by Jaynellen-Jenkins Phi Beta (East Stroudsburg U), International Vice President
Happy New Year Sisters and welcome to a fresh start as we step into 2022 together!! Celebrating AOII’s 125th Anniversary is triggering nostalgic feelings across our sisterhood! I often find myself in a deep dive into the biographical history of our Founders! I find it absolutely compelling to discover evidence of their living our AOII values found in our Ritual in their everyday lives. They each pursued living out AOIIs motto ambitiously in their work and community service. Well served were the communities and organizations in which they dedicated themselves.
I find myself noticing how through their work we also see congruence to the AOII Ends today. Helen aligned herself to the Global End when she demonstrated college loyalty by serving on Barnard’s Board of Trustees later in life. Jessie demonstrated her ambition by founding the War Resisters League, and Bess, her drive toward service locally as a member of the board of education and as a Sunday School teacher. Stella’s ongoing leadership helped to sustain the fraternity in its formative years and then welcomed the leadership of members from new chapters. AOIIs Grand President role did not pass sequentially among the original four Founders. Did you know that AOII’s second Grand President was Adelma Burd from Nu Chapter at New York University? Our Founders built a sense of belonging in AOII each time they opened a new AOII chapter across this continent.
As we embark on the new year, new ambitions, and AOIIs 125th anniversary, I am feeling driven to find ways to dedicate myself to living our AOII values. How might our Founders seek to live out the AOII Ends today in their lives? Here is a short list of personal goals I am embracing for 2022 that I think Stella, Helen, Jessie and Bess would also embrace today:
- Supporting the interest of my alma mater with my time and resources in an endeavor to align my efforts to AOIIs GLOBAL END. College loyalty can be more than rooting for a team. It can be serving as a guest speaker for a class or assisting with a fundraiser.
- Mentoring AOIIs who share my career field in common so that I can inspire the AMBITION of our sisters. Doing so often results in refueling our own passions and expertise!
- Seeking to gather and be INCLUSIVE of all AOII voices and perspectives when making visionary decisions for the Fraternity. Our DIVERSITY of perspectives and experiences along with EQUITABLE actions strengthen our sisterhood!
- Cultivating future AOII LEADERSHIP by opening up opportunities to serve in innovative capacities. Our AOII leadership should educate and inform our future career and community leadership!
- Remembering always that our SENSE OF BELONGING in AOII drives the heartbeat of the Fraternity. Making connections and being present for my sisters is vital and especially during these challenging times!
- Considering creative means to deliver SERVICE to our local communities. Great friendships and great memories are formed when we serve alongside one another!
I desire to live out 2022 in a manner in which the Founders would be proud to claim me as their sister. Actualizing the AOII Ends is a great start!! Our collective efforts to do so for AOII ensures that the future of the Fraternity is in good hands well beyond this 125th anniversary!!