Displaying 1 - 10 of 339 entries.

Confessions of a Sigma-holic

  • Posted on February 19, 2015 at 12:01 pm

Hello, my name is Jackie and I’m a Sigma-holic…Jacqulyn King

Here we are in the middle of February, a month our country has set aside to commemorate the achievements of African Americans and the struggle for civil rights.  As a Sigma, I confess that I know very little about the history of our own controversies concerning the diversification of our membership.

There is a part of me that would like to believe that our sisterhood has always been what it is today, with our emphasis being on friendship, character, and conduct. That the only color we have ever seen is only purple, but we know this was not always the case. Just as the United States has had to rectify past mistakes, so has Tri Sigma. Change is never easy, and tempers surly flared at the time, but thank heaven reason prevailed and exclusionary practices ended.

Diversity in our membership has enriched our sisterhood, allowing Tri Sigmas to understand different points of view and appreciate various cultures. This prepares sisters to more effectively function and contribute in today’s global society.

So while it is true that skeletons of segregation hang in our closet, I am so grateful that Tri Sigma has evolved to embrace Dr. King’s dream, in which our sisters are not judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.


Jacqulyn King (Alpha Phi) is a retired high school Library Media Specialist, and she and her husband Mark divide their time between homes in Michigan and Florida. She belongs to the West Michigan, Central Michigan and Southwest Florida Alumnae chapters. Her blog Confessions of a Sigmaholic runs the third Tuesday of every month.

Is everybody wearing panties? The Disney Version

  • Posted on February 6, 2015 at 12:05 pm

By: Molly Molly Schroeder SteadmanSchroeder Steadman

My long suffering husband and I are taking our kids to Disney World this month. It’s the kid’s first trip to the house of mouse and my sweet girls have been abducted by aliens and in their place are Drusilla and Anastasia. It is full on princess central around here; the gowns, the shoes, the jewels. I can’t make it across the house without tripping over some frilly bit of fairy tale nonsense.

And I am excited, it will be a blast for them, for all of us. But there is just something about multi-state travel with all of these kids that may just make me a little nuts. (Really not that much of a stretch most days…) I am going to remember to pack my values and my panties. Here are just a few Disney World mines I will need to avoid:

We are on vacation, don’t nickel and dime it to death. It is possible that this trip to the Happiest Place on Earth may also coincide with our trip to the Most Expensive Place on Earth. Are you kidding me? The cost of one meal with Cinderella is roughly my entire week’s grocery budget. The hotel costs more than my first car. Here’s the thing, when I was a child, I too was cursed by an evil fairy. Unlike Aurora, my curse gave me wildly expensive taste, a sense of thriftiness that would put a depression era housewife to shame. I reuse zip top bags, butter wrappers and the bags the newspaper comes in. We cut coupons, shop at thrift stores and all of my couture clothes come from the outlets. With that in mind, you know how hard it will be to go ahead and let the kids eat while we are there.

The second land mine is anger. Vacation is supposed to be a joyful and happy time. I can’t let my anger and resentment for Walt get the best of me. Oh I know plenty of women who are hung up on that whole Prince Charming thing, but my beef with him is different; I don’t care that he lied about my prince being perfect. (He’s not!) I am more upset about forest creatures and their unwillingness to clean my house. I have 3 kids under 5, a husband that literally grew up in a barn and 15 acres of dirt and mud just waiting to attach to everything I own. Where are the little blue birds doing the mending? Where did Gus Gus and Jack scamper off to; it’s time to make breakfast? On laundry day, I would settle for a couple of dwarves or a flying carpet. But what do I get? Two 4 year olds who fold towels because it builds character, not because they have any sort affinity for the undertaking.

I think if I can keep those two, let’s call them character flaws, under my mouse ears, the trip might make memories that will last a lifetime. It better, I will be paying off the Amex for at least that long.

Molly Schroeder Steadman (Chi) is a former chapter officer, local and national sorority volunteer, and National Headquarters employee. She recently moved back to Kansas with her husband and three children. Join her in supporting the future of Tri Sigma with regular donations to the Foundation, preferably the Chi Scholarship fund. Her blog, “Is everybody wearing panties?”, runs the first Friday of every month. Values aren’t something you are born wearing; like your panties, you have to put them on every day before you leave the house.

