by Gayle Fitzpatrick, Alpha Rho (Oregon State U), International President
This June is the 40th anniversary of my graduation from college! Where has the time gone?! As I reflect back on the past 40 years, there has been one constant that has remained with me since I left the Oregon State University campus, and that is my AOII connection and experience. Even back in the late ‘70s as a collegiate, the message was clear that AOII is for a lifetime. I am not sure that I truly understood what that meant at the time; however, in reflecting, I am appreciative of how staying connected and engaged with AOII has enhanced my life.
Having moved several times from Oregon to California to New Jersey and back to Oregon, the first thing I would do in a new place was seek local AOIIs. There is always a new AOII friend to be found! I also cherish the time that I can spend with my Alpha Rho sisters. We enjoy getting together to celebrate our sisterhood, laugh, share life stories and have some fun! The power of AOII friendship can be found with your chapter sisters and new friends throughout your life.
Our founders felt that being part of AOII should begin in college and should forever enrich the lives of our members after you leave college through college loyalties, friendships and being of service. I have had the privilege to serve AOII over the years at the local, network and international level. Each of these opportunities has provided me with the chance to contribute to the growth and success of our members, chapters and the Fraternity.
My hope is that each member will take the opportunity to build lifelong friends from your collegiate experience or where ever you meet AOIIs along your life’s journey. You never know where your AOII journey will take you if you stay connected or what impact you can have on the growth and success of our beloved AOII. Gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful and readiness to show appreciation. My AOII journey has been so inspiring and rewarding. I am truly grateful for the many things that my AOII lifetime engagement has brought me.