There are many sad things about graduating college, but for sorority women, one of the worst may be the prospect of leaving your sisters—and all of your incredible accomplishments—behind. Did you know that you don’t have to? Even after graduating, there are ways that you can stay involved in your sorority, be it your chapter, your region or even nationally. From social or networking gatherings to advocacy to advisement opportunities to leadership positions, staying involved with your sorority is a great way to maintain lifelong relationships, network and spread some good throughout the world.
After all of the effort you put into sorority recruitment, learning what each chapter stood for, where they volunteered and which one was your best fit, why wouldn’t you continue the relationship? If you approach it the right way, you’re not just joining a chapter. You’re joining a giant community, built to last you a lifetime.
Related: Benefits of Greek Life After College
Networking and maintaining ties
After graduating, chances are you and thousands of others will be on the hunt for a job. This could be your first, most immediately helpful reason to remain involved with your sorority. One of your current or former sorority members may know someone that has a job you could be perfect for.
Skylar Scöfield, an alumna of Alpha Gamma Delta’s chapter at Georgia Tech, chose her chapter because of their wide involvement across campus through things like SGA and business fraternities with a wide variety of majors. She is still involved with the sorority. “We send out any job opportunities from our current companies to the Alpha Gam alumna correspondent,” she says. “She’ll forward them to the whole chapter so that they all have first-dibs on job opportunities.” If you happen to be on the market for a new job and have your name on the list, you’ll receive job opportunities from your sisters.
These opportunities are one of the reasons Gabby Leon, former Director of Alumnae Engagement for Phi Mu Fraternity and current Volunteer Director of Special Events at Coalition for Collegiate Women’s Leadership, stays active in Phi Mu, which she joined at the University of Florida. “I can move to any city and look up an alumnae organization, whether for my specific chapter or Panhellenic, which encompasses multiple sororities, and I can immediately be involved, meeting up with other members and giving back to an organization that gave me so much when I was in college.”
Taylor Lack pledged Tri Delta at Southern Methodist University, and was alumnae chapter president with the New York City alumnae chapter for a term before moving to Boston where she is now a member of the Boston Tri Delta alumnae chapter. When she first moved to New York, and then to Boston, the first thing she did was connect with the Tri Delta alumnae chapters. “I didn’t really know anybody when I moved, and connecting with the alumnae chapters allowed me to meet people that I had something in common with!” she says.
Aside from regular meetings, they also hold specialized events. A New Year New You networking event Taylor’s alumnae chapter hosted in January brought women from different career paths in to discuss how to better their job prospects. “Sometimes we host events like this on our own, and sometimes we pair with other fraternity or sorority organizations, and depending on the need, they could be socially or career focused,” Taylor says. “Whether or not it’s strictly a networking event, you’re inevitably always networking.” The larger the event and the more people with different backgrounds that attend, the more connections you’ll make.
The events that you’ll have the opportunity to attend depend on the demographics of your alumnae chapter. Some skew heavily on the older side, and they host get-togethers like gardening or knitting clubs. Others have regular book clubs or happy hours, and seasonal events like wine tastings or beach trips. The NYC Tri Delta alumnae chapter is very active, with many younger members, and they host around 40 events a year.
In taking part with national organization meetings, you’ll forge even more relationships than you did while in college, creating a vast network of individuals that hold similar values and work ethics. The more people you meet, the more chances you’ll have for somebody to say, “Hey, I know the perfect person!” about you for job openings, interviews and presentations.
Remaining involved with alumnae chapters, whether it is based on your geographic region or with your college, offers countless opportunities to meet women from all over that share your passions and values. Staying connected with your chapter offers you the chance to stay connected to your sisters and roots, but spreading out after graduation through your chapter’s national organization or the NPC will allow you all to continue growing even after college.
One of the considerations you may have made when going through sorority recruitment is which organization they supported philanthropically. You may have made a list, searching for the one that best fit with the values you stand for and the causes you support. Even after you graduate, there are plenty of ways you can volunteer with the national philanthropy of your organization, and remain aligned with those causes you carefully chose, or with the women that are members of your organization. Many plan days of service or volunteer trips, which alumnae are always welcome to participate in!
For example, every fall Tri Delta holds a walk/run to end childhood cancer for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. College and alumnae chapters can sign up and participate. The New York alumnae chapter hosts A Stars and Crescent Evening for St. Jude each year, a charity event with auctions, dancing, food and more where everything is donated. They host smaller events throughout the year as well, such as fitness classes or happy hours where the ticket proceeds go to St. Jude’s. “I’ve also seen chapters do events where they’ll read to kids, or do something like a cookie exchange,” Taylor says. “It all just depends on the chapter.”
No matter what sorority you pledged, or what region your alumnae chapter is located in, there are countless opportunities to give back with them.
The National Panhellenic Conference is made up of 26 individual organizations, and offers guidance on multiple issues that affect sorority life both in college and post-grad. Representatives have been invited to the White House to participate in conversations about women’s education, and NPC is the leading advocacy group for college women. Staying active in the community after graduation affords you the opportunity and platform to be vocal about issues that affect the community of women, and offers opportunities to become an advocate, educating those who are unfamiliar with or ignorant to those issues.
“Representatives from Tri Delta have been on Capitol Hill for the past two-plus years,” Taylor says. “They discuss Greek life from the sorority/fraternity point of view, and advocate for how it contributes to both college and alumni life.”
Many people who were never a part of Greek life don’t understand what it can do for a person, and this is a great way to help them see how beneficial it can be, even after graduating.
Further education or support
Being an alumna of a sorority can be of great assistance to you if you intend to further your education. Individual sororities often maintain scholarship funds, and national organizations like the NPC offer scholarships as well. Depending on your organization, scholarships could be state or even chapter specific, or open to members across the country, and are offered to undergraduate and graduate students.
Tri Delta specifically has a scholarship fund which raises money for further education, as well as for moments in life when a woman has hit a rough patch. “For example, if you’re a single mother and you’re diagnosed with something like cancer, you could apply for funding from Tri Delta,” Taylor says. “So not only is there a wonderful social, personable support system, but there’s a financial support system if it is needed.”
By remaining involved in your sorority as you grow older, you can be there to help out the women who are now in a position that you were once in.
“When I graduated, I wanted to make sure I gave back because you can be very active as [an] alumna,” Skylar says. Her sorority holds resume critique workshops, where alumnae go in and advise undergraduate chapter members on the best way to organize their resume and promote themselves in order to get the job they deserve. They also aid during recruitment, answering questions for women going through recruitment, helping them make sure they’re making the right decisions and helping out behind the scenes so that nobody has to worry about anything.
Another reason that Leon stays active is to continue the development of her leadership skills. Her current organization, Coalition for Collegiate Women’s Leadership, hosts a three-day leadership conference providing attendees leadership development opportunities and shared learning experiences to college women. There are many similar organizations throughout the country that afford similar leadership and training opportunities to the women that stay involved.
There are also leadership roles that you can hold within your organization, be it locally or nationally. National and regional organizations are built on volunteers, with high positions like national officers or national president, which Leon says is the highest honor that can be bestowed on you as an alumna!
Undergraduate chapters have alumnae adviser positions available to assist them. Skylar hopes to hold a position in the future, where she could be an adviser to the president, alumnae relations or parent relations, to name a few. “Alumnae help the undergraduate women stay focused on the goals and values of the sorority, we’re there for any support when they are stressed or struggling and we’re there to help them and their chapter succeed!” she says.
If you were never involved in a sorority, you almost definitely were unaware of all of the opportunities that are available with your sorority even after you graduated. Even if you were in a sorority, you may have been unaware. But between your initiating chapter, regional organizations and the national level, there are tons of ways you can give back to your sorority, and that it can continue to give to you. By attending meetings and events, you create a network of connections that can benefit your career and forge friendships wherever you go. You can grow in your alumnae chapters to hold leadership positions, helping to shape the future of your organization. You can participate in philanthropic ventures and educate the masses about the benefits of Greek life and, if you ever find yourself in a time of need, your sorority will be there to help you, too.
“Staying involved helps keep you connected to something that benefited you so much in college and allows it to continue to benefit you, no matter what stage of life you’re in,” Taylor says. “I continue to donate to Tri Delta because we have an awesome fund for women on all walks of life, and I’ve seen what it’s done for me and so many other people. I think that applies to other Greek organizations as well. It’s a gift that keeps on giving, and it’s important to make sure something you pledged to continues to keep growing, and not dissipate.”