Region VI Day 2011
Region VI Day (Michigan and Canada) – November 5, 2011
The women of Gamma Pi chapter at Western Michigan University hosted Region VI collegians and alumnae for the 2011 Region Day on Saturday, November 5, 2011. Over 25 alumnae gathered with hundreds of collegians at the Holiday Inn Conference Center near WMU’s campus in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Region VI Regional Collegiate Director Leah Nixon started off her first Region Day as RCD by welcoming all of us to Kalamazoo. Gamma Pi CCD Lauren Campbell took a few minutes to express how excited she and the chapter were to have us as their guests for the day. Michigan State Alumnae Chairman Diane Cesarz and Canadian Country Chairman Heather Dichter rounded out the welcomes by introducing a number of Great Lakes Area alumnae volunteers and encouraging active members to talk with and get to know these women throughout the day.
The ever popular State of the Chapter Addresses were next, with Great Lakes Area Alumnae Director Denise Brenner leading off with the “State of the Area,” a summary of activity and accomplishments from the Great Lakes Alumnae Area over the 2010-11 year. Included in this year’s State of the Area address was an invitation for Region Day attendees to pull out their smartphones, open their Twitter apps, and follow @DZGreatLakes on Twitter. The result was over 40 new followers within 5 short minutes! Representatives from the nine active chapters in Region VI were up next, with each giving a 5-10 minute summary of their chapter’s activities and accomplishments over the past year.
Following the State of the Chapter addresses, Phyllis Davis, National Director, was welcomed to the podium as the Keynote speaker. Phyllis’ address focused on two topics: 1) the many ways Delta Zeta involvement can benefit you as an alumna, and 2) our duty to abide by risk management policies, and the potential consequences if we don't. Phyllis reminded us that even when we are not actually wearing our letters, all of our words and actions are representing both Delta Zeta and the larger Panhellenic community. She gave firsthand accounts about how seemingly harmless behaviors and commonly accepted campus activities have resulted in tragedy both for chapters as a whole, and members individually. She sent a strong message about our duty to look out for our sisters by upholding the high ideals of our sorority in our day to day actions and activities. Phyllis also reflected upon her experience as an alumna of Delta Zeta, discussing some of the surprising aspects of alumnae involvement and many of the positive consequences her involvement has brought to her and her family. She encouraged all attendees to consider how alumnae involvement can benefit them, either now or in the future, and GET INVOLVED as an alumna!
Following Phyllis’ Keynote address, the Grand Rapids Alumnae Chapter and representatives from Zeta Nu chapter at Ferris State University led a special presentation honoring recently deceased Zeta Nu alumna Bree Roelfs. Collectively, the chapters raised over $1,000 for the Evelyn Adams Costello scholarship fund, and Scholarship Chairman Lindsey Bonner, Bree’s big sister, accepted the check in bittersweet fashion before announcing this year’s scholarship winners. She remarked that Bree would be so proud to know she inspired so many others to give back to Delta Zeta.
After lunch, we began with a Golden Rose ceremony to recognize 3 special guests in attendance – Marlene Bednarski Berry (Gamma Psi), Margaret Ross Cole (Zeta Nu) and Gwendolyn McHugh Shick (Zeta Nu) were honored with their Golden Rose for 50 years of initiated membership in Delta Zeta. We then moved on to the Founders’ Day and Senior Ceremonies, led by Gamma Pi Chapter and the Region VI CCDs, respectively. The majority of our afternoon consisted of workshops - Tom Coy, Assistant Director and Fraternity Sorority Life Advisor in the Office of Student Life at Grand Valley State University, and Dennis Simpson, director of the Specialty Program in Alcohol and Drug Abuse (SPADA) at WMU addressed attendees while a number of alumnae members gathered separately to network and discuss how they can continue their involvement with Delta Zeta in their local area.
We concluded the day’s programming with the alumnae and collegiate awards program, in which Diane Cesarz and Heather Dichter recognized a record number of alumnae achievers, including the first ever Canadian and International award winners.
The day ended with the announcement of the ticket auction winners and the news that we raised over $600 for the Delta Zeta Foundation through the auction. We look forward to the women of Lambda Theta chapter at Michigan Technological University hosting us in 2012 - hope to see you in the UP next November!