Alumnae Chapter of the Year
This award is presented annually to one outstanding alumnae chapter. Categories evaluated are payment of Annual National Alumnae Fees, local publicity, support of the Sigma Sigma Sigma Foundation, local social service, service to collegiate chapters, participation in Alumnae Panhellenic, and representation at Convention, reunions, and meetings.
The Phoenix Alumnae Chapter serves a very large and diverse area. The Phoenix Metropolitan Valley area encompasses over 16,000 square miles. In order to reach out to all Tri Sigmas in the Valleys, they hold events around the entire area and provide a variety for all ages and interests, and target some to interest guests and potential members. Each year they send out a survey asking members for locations and types of events of interest to them. These are summarized and presented at the annual event planning meeting held in May. A preliminary calendar is proposed by the attendees, along with scheduled business meetings and ritual days. The chapter has at least two events per month. Once the calendar is approved by the officers, it is emailed out to all members and potential members and updates are provided quarterly. Many of their community events center around the Character Counts Program. This year the chapter volunteered at the “Feed My Starving Children” Program and is once again planning volunteer hours at the local food bank. Recruitment is in integral part of the chapter goals and activities. Each year they initiate new members through the Alumnae Initiate Program. There are no collegiate chapters in Arizona, so members continue to seek out new members from the community to ensure the future of the Alumnae Chapter. The opportunity to experience the initiation ritual on at least an annual basis is a source of pride for the chapter. Current members are encouraged to bring friends and relatives to all events and meetings. When a potential new member attends one meeting and shows interest, she is added to an email list and calling list for reminders on upcoming events. The Phoenix Metropolitan membership is very friendly and inclusive and potential members have indicated how comfortable they feel right from the start with our group of sisters. Each guest’s sponsor introduces her to each member so that everyone can get to know her. They also have outreach to Tri Sigmas who move into the area. When they receive notice that there is a new Sigma in the Phoenix area, the president and one of the members sends her a personalized email or note and follows up with a phone call to welcome her. They make special effort to pair a new Sigma with a member so she has a ride to her first event with the chapter. They continue to send emails to Sigmas in the area for several years in hopes they will eventually decide to join the chapter. This has been effective as often sisters have life circumstances that don’t allow time for immediate membership, but when hings change they know the chapter stills wants them to join. They are never forgotten. New members are assigned “Big Sisters” who serve the same function in the alumnae chapter as they do in collegiate chapters. She mentors the new sister during her new member period and sends notes of encouragement and support and accompanies her to events. Spreading the fun and happiness of being a member of the chapter and Tri Sigma is something Phoenix Metropolitan completely enjoys doing.