Dust, Dolls and Documents

  • Posted on February 4, 2015 at 12:01 pm

Over Columbus Day Weekend, the Archives Committee and a few Sigma volunteers from around the country visited the Walton House to really get into the archival collection and get organized. Volunteers and committee members cleaned jewelry, set up a doll hospital to repair damaged dolls, and organized important Tri Sigma documents.

One of the greatest accomplishments from the weekend was creating an inventory of every loose issue of the Triangle.

Committee members and volunteers completed the inventory every issue of the Triangle. While organizing and boxing the Triangles may not seem too exciting, they discovered amazing stories – like the announcement of the Robbie Page Memorial Fund – and [carefully!] flipped through a 1905 issue.

They set up a mini “doll hospital and spa” to clean up the dolls and get them ready for their photo shoot. Some dolls did not have photographs, so stay tuned as the Committee starts posting the photos on social media. Did you know that Barbies begin to look sweaty over time? As the plastic degrades it gets sticky and looks like Barbie has just come from an intense workout! The committee is working on a plan to restore the current dolls, and set guidelines and recommendations for new dolls added to the collection. We want to ensure that future generations of Sigmas will see their dolls in all their sparkly and beautiful glory!

Many of the volunteers spent time cataloging, photographing, and cleaning the jewelry displayed in the Memorial Room. The beautiful pieces included badge boxes, pledge pins, and Executive Council badges and rings. Check out the next Triangle issue for a feature on some of the convention favors they found!

One of the dirtier projects of the weekend had volunteers in the basement pulling files out of cabinets for proper storage in archival boxes on the first floor. All of Mabel Lee Walton’s files are now safe and sound upstairs – we can’t wait to see what’s in there! Sisters also went on a mini scavenger hunt to track down and organized all the history books and Triangles spread throughout the house. During the hunt, they went through all the nooks and crannies of the house, finding amazing treasures – like Mary Hastings Page’s framed member certificate – in drawers and cabinets.

It was these treasures unexpectedly found throughout the Walton House that made the weekend special. Sisters found amazing pieces from over a century ago: the 1904 college scrapbook, complete with full dance cards of Emily Walton, sister of Mable Lee and mother of Mary Hastings; a 1900 yearbook with signatures of our founders; and Alpha Chapter’s first New Member Signature book [pictured].


These treasures showed the committee how important it is to continue restoring and preserving our archival collection. As we move closer to the 50th Anniversary of the Walton House, our committee will continue to ready the archives so that Sigmas can enjoy our history at the Anniversary and every year forward.

Take the Chance and Mentor the Future of Tri Sigma

  • Posted on January 27, 2015 at 12:02 pm

By Lindsay ManuzIMG_4855

Imagine one weekend away that changes your perspective. Imagine one weekend being surrounded by not only the future of Tri Sigma, but wonderful and wise alumnae. Imagine one weekend that you will never forget. If I could express anything from that weekend, it is that Dunham will transform your outlook on Tri Sigma, but also life.

If you’ve been to the Dunham Woman of Character Institute in the past, it’s a weekend long journey that makes you think through and understand the values instilled in our sisterhood and how to become the best woman of character you can be. You have a short weekend to really dig deep and you have the amazing opportunity to be surrounded by sisters from all over the nation that are doing the exact same thing along side you. You experience this instant click with your group, almost as if you’ve known them for years. You have this opportunity to talk about the journey you have encountered within Tri Sigma and what you are taking back from the weekend. But most importantly, you fall even deeper in love with the sisterhood of Sigma Sigma Sigma.

Becoming a mentor for this weekend, you have the short opportunity to be a role model, leader and a friend to a younger generation of Tri Sigma. You carry out the wisdom and power that you gained from your own experience and pass it on to the new emerging leaders. You help give them the confidence they need to believe that they can achieve anything in this chapter. Being a mentor, you have the opportunity to reflect on all the experiences Tri Sigma has offered you, and how you value this sisterhood.
If you are even contemplating about applying to be a mentor, take the leap of faith and just do it. This is an opportunity that can’t be missed. It reiterates the Woman of Character you not only want to have for yourself, but for the future of Tri Sigma.


