing chapter advisors and national leaders. My collegiate chapter had encountered some management issues along the way and needed a great deal of tender loving care from both collegiate and alumnae leaders. The chapter will forever be indebted to the service of Teresa Arthur Moore (Gamma Omicron, Marshall University, this year’s recipient of the Alumna Appreciation Award), Edie Miller Davis (Gamma Omicron) and Kim Brown Matthews (Gamma Omicron). The opportunity of being guided and mentored by Mary Harrison Ford (Alpha Beta, Purdue University) at the national level was truly a gift. It is the modeling of these Alpha Chis that reminds me of my obligation to give back in the same way they did.
I hope you will consider growing your Alpha Chi Omega experience, as I have grown mine, by applying to serve as a province officer for the 2021-23 term.
Visit https://app.smarterselect.com/programs/67254-Alpha-Chi-Omega to learn more about the province officer opportunities and to apply!