I don’t know if I can ever truly express everything that you did for me, but I’m going to try. I first wrote a draft of this letter when you were graduating my junior year, and then I tried again when I was graduating the year after. They say the third time is the charm. One of the most difficult parts of this letter is that we never talked in-depth about how much you inspired me, it was always a quiet admiration.
On my bid day, now years behind us, I remember you helping lead our first new member meeting. I was in awe that someone just a year above me was so organized and at the same time effortlessly fun. Throughout my new member process, you taught me that someone could be an amazing leader without sacrificing their humor and fun-loving personality. It helped me begin to imagine myself as a leader more than I ever had before.
Throughout my college career, I had many ups and downs, as most of us do, and while we were never best friends or close confidants, I knew that I could always rely on you to provide deeply insightful wisdom and much-needed encouragement when I needed it most. When I ran home to the chapter after my period of disaffiliation as a recruitment guide, I found myself running into your embrace already sobbing, and while an outsider might have wondered why I ran to you when we didn’t hang out all the time, I couldn’t imagine anyone else welcoming me home with a hug.
Without intending to, I found myself taking on many of the leadership roles that you defined before me, whether it was sorority related or not. Sometimes I would make jokes that I was just following your path through college but all jokes aside everything that you did inspired me to want to pursue the same. I don’t think I can ever thank you enough because, without your leadership and encouragement, I don’t know if I ever would have found the career path that feels so perfect for me. Before I took on the leadership positions you held before me, I didn’t even realize a career in higher education was possible, now here I am a year out of college working at a University and planning to return to graduate school for a career field I didn’t even know existed three years prior.
We may have never bonded as best friends in our collegiate days, but without your presence in my life, I don’t think I would be the confident and strong woman that I am today. You taught me so much about servant leadership, true sisterhood and my own desires and passions. I still don’t think I’ve found all the right words, and I don’t know if I ever truly will be able to, but you have been a pivotal role model in my life and I cannot thank you enough for everything you have done for me. Thank you for teaching me, thank you for leading me, and thank you for catching me when I ran full speed into your arms.