by Koren Phillips, Phi Chi (U of Chicago), International Vice President
Graduation season is upon us! It’s a time that is equal parts exhilarating and scary – you’re leaving the comfort of your collegiate home and taking an exciting step into this so-called “real world.” Change is inevitable, but this opportunity for new beginnings can also serve as a fresh start for you to evolve your relationship with your membership in Alpha Omicron Pi. Whether you were initiated as a freshman or a senior, your pledge to AOII is for a lifetime. The beauty of lifetime commitment is that your post-graduate alumnae involvement in AOII is a living, breathing thing that can meet you where you are and evolve with your changing needs.
As an AOII collegian, I was fortunate to see alumnae involvement modeled by a dynamic group of women on the Phi Chi AAC and in the Chicago City Alumnae Chapter, as well as throughout the Chicago Area Council. Through my work as a collegiate chapter officer and attendance at events such as Founders’ Day and the Walk to Cure Arthritis, I saw women from all walks and in all phases of life coming together in meaningful ways. Alumnae membership in AOII isn’t a series of meetings, obligations and commitments. It is the opportunity to develop new, deep friendships with women from different backgrounds and experiences with whom you share a common bond and to continue to give back to an organization that has given you so much.
Whether you decide to attend an event here or there or if you decide to actively volunteer as an alumnae chapter officer or adviser, AOII will be there for you. AOII will be the new social circle that you’re seeking when you move to a new city without knowing a soul. AOII will be the networking opportunity to stake out a new career path different from the one you’re currently on. AOII will be the community volunteer engagement that you’re craving to support young women in college or an important philanthropic cause. Simply stated, AOII will be the friend upon which you will have no fear to call.
As you don your cap and gown and set off into the great unknown of your post-collegiate life, I encourage you to keep your contact information current with AOII, to reach out to the alumnae chapter wherever you may settle, and to remember that college is just four years – but AOII is for a lifetime! Congratulations and best wishes to all of the 2018 graduates out there – the best is yet to come!