Lindsay (Alpha Phi) is a senior, studying Public Health and Childhood Development. She joined Tri Sigma in Fall 2012 and has been in love ever since.  Tri Sigma helped her recognize her leadership capabilities and gave her the confidence boost she needed to be successful.  Lindsay is embracing the unknown as her graduation date nears. She loves all things sweet and purple.

My Experience as a Collegiate Mentor at the Dunham Women of Character Institute

  • Posted on January 20, 2015 at 12:07 pm

By: Rachel FenskeRachel Fenske

We who receive much, must give much. As a Tri Sigma, I hear that line often. It wasn’t until last year, when I served as a collegiate mentor for the Dunham Women of Character Institute that those words came full circle.

My experience with Dunham goes beyond my time as a mentor. When I joined Tri Sigma in the Spring of 2012, I was given the chance to attend Dunham. I had no idea what I was getting myself into and didn’t know what to expect. What came to be was a weekend that inspired me beyond words. It spurred my ambitions in Sigma, and pushed me to apply for an open position on Honor Council in my chapter, which eventually led to being elected onto Officer Board to which I served two terms. It was Dunham that sparked my love of national programming, and helped me find the desire to attend Convention, Officer Academy and to apply (and eventually be accepted and attend) the Labyrinth Leadership Experience.

It was because of my experience with Dunham the first time, that when the opportunity arose to be a collegiate mentor, I didn’t hesitate to apply. I knew that my Sigma experience could have been drastically different without Dunham, and I wanted to help others start their leadership journey.

That was exactly what being a mentor did for me. I was around newly-initiated Sigmas, listening to their ideas, watching conversations ignite passions. I watched as their knowledge of our organization grew and as they frantically took down notes to bring back to their chapter. It was like looking in a mirror-seeing other women gain so much from the conference that gave me so much. I left the weekend with my heart full of hope for those young women, knowing that their Sigma journey was just beginning.

I would encourage anyone who is interested to apply to be a mentor at Dunham. You will help mold and shape sister’s futures in their chapters and nationally. You will learn so much yourself! You will make new friendships and bonds with the other mentors and the attendees at your table. You will leave Dunham feeling whole, happy, and filled with Sigma love. You will receive much, while giving much. Dunham is a special conference that holds a dear place in my heart, apply to be a mentor and I know it will find a place into your heart too.


Hi! I’m Rae, and I am a recent graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato where I studied Sociology and Non-Profit Leadership. I have recently entered the workforce and am excited to join an Alumna chapter and continue my life-long Sigma journey!

Confessions of a Sigma-holic

  • Posted on January 15, 2015 at 12:08 pm

Hello, my name is Jackie and I’m a Sigma-holic…Jacqulyn King

As a confessed Sigma-holic, I’m obviously obsessed with all things Tri Sigma, but I recently discovered something that I confess… I found disappointing.

Recently, I was perusing a copy of Essential Sigma, which is the manual used in Tri Sigma’s new member education program.  I am fiercely proud of this resource.  The sisters who developed this curriculum did an outstanding job, and it certainly deserves all the acclaim and awards bestowed.  Yet, I found something missing that I consider essential.

When reading the section dealing with Alumnae Membership, I discovered there is no mention of the Golden Violet Award.  This book explains there are Alumnae Opportunities such as Alumnae Chapter membership, serving as a Key Alumna, or being a member of a Collegiate Advisory Board or Housing Corporation.  It also points out there are opportunities to participate in Alumnae Panhellenic associations, and to become a National Officer of Tri Sigma.  Even when discussing Alumnae Recognition, the Golden Violet, the very symbol of a sister remaining Faithful Unto Death, was not listed. What an unfortunate oversight.

Not wanting to nit pick, I hesitated to write about this.  Times change and it is important to keep an open mind.  However, when a younger sister mentioned that she had no idea what a Golden Violet was until she attended a National Convention, I felt compelled to speak up. As a collegiate member, I was always taught that we should all strive to become Golden Violets, is this no longer the case?

