My beloved sorority, Alpha Epsilon Phi, was celebrating its centennial anniversary – one hundred years ago, on October 24th, 1909, AEPhi was founded by seven Jewish women at Barnard College in New York. Cue to 100 years later –hundreds of thousands of AEPhis from nearly fifty chapters nationwide call themselves sisters.
Though I wish more members of my pledge class (slash my best friends) would have been able to make the trip, sadly, they were not. So, the entire weekend, it was just me and Miss Rebecca Gerrick, making everyone else jealous as we drank at Dirtbags ($150 tab? Oops), ate at Beyond Bread, Wildflower, and Oreganos (of course!), tailgated on the mall (BEAR DOWN!), and of course, celebrated AEPhi!
The weekend was amazing. Ever since I graduated college, I have often thought of how lucky I am to have been part of something like the Alpha Lambda chapter of AEPhi. By being a part of it, I found my best friends (and future bridesmaids!), but I also found something more important – myself (disclaimer: cheesy paragraph below).
I was a total mess when I entered the U of A as a freshman – homesick and missing my friends desperately. But when I walked through the doors of AEPhi, I truly knew instantly that I had found my new home. Those girls welcomed me with open arms and smiles on their face, and made me believe that with their love and support, I could be or do anything. So I did – I threw myself into participating with everything I had. I served as Pledge Class President, Mom’s Weekend Chair, Serenading Chair, Vice President of New Member Education, Historian, and Ritualist. I soaked it all up and loved every moment of it – I cried for months after I graduated. Every single day, I talk to no less than five of my pledge class sisters – my best friends on earth.
On Saturday night, at the centennial celebration, nearly 300 women formed a circle in the Student Union Ballroom and sang From Atlantic to Pacific, our sorority song. Afterwards, a microphone was passed from hand to hand, and everyone was invited to share their special thoughts or a memory from their time in AEPhi. When it was my turn, I babbled a little bit, and started crying (embarrassing, I know!), but I managed to get across what I wanted to say, which is this:
No matter what I gave to AEPhi as a member, AEPhi will always have given me more. I am a better person today because of the lessons I learned in my sorority, and the girls who taught them to me.
Happy 100th birthday, AEPhi! And LML always!