Alpha Gamma Delta


Turning The Page

blank_page_intentionally_end_of_book.jpgAs we take down the holiday lights, put away the glittery 2013 New Year's hats and get back to the reality of our daily routines, there's a lingering excitement behind the idea of turning the page in the story of our lives and starting to write a new one. For many women in Alpha Gamma Delta, this new page will be the beginning of your term as a recently elected officer or, for some, the start of your new advisor or Volunteer Service Team position. For other sisters, this new beginning comes at the end of your term as an officer or volunteer. Regardless of what excites you about beginning your new year and its clean, empty pages, let us first learn from Alpha Gamma Delta and all she has to teach us. Think about the words and stories that fill the pages of her story—the ideas or initiatives that have succeeded, the descriptions of the progress. Now, imagine if some of those pages about progress and success were written because of YOU.

Turning the page to a new year is exciting, and sometimes even a bit relieving. By turning the page and starting with a clean one, we have the opportunity to create from scratch, even to re-write the story. Our history, however, would tell us that following this inclination may not be the best way to truly succeed. Alpha Gamma Delta is the strong, innovative Fraternity that she is today because of the thousands of women who came before us, that helped fill the pages of her story. These women took the foundation built by our Founders and instead of throwing it out or completely starting over, they chose to continue building upon it. It is this continuation that allowed for Alpha Gamma Delta's story to grow so vast and touch so many lives. Our membership has proven that incorporating new ideas into a solid foundation, rather than reinventing Alpha Gamma
Delta each year, propels us forward.

The beginning of every year marks an important time for this organization—the transition of officers. In the spirit and excitement of the newness of your office or position, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with new ideas, ready to throw out last year's plan to begin from scratch, especially if the training or transitioning you received (or didn't) was not altogether very helpful to you.

Blame it on senioritis, burnout of the officer or volunteer who held your position in the past, or simply a case of apathy; regardless, it is incredibly possible that you may feel less-than-directed as you take on your new role. So, in the spirit of "I was never really trained;" "I never received those materials;" or "I was never formally trained, I just figured it
out on my own," we move forward and make our changes, sometimes filling those blank IMG_0517.jpgpages with ideas or assumptions rather than truth. Instead, take the time to learn about the past - what has worked and what has not - so that you can write our future story without neglecting our history.

Whether you are coming or going during this time of transition, here are a few tips for
how to put your touch on this part of Alpha Gamma Delta's story without having to completely reinvent it.
  • Effective transitions cannot happen in a single night or weekend. It takes dedication, hard work and plenty of time to ensure the proper transition of tasks and responsibilities. 
    • If you are an outgoing officer or volunteer, remember that you have the opportunity to help lay the foundation for future generations of leaders in your chapter. Start by creating a checklist of items and deadlines that need to be reviewed with the incoming officer.
    • If you are a new officer or volunteer, remember the person in the position before you and seek her out as a sister and mentor, just as Alpha Gamma Delta does with her Founders. She knows the history and is probably your best resource in writing the future.
  • Hold fast to our history, but don't be afraid to bring new ideas to the table. Though her Purpose remains the same, the story of Alpha Gamma Delta has evolved 7375018972_fdabdc5990_o.jpgthrough the years. Each year has brought her new chapters and new members, filling our story with women who continue to bring innovation to our Fraternity. Fill the pages of 2013 with plans that are firmly grounded in a healthy foundation, yet acknowledge the need for change and growth.
    • If you are an outgoing officer or volunteer, share your experiences with the new officer or volunteer. Help her understand not just WHAT you did, but how and why. Also understand that she may do things differently, and that's okay too. Give her the respect and the trust to put her own stamp on this organization.
    • If you are a new officer or volunteer, work with your team, outgoing officers and incoming leaders to determine which chapter processes or traditions should remain and which should be reviewed, revitalized or removed. Work together to develop check-points and collaboration opportunities throughout the year.
  • Remember your impact. Remember that Alpha Gamma Delta's story was once a book of empty pages, until 11 women were brave enough to write it. Each and every member since has contributed to our story. As you write your individual story, you too are leaving a lasting impression on your chapter, your alumnae club, your team, your sisters, our Fraternity. Never underestimate the impact you may be having on an individual member's life or the life of Alpha Gamma Delta.
    • If you are an outgoing officer or volunteer, thank you for your service to our Fraternity. The time, talent and treasure you put into your work for the Fraternity is so appreciated. Without dedicated sisters like you, we would never be able to move forward.
    • If you are a new officer or volunteer, thank you also for your service to our Fraternity. Have faith in yourself and in the potential you have to bring about positive change. Respect the past, and put your dreams for the future into action. We can't wait to see what you accomplish!
As this season of transition continues, remember that though we can't go back and wipe old pages clean or write a brand new story, we do have the power to create a new ending. As you flip through the pages of Alpha Gamma Delta's story and read through the history of a Fraternity spanning 2 countries and 108 years, reflect upon the pages that are being written because of you. What will your pages say? What story will you tell? What legacy will you leave?

Remember, whether you are a new member or initiated member, collegian or alumna, officer or volunteer, incoming or outgoing, that "Alpha Gamma Delta belongs to you. Where she shall stand at the end of another decade is your responsibility. Knowing her achievements and her ideals you cannot fail to give her your best, taking her best in return." -Louise Leonard, Past Grand President.