In searching for current information published by Tri Sigma concerning the Golden Violet Award, I found this definition on page 414, of the Appendix of Ever Forward Sigma Sigma Sigma: Over a Century of Sisterhood 1898-2010:

            “The Golden Violet Award is awarded to a member who has been an

            alumna for 50 years and who has given service and financial support

            to Tri Sigma.  She shall have paid her lifetime dues or annual national

            dues for 20 years or more.  She must be nominated [by an Alumnae or

            Collegiate Chapter] to receive this award.”

Following this explanation, Golden Violet recipients were listed under their collegiate chapters.  Although I was grateful to find this information, it was buried in the Appendix, and did little to justify the significance of this award.

I suspect that many sisters are under the impression that the Golden Violet is simply a pin presented to sisters upon the 50th anniversary of their initiation into Tri Sigma. This is a huge misconception. It has been my privilege to see eight incredible members of the West Michigan Alumnae Chapter receive their Golden Violet.  These sisters exemplify what it means to be a steadfast Tri Sigma, who is also involved with, and contributes to her community. The Golden Violet is an award sisters earn, not just become. Shouldn’t it be “essential” that Sigma sisters aspire to be eligible for nomination, when their time comes?

Jacqulyn King (Alpha Phi) is a retired high school Library Media Specialist, and she and her husband Mark divide their time between homes in Michigan and Florida. She belongs to the West Michigan, Central Michigan and Southwest Florida Alumnae chapters. Her blog Confessions of a Sigmaholic runs the third Tuesday of every month.

Is Everyone Wearing Panties? Is anybody else tired?

  • Posted on January 2, 2015 at 12:06 pm

By: Molly Schroeder SteadmanMolly Schroeder Steadman

When I was pregnant, I got lots of advice;  whether I asked for it or not! One mom did tell me something that really stuck with me. “Molly,” she said, “you are never going to be not tired.” And was she ever right, I am tired!

Now my girls are great and my little man is a rock star, but I am tired. And I bet you are too.
I am tired of the never ending battle of nutrition. Doughnuts are not a grain and marshmallow peanuts are not a protein source. It’s bad enough that you have to have these conversations with the children but one would think the preschool administration would have gotten the memo. I am tired of standing between junk food and my kids with a whip and a chair.
I am tired of having to explain the language and images on my TV in the middle of the day. For heavens’s sake did the FCC disband due to lack of interest? Would they like to explain why Paris Hilton is eating a hamburger in her S&M bathing suit at 2 in the afternoon? Because I don’t. How about what “E.D.”  stands for and why they are talking about it during a commercial break during Doc McStuffins? Because I don’t.
I am tired of trashy Halloween costumes for 4 year olds, princesses of all ages that await rescue, kids being left in cars, moms judging each other and the guilt of not being as good as the people on Pinterest.
I am tired of feeling inadequate for not reading enough to my kids, not serving kale at every meal and not hand making a decorative scene for a holiday I know nothing about. (Seriously now we have to celebrate Pi day, Sweetest Day and Canadian Thanksgiving?)
 So you know what? I am quitting. I am letting myself off the hook. No more judging, self loathing and competitive crafting. I give up, it’s time we all just took a nap.
What makes you tired? Leave us a note in the comments.
Molly Schroeder Steadman (Chi) is a former chapter officer, local and national sorority volunteer, and National Headquarters employee. She recently moved back to Kansas with her husband and three children. Join her in supporting the future of Tri Sigma with regular donations to the Foundation, preferably the Chi Scholarship fund. Her blog, “Is everybody wearing panties?”, runs the first Friday of every month. Values aren’t something you are born wearing; like your panties, you have to put them on every day before you leave the house.

Confessions of a Sigma-holic

  • Posted on December 18, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Hello, my name is Jackie and I’m a Sigma-holic…Jacqulyn King

As the holidays approach I confess that I have been the usual shopaholic, with lots of time spent looking for gifts and other items for the festivities ahead.  What can I say? “Tis’ the Season!”

