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“Sorority isn’t four years, it’s for life.”

That is a saying often heard by sorority members. But beyond gaining friendships that extend after college graduation, what does that mean for your student as a collegian?

Alumnae play a large role in the success of NPC organizations. NPC organizations rely heavily on volunteers and their alumnae members. Some alumnae work with local chapters and others volunteer at the regional or national level to support collegiate members. This takes different forms, but as with other relationships within sorority life such as the big and little relationship, this is supposed to be one of mentorship.

Encouraging Growth and Providing Support with Chapter Leaders

All sorority chapters have alumnae volunteers that work directly with chapter officers. Advisors help members develop their leadership skills and confidence. They assist collegians as they navigate campus and organizational policy and interact with offices such as the campus’ Fraternity and Sorority life office or the sorority’s national office. The alumnae advisors meet with their officers regularly to check in and serve as a sounding board for any decisions or challenges your student may encounter. Depending on what officer they support (and organizational policy), advisors may review contracts for events, help navigate budgeting and attend chapter or committee meetings.

When I served in different leadership capacities within my chapter, including president, my advisers were invaluable to my success. They empowered me to make difficult decisions and supported me not only through sorority life, but college and life after graduation.

Advisors Support All Members

In addition to supporting chapter leaders, advisors support all members. They are a resource to all members. They also support the chapter by easing the stress of events like recruitment. My advisors were there during the weekend to help with the behind the scenes work such as rearranging furniture or helping with technology. They did all this so we could focus on being present in our conversations with potential members. One advisor even baked the chapter a cake as a treat for one of our longest days. The relationship that developed with my sorority advisors was different than those I had with my other mentors such as my coaches, professors and academic advisors. As a collegian, I knew I could rely on and trust my advisors because we had a shared connection through our sorority membership.

Promoting Networking and Career Success

In addition to alumnae volunteers, local alumnae groups also add to the richness of the collegiate experience. Alumnae organizations may host events for collegians and alumnae, such as Founders’ Day celebrations, service or philanthropy opportunities or more casual events like potluck dinners to help create connections between alumnae and collegians.

One of my favorite service events of the year was the Boston Marathon. My chapter, another collegiate chapter in the area and the Boston Alumnae Chapter all came together to partner with the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired for the weekend. 

Alumnae also engage with chapters through career panels and other mentoring opportunities. A sister I met at a career panel hosted by my chapter helped me with my law school applications, some of my peers made connections that helped them navigate entering careers in medicine or the technology industry.

Alumnae mentorship is such a unique and special part of the sorority experience. Even if your student does not take on a leadership role, the sisterhood they have joined is filled with women that are excited to take them under their wing, whether for professional or personal growth.

Written by: Camille N’Diaye

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