Sorry I'm a bit late, but I'm doing some catch up here. As you might know, we just moved into a new apartment, so blogging has been thrown onto the back burner for a week or so. I would love to post photos of our new place, but the OCD in me requires that I catch up on my posts chronologically.
Anyways, a couple weeks ago I went to Atlanta for the Alpha Xi Delta National Convention. A lot of people are confused when I tell them this. They think that sororities are just for four years in college. The truth though, is that when you join a sorority, you join for life. Alpha Xi Delta is a lifetime sisterhood; an organization of women that works to support it's college chapters, it's philanthropic partner, Autism Speaks, and it's members... long after graduation. In fact, some women are even initiated into the sorority long after they've graduated college.
After two years of being a part of my college chapter of AXiD, I was very excited to get a national perspective on the organization. 500 women of all ages from across the country came to represent their chapters and alumnae associations and some, like me, just came to be a part of it all.
I had a bit of a rough flight into Atlanta and my first couple days there were spent recovering, eating room service food and gawking at the humidity. I shared a room with two collegiate sisters from my chapter, Jessica and Gina, so I had fun pretending I was the older, wiser alumnae. We also spent a lot of time with Taylor and Kelley from the nearby Theta Beta Chapter and I got a big kick out of reuniting with the many Alpha Xi Delta national staff, volunteers, council members and alumnae I have met over the last couple years.
On Thursday, we attended a National Initiation Ceremony, which is just like an initiation we would do in our chapter, except a lot more epic. I have to admit I teared up as we welcomed some new alumnae initiates, including our National President's mother!
All White for Initiation
On Friday, we attended the National Chapter meeting, where we heard the State of the Fraternity Address. It was amazing to hear about all the wonderful things Alpha Xi Delta has accomplished in the last two years and where we are headed next. Afterwards, we all set off to explore a little bit of Atlanta. Jessica and I are total Coca-Cola addicts, so we knew we had to visit Coca-Cola World. It was a blast, especially the Coca-Cola polar bear who was absolutely adorable.
Friday night we had the Awards Reception, which was held at the Georgia Aquarium. It was such an amazing venue with huge tanks on two sides of the banquet hall. One of the tanks had two giant Whale Sharks... the biggest fish in the world!
With Deanna and Her Presidential Bling
With Theta Beta and Julie
Saturday was the last day of convention and certainly the most memorable for me. The last banquet of convention is called the Rose Banquet. During the Rose Banquet they announce some of the most exciting awards, the current National Council hands over the torch to the new one, and they announce the location for the next national convention in two years. We were completely honored to be asked to sit with the outgoing National President, Deanna Detchemendy.
We adore Deanna. We are very lucky to know her pretty well since she has spent a lot of time working with our brand new chapter over the last two years. Lately, she has been visiting a lot to get things in order for a new house. She is a pretty big deal to us. We got to see her lots throughout convention, but getting to sit at her table right in the front during the Rose Banquet was incredible for us. I was sitting so close to the stage that I couldn't see the bottom half of people's face when they were standing at the podium!
Dinner was wonderful and we got to hear stories about Greek life from all the sisters and their husbands sitting at our table. The transition of National Council and the speeches from Deanna and Sandi (our new National President) were very emotional and touching.
At the very end of the banquet, they began to announce the location of the next convention. We were excited to find out where we would get to travel next. They started to play a video that went something like...
The next National Convention...
We absolutely stood and screamed with delight!!! I'm sure the three of us looked like crazy people! It was pure joy. As the video played scenes from San Francisco, we danced along to the music and smiled so big our faces hurt. San Jose is only 40 minutes from San Francisco and together with Theta Beta at Sonoma State, we are the closest two chapters. Along with the local alumnae associations, we will get to be a huge part of the next National Convention! We can't wait! After the announcement, everybody celebrated with Martinelli's sparkling cider and Ghiradelli chocolate. We couldn't contain our happiness. There could not have been a better way to end our first National Convention.
With Our New National President, Sandi Edwards
It was such a wonderful experience and I really can't wait for 2013!