Welcome to our #GoGreek series! This blog series focuses on interviewing past and present members of sororities and fraternities. We are able to learn more about their experiences and ask them questions to help others learn more about the Greek world, bust stigmas, and find out if Greek life is right for you.
Today we are interviewing Samantha Jennings Willan from Kappa Beta Gamma at Humber College located in Ontario, Canada.
Samantha chose the organization that she did because KBG is a non-panhel international sorority, so she’s been able to make friends all over Canada and the United States, and their philanthropy was something she really connected with. She was also drawn to Greek life because of the community it creates.
What was your philanthropy and what effect did serving this philanthropy have on your life?
“Our philanthropy is the Special Olympics. I love being able to come out, support the community and give back! The Special Olympics is such a positive organization and each year I still participate in their fundraising events.”
If you could go back, would there be anything you would change about your experience?
“I’d honestly just soak up every moment more! You don’t realize when you’re in it but those are the memories you’re going to cherish and hold onto. I would go on each sisterhood trip, every retreat, etc!”
How has your experience helped or shaped your life beyond college?
“Each sister has made me want to be the best version of myself and I am so grateful for that! These are lifelong connections and it doesn’t just end after 4 years. You’re sisters for life. You always have someone to lean on, talk to, grab coffee with. It’s made me become more confident!”
Samantha’s advice for someone looking into Greek life is to just go for it! Jump right in and enjoy it, it will help you get out of your shell and grow as a person if you do.
Delta Delta Delta (Tri Delta) was created by two women at Boston University who saw a need for a different form of a sorority, even though there were already three women’s groups on campus. They set out to start an organization that was more inclusive of everyone and looks at a person more on what’s inside than their physical appearance.
Their founders are Sarah Ida Shaw, Eleanor Dorcas Pond, Florence Isabelle Stewart, and Isabel Morgan Breed. Photos from tridelta.org
Tri Delta’s purpose is “to promote and develop mutually beneficial relationships between the Fraternity and the colleges and universities where the Fraternity has established chapters, to develop qualities of unselfish leadership among its members, and to encourage them to assume, with integrity and devotion to moral and democratic principles, the highest responsibilities of college women.” (tridelta.org)
Their philanthropy is to treat and defeat childhood cancer. They’ve partnered with St. Jude and over the years have raised more than $75 million in support of them! Tri Delta also has a scholarship program in place for both undergrad and graduate school students.
Alpha Phi’s history began in 1872 when ten women came together because they too wanted to be involved with something on campus of their university, but were denied access to their school’s fraternities. From this, they started their own women’s fraternity, which became the Alpha Phi sorority.
Their philanthropy is based deeply on service. “How can we serve and help?” is always the question on their mind, along with their motto, “Union Hand in Hand.”
“You will find a group of women passionate about making the world a better place. Whether it’s initiating community service efforts, raising awareness for heart health, or navigating the unique and challenging issues facing women on today’s college campuses, we stand together boldly to make a difference on our campuses and in our communities.”
They also pride themselves in the inclusive community they create at their sororities. They create an environment where you can feel at home away from home, get involved in your community, create lasting friendships, and grow as a leader.
“Every year, nearly 9,000 new members find a home in Alpha Phi. Like you, they too were looking for a place where they could confide in others, share new experiences, conquer difficult challenges, and achieve things they never thought possible.”
“More than 270,000 members found a community of friends who impacted their collegiate adventure for the better… and so will you. In Alpha Phi, you’ll have sisters standing shoulder to shoulder with you through the ups and downs of your college years. And perhaps the most surprising gift of all is that this Alpha Phi family extends well beyond your college years… Alpha Phi sisterhood means friendship for life.” -alphaphi.org
Joining Alpha Phi is participating in a lifelong sisterhood!
Omega Phi Alpha was founded in 1953 at Bowling Green State University. A handful of students at Zeta Kappa Chapter of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity wanted to start a new organization for the purpose of assisting with projects on campus that they were working on. After a group of women stepped up and wanted to fill the role, a sorority was started with a similar, but different name. Omega Phi Alpha. Originally the sorority was only open to members of Girls Scouts or Camp Fire Girls. This has since been changed.
Their core values are service, tradition, sisterhood, diversity & inclusion, and leadership. Each separate organization is centered around service in some way. They state on their website their purpose:
“The purpose and goals of this sorority shall be to assemble its members in the fellowship of Omega Phi Alpha, to develop friendship, leadership and cooperation by promoting service to the university community, to the community at-large, to the members of the sorority, and to the nations of the world.”
They truly are a sorority founded on women that stepped up to help and will continue to leave a legacy of women willing to step up to help. They are a positive influence on college campuses everywhere!
You can see more about Omega Phi Alpha and the overview of the sorority here in this video: