Message from the Grand Archon

Dear Sisters,

This day is filled with great moment for us, as today we celebrate 99 years of sisterhood!   What started quietly as 10 young women who decided that the friendship they shared transcended the opportunity to join existing sororities, is now an organization chartered on 183 campuses across North America.  Almost 60,000 women have taken the same pledge of mutual understanding and devotion that our Founders did. 


Past Grand Archon Dr. Florence Denmark (r) with Founders
Gwen Zaliels Snyder, Estelle Melnick Cole, Rose Sher Seidman, and Jeanette Lipka Furst (l to r) at the 50th Anniversary Convention in New York City

As we begin our Centennial countdown, our sisters are working to ensure that the Fraternity will endure through its second century and beyond.  Among our biggest projects is a return to our roots, our ritual!  This past summer, the Fraternity charted the path our sisters take -- from recruitment through our adult lives. By examining our current ritual experiences, we were able to ensure tie-ins with programming as well as to propose new opportunities for incorporating ritual and programming into our sisters' lives. 


We also took a major step forward by adding a new piece to our ritual -- The Creed of Phi Sigma Sigma.  Officially launched just three weeks ago, the outpouring of support has been nothing short of amazing.  Collegians and alumnae alike have embraced it and said that it personifies who we are and what it means to be a Phi Sigma Sigma. 


Ritual has been but one focus this year.  I am absolutely thrilled to share with you several pieces of Centennial news -- one that looks back and three that look forward.  As I am sure you can imagine, an organization collects a significant number of "things" over the course of 99 years.  The Fraternity has a great number of treasures in our archives.  One of the richest accounts of our history lives in The Sphinx magazine.  As a result of a major digitization project undertaken this fall, I am pleased to invite you to take a step back in time.  For the first time ever, Phi Sigma Sigma has an electronic library of The Sphinx.  With a few exceptions, all of the magazines published from 1923 to 2008 are included!  The library is fully searchable, so you can select an issue to read in its entirety or search on a specific topic across issues.  I have already found myself completely lost in our earliest magazines. 

Past grand archons at the 75th Anniversary Convention in Philadelphia: Louise Kier Ziretta, Jeanine Jacobs Goldberg, Ruth Victorhaus Rosen, Bobbi Ann Ossip (back row, l to r); Veachey Bloom, Clarisse Markowitz, Kim Hildred, Judith Distler, Thelma Zackin, and Florence Denmark (back row, l to r)
Looking forward, we will gather to celebration our Centennial Convention in New York City next summer.  I am so excited to announce that registration is NOW OPEN!  The past grand archons and I have all registered -- I hope that you have marked your calendars to join us July 10-14, 2013 (wouldn't you love to be part of the 2013 version of the Hunter College picture below?!).


You can also help us celebrate Phi Sigma Sigma's 100th anniversary by participating in our history book! Through a partnership with Harris Direct Publishing, we are publishing a historical retrospective that includes a directory of our members with spotlight stories and members submitted by sisters like you!  If you haven't already done so, please call Harris Direct at 800-326-1707 to ensure we have your correct membership data and (if you choose) order your copy of the book.


Last, but not least, I hope you'll consider joining me in donating to the Foundation's Founders' Day Campaign.  A simple gift of $19.13 (or more!) will help directly impact the lives of our members through special Centennial educational grants. 


50th Anniversary Convention attendees at Hunter College 
So much has happened over the past 99 years, yet as the old saying goes "the more things change, the more they stay the same."  Past Grand Archon Florence Denmark wrote in her 50th Anniversary Message, "Our members remain true to the basic goals and traditions of our Founders.  We continue to strive for the fullest education, both scholastically and culturally, we are a social group in the fullest sense of the word, and are ever striving for the advancement of womanhood."  The same is true today.  I have no doubt that our Founders would be proud of the organization we have become while honoring the rich traditions and ideals on which they created our beloved Fraternity.


Warmest wishes for a Happy Founders' Day.  Diokete Hupsala!


In the Pyramid,

Alicia M. Scott
Grand Archon