While our minds are on giving, I would like to suggest a present that you can give yourself, and one that will last a lifetime. We all relish tokens of silver and gold, but I’m not talking about bling.  Rather than buying jewelry or designer handbags, I propose that Alumnae and soon to be Alumnae sisters commit to fulfilling their stake in Tri Sigma by becoming Lifetime Members.

The price tag attached to Lifetime Dues may seem exorbitant, but I am totally passionate about encouraging sisters to make this step if they possibly can. It has been my experience that Lifetime Membership predicts a sister’s future involvement in our sorority, and actually makes sense economically. I have never regretted paying my Lifetime Dues, so much so that when my own daughter became a Tri Sigma, my husband and I pledged to pay her Lifetime Dues on a three-year payment plan.  The last remittance was made in September, and I am proud that my daughter is a card caring Lifetime Member of Sigma Sigma Sigma Faithful Unto Death.

As the New Year approaches, please consider taking this step and allocate the funds for Lifetime Dues into your budget.  The $1,050.00 fee may seem like an insurmountable mountain, but if you break it down and take small steps you can reach the top.  National offers a three-year payment plan.  Sisters can make one payment of $350.00 each year, or make two payments of $175.00 twice a year.  If that still sounds overwhelming, why not break it down ever further by setting aside $29.17 each month, or $6.74 a week. Create a visual reminder to aide in keeping your goal in mind.  Clean an empty clear mayonnaise or pickle jar, and design a label featuring the skull and bones with our open motto Faithful Unto Death.  Leave enough room on your label to list the months of the year with a blank beside it (e.g. Jan. ___  Feb. ___ etc.).  Each week drop $6.74 in the jar, and check off the month as it is completed.  This will allow you to see your progress and meet the goal.

What will you receive in return for this investment?  A small laminated card and a thank you, along with the satisfaction that inevitable increases in dues will not affect you.  Although this may appear to be a modest reward, it is evidence that you plan to remain true to your vow to be Faithful Unto Death. While in college sisters are willing to pay much higher dues, but then some cease following graduation. I liken this to quitting a race just short of the finish line. In three years a sister can fulfill her financial pledge to Tri Sigma for life.

I hope all sisters young and old plan to become Golden Violets.  This award is presented to Sigma Sisters who have remained active for 50 years.  To receive the Golden Violet, sisters must be nominated by either a collegiate or Alumnae Chapter, and must either be a Lifetime Member, or have paid their annual National dues for at least 20 years.  It always surprises me how many sisters are not aware of this, and who believe The Golden Violet is something that is automatically granted to sisters 50 years after their initiation.  As my golden anniversary draws nearer (I’m not there yet ladies), I am so happy that my financial obligation to Tri Sigma was taken care of years ago, allowing me to continue moving… Ever Forward.   Happy Holidays!

Jacqulyn King (Alpha Phi) is a retired high school Library Media Specialist, and she and her husband Mark divide their time between homes in Michigan and Florida. She belongs to the West Michigan, Central Michigan and Southwest Florida Alumnae chapters. Her blog Confessions of a Sigmaholic runs the third Tuesday of every month.

Acceptance is hard; So is Christmas!

  • Posted on December 5, 2014 at 12:05 pm

By: Molly Schroeder SteadmanMolly Schroeder Steadman

Christmas is hard. It’s a lot of work, decorating, shopping, and wrapping. My decorations never look as good as they look in the Pottery Barn catalog. And all of those holiday treats make my stockings a little too tight.

Our values can’t take a break just because it’s Christmas break. One of the values I work on during the holidays is acceptance. Now indifference can sometimes put on a holiday sweater and come to the party looking like acceptance but it’s not the same. Indifference is not caring that the kids are making gingerbread men at grandmas and are going to make the jump to light speed powered by the full octane rush of high fructose corn syrup. Acceptance is arriving at grandma’s and after realizing that the sugar frenzy, crash and comma is imminent,  taking a deep breath, grabbing a cookie and wondering for the umpteenth time how a parent that wouldn’t buy Honey Nut Cheerios has become a grandparent that leaves a trail of candy sprinkles when she walks across the room.

