Tri Sigma returned to the University of Massachusetts Amherst on Sept. 15, 2016. The Gamma Iota Chapter was originally founded in 1963 and closed in 1992. The return to campus is exciting for many Gamma Iota alumna, but there is one Rho (Florida State) alumna who may be the most excited for the return.
Nancy Frazier Wayte was initiated into Tri Sigma at Florida State in the fall of 1961. The following spring Nancy participated in an exchange program and attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Nancy quickly made friends with her roommates and would share stories of her Tri Sigma experience. One evening, the women asked if they could start a Tri Sigma chapter and Nancy began her journey with Gamma Iota.
The women had the support of Tri Sigma, but the Dean of Women was not as positive and requested that Nancy stay on campus and work to help the chapter get started. Due to return to Florida State the next semester, she successfully requested permission from the College of Education at Florida State to stay another year. Tri Sigma supported Nancy financially in return for her work to recruit and develop the Gamma Iota Chapter. The chapter was installed in March 1963.
Nancy returned to Florida State at the end of the semester and rejoined her Rho sisters for her senior year. As she puts it, it is quite a story and not like most women’s sorority experience.
Now living in Wyoming with her husband of 49 years, Nancy is still in touch with her Rho sisters and one special friend from Gamma Iota, Judy Bettencourt. A committed volunteer for Tri Sigma, Nancy has served as a chapter advisor, president of the Atlanta Alumnae Chapter and currently serves as the Tri Sigma representative to her local Alumnae Panhellenic. After working in education for 35 years, Nancy and her husband purchased and restored a local grocery store in Casper, WY.
We don’t always know the legacy we’ll leave as collegiate members of Tri Sigma, but Nancy’s fortitude, vision and passion continues today in the women who join the colony at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.