On college campuses all across the country and Canada, young men and women are donning caps and gowns and walking across a stage. They are being presented with a diploma cover. Some of those diploma covers will have actual diplomas in them, but colleges and universities usually wait to make sure all is in order with grades, graduation requirements, and the bursar’s office before handing over the diploma itself.
The fraternity and sorority members among the graduates, who, when they first became members of their respective organizations, could not fathom the journey being over, now realize they are no longer collegiate members. The collegiate part of the journey has come to an end. A few lucky ones have been hired by their organizations as traveling consultants. They’ll spend a year visiting chapters, offering advice, and being ambassadors for the organization they represent.
Dear fraternity and sorority graduates – this is not the end of the membership journey. It is the beginning of your life as an alumna or alumnus. Seize the opportunity to be a part of the alum life of your organization. If there is an alum club/chapter where you’ll be heading, join it. Give to your organization’s foundation. I know you’re probably strapped for cash and don’t have much. Give up ordering few coffees or other beverages and send what you would have spent to your organization’s foundation. Give at least $15 this year, $20 next year. Get in the habit of giving back to the organizations that helped shape you.
Work for your organization. It can be as simple as being on the lookout for potential new members. Speak of the good things your organization does. Keep current – read the magazine, visit the web-site, sign up for its social media accounts. Volunteer to work with a chapter, or put your name in the hat for committee work. Every national/international officer once was in the same place you find yourself today.
Best wishes for a happy and healthy life ahead. And remember when you speak of your membership in a fraternity or sorority, say “I am an XYZ” not “I was an XYZ.”