Acceptance works with your crazy relatives too. You know the one who picked up your gift at the gas station on the way over while you went to four stores to find just exactly what was on her list. Acceptance means smiles and being gracious while trying not to notice the receipt from 7-11 in the bottom of the clearly used gift bag.

Acceptance isn’t easy but it is something you can practice. When your dear husband puts his dirty coffee cup in the sink instead of moving 14 inches to the left and putting it in the dishwasher, don’t look at this as justification for hitting him with a skillet. This is a perfect time to exercise your acceptance muscle!

Look at that coffee cup, sitting there in the sink again, still dirty from the dregs of coffee that you made, even though he got up first and think, “acceptance, acceptance, ASSeptance,” no that’s not right, see it takes practice.

As you navigate the treacherous holiday landscape, make sure you tuck your values into your tiny black clutch. I will be bringing acceptance; not much else is going to fit in that bag.

What is your favorite part of the holidays? Share in the comments below.

Molly Schroeder Steadman (Chi) is a former chapter officer, local and national sorority volunteer, and National Headquarters employee. She recently moved back to Kansas with her husband and three children. Join her in supporting the future of Tri Sigma with regular donations to the Foundation, preferably the Chi Scholarship fund. Her blog, “Is everybody wearing panties?”, runs the first Friday of every month. Values aren’t something you are born wearing; like your panties, you have to put them on every day before you leave the house.

The Success of Failure: Life Lessons Through the Impact of Others

  • Posted on November 27, 2014 at 12:03 pm

By: Beth FisherBeth Fisher

Life is an evolution of education. You never stop learning. Now in my mid-thirties, I realize this more than ever. Those around us shape who we are as individuals.

When I think of the many people that have impacted my life so far, I automatically think of my grandfather. I was lucky to have spent a great deal of time with him and my grandmother growing up. Both deceased now, they were part of what some call the greatest generation. As first and second generation Americans born in the northeast section of Philadelphia in the 1920s, they saw a great deal of change and transition, up and downs through their lives. Through all of it, I know that many life lessons were learned. And many, he taught me through his actions and character. While my grandfather is no longer here with me physically, he is always present in my everyday life as I strive to carry out the lessons he taught me. My time spent with him had a major impact on who I am today. I share with you some lessons as a “pay it forward” for this holiday season.

Lesson #1 – Treat people as you would want to be treated.

People won’t always remember the details of a situation but they will remember how you made them feel. It’s a very simple concept and one that is taught through actions. While I’m not perfect, I strive to live this lesson in my everyday life through successes and failures.

Lesson #2 – You can have all the money in the world but if you don’t have anyone to share it with, it is meaningless.

The one thing that my grandfather truly loved in life was his family. Family meant the world to him and it showed through his actions. He always put his family above anything else in life. And it was true in the time he even spent with his grandchildren. At my grandfather’s funeral, my uncle said it best. He talked about how my grandfather was the richest person in the world because he had something that money couldn’t buy…the love of his family. We live in a society that values material things. Just remember that material things can only fill a void temporarily. It’s the relationships you build with others that are long lasting and have meaning.

Lesson #3 – Be grateful for what others do for you.

My grandfather is one of the greatest individuals I’ve ever known to this day. He would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. And all he desired in return was a moment of gratitude. Don’t take people for granted in the things they do for you…you never know when you will need them again.

Lesson #4 – To be successful in your job, do not only learn your job but the job of those around you.

I’ve carried this lesson with me since I began working 20 years ago. The best decisions that you can make are ones where you understand the big picture and how the outcome impacts everyone in the process.

Lesson #5 – Character and integrity are what you do when no one else is looking.

My grandfather wasn’t a very religious man but he certainly had a good moral compass. I was lucky to be surrounded by an individual who did the right thing and taught me how important it was to do the same. Character and integrity are important to me, especially when no one else is looking.

Beth Fisher (Zeta Rho) has more than 12 years of experience in higher education, student development and event planning. She has served Tri Sigma in various volunteer roles including Collegiate Coordinator, Extension Director and currently serves as a College Panhellenic Coordinator for Region 1. Beth resides in the northern suburbs of Philadelphia where she enjoys spending time with family and friends. Her column “The Success of Failure” regularly appears the first and third Thursday of every month.