Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Phi Sig Sapphire Eyes are Watching!

Don’t look now. But those sapphire eyes are still on us.

With eternal vigilance, the Great Sphinx which has peered into our shared past continues to watch closely as Phi Sigma Sigma approaches the occasion of its 98th Founders’ Day!

What does Ol’ Blue Eyes see today?

A growing family of extraordinary women devoted to one another and the world beyond ... more than 100 chapters and 60,000 sisters living out the values our founders first envisioned at Hunter College ... women who are changing the world through sisterly devotion, excellence in scholarship, a thirst for leadership and achievement, and a passion for philanthropic outreach to a world in need.

It’s what I hope you see, too!

As we anticipate this year’s November 26 celebration, please join mein supporting the 5th annual Founders’ Day Campaign with a gift of $19.13 or more. Every dollar you send supports the Foundation’s mission to enrich the lives of sisters and our communities by providing more and better opportunities for learning and service each year.

Looking forward to our historic 100th anniversary in 2013, three objectives stand out:

  • award $100,000 in scholarships and need-based educational grants
  • help those with kidney disease and explore adding other philanthropic partners
  • substantially increase our investment in developing women leaders and strengthening our chapters.
We’ve set a special goal to increase participation among your chapter sisters by 15% this year. Be the first to help make it happen!  Those sapphire eyes are on YOU. Thank you!

Most gratefully and loyally yours,

Katie Herschede
Gamma Tau ‘04, Northern Kentucky University
Foundation President

Click here to join the 2011 Founders’ Day Campaign!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Congratulations to Phi Sigma Sigma's Newest Alumnae

As we enter the first week of May, many colleges and universities around the world will begin their commencement ceremonies.  From all of us at the Foundation, CONGRATULATIONS!  We hope that you will continue to be an active contributor to Phi Sigma Sigma by volunteering to support our chapters and giving to the Foundation.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Volunteering with the Foundation

We have had many requests for those of you interested in volunteering with the Foundation and we would love to speak with you further.  Please contact to find out what volunteer opportunities are available.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

YOU can honor our Founders TODAY!

Three years ago, the Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation premiered its first Founders' Day e-mail campaign to commemorate the Founders of Phi Sigma Sigma by raising funds to advance the values they gave us through the creation of Phi Sigma Sigma; the advancement of womanhood and our twin ideals - the brotherhood of man and alleviation of the world's pain.

Funds raised this year will be dedicated to educational grants for deserving sisters in need, leadership programming for our emerging leaders and help for those with kidney disease.

We can't wait to add your name to your chapter's honor roll as we commemorate the work of our Founders and the lasting legacy they gave to all of us. 

Thank you for choosing to give your gift now.  You can donate by visiting

Thursday, November 04, 2010

We Have Found Your Place In Phi Sig history

Dear Sisters,

Every November 26, our sisters celebrate Founders' Day, a commemoration of the birth of Phi Sigma Sigma in 1913. While that reminds us of women like Fay Chertkoff, Lillian Gordon Alpern, and Estelle Melnick Cole, there's another name that belongs right alongside theirs ...
             ... yours.

            Because in a very real sense, alumnae are "founders" our future. And the Foundation is where we express the vision and values of our sisterhood that go beyond mere friendship. Through the Foundation, we provide meaningful support for lifelong learning, education and scholarship, service, leadership, philanthropy.

            As a founder of tomorrow, you forever change who we are.

            Your place in history, though perhaps it may be less well known, is certainly no less important than that of Fay or Lillian or Estelle.

            Please let us know you're still committed to advancing womanhood and our Twin Ideals. Accept a place of honor alongside donors to the 2010 Founders' Day campaign. As you may know, gifts to this annual effort are tax-deductible and pay for educational and leadership development impacting collegiate and alumnae sisters across the U.S. and Canada. 

            Last year, many  alumnae took part with gifts of $19.13 to $1,913 - and everywhere in between. Your contribution is tax-deductible.
            As we walk the road to Phi Sigma Sigma's 2013 Centennial, let us embrace our role as founders of the future. And with loyalty, generosity, and friendship, let's provide more  sisters with every opportunity for personal growth, intellectual development, and selfless giving along the way.

Katie Herschede
Foundation President 

P.S.    On November 26, 1913, Phi Sigma Sigma became the first nonsectarian sorority, the only one founded upon the principle of diverse membership based on a woman's character, not her background. Thank you for joining me today in generous support of this cherished legacy with your gift to the 2010 Founders' Day Campaign!

                     Click here to join the Founder's Day Campaign 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Transplant Games and the Ripple

Three months after the Transplant Games and we continue to see the effects of the Foundation's sponsorhip. Turner Prewitt writes: "I am the gentleman in the picture….Your girls were great at the US Transplant Games 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin …I am a Greek, Phi Kappa Sigma At The University of Washington…class of 1976.  I had my heart transplant on 8/3/2008…..The girls at the exhibition hall were very supportive and even livened things up by singing their sorority song…we got a lot of attention….."  To see the full story, visit:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Harry Potter and a Past GA?!?

You read that right! In the middle of Universal Studios in Florida, two Gamma Zeta collegians found Past Grand Archon and Foundation Director Judith Distler and past Supreme Council officer Ellen Smith. You never know where you'll bump into a Phi Sig!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010



See the convenient links below to access PHOTOS, VIDEOS and INFORMATION about the 2010 U.S. Transplant Games and the Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation's support of them. Perfect for use during your philanthropic recruitment events. (Watch for a special e-mail sent to your chapter to assist in highlighting Phi Sig's sponsorship of the Games to help you when promoting it to top recruits!)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thank you, Foundation donors! From our Transplant Games volunteers...

WHILE AT THE GAMES, WE ASKED SISTERS TO TAKE A FEW MOMENTS to share some of their observations about the event on notecards to Foundation donors. Having had a chance to review them, here are some of our favorites:

This was my first year volunteering for the National Kidney Foundation’s Transplant Games. I didn’t know what I would find when I got here, but the people I met and the stories I’ve heard will stay with me for the rest of my life. I feel truly blessed to be a part of this experience and to donate my time to something as amazing as the Transplant Games. I hope to be able to volunteer for this event again in the future.
     ~ Nicole M. Trombley, Collegiate Volunteer, Epsilon Beta Chapter at Ferris State University

Thank you for your donations! Being at the Transplant Games has been life-changing, and your donations helped make the event possible. I was able to connect with a transplant recipient at the swimming event. During the Opening Ceremony, I saw how far and wide the effects of organ donations and transplants really are. I hope that I will be able to spread the word and encourage others to learn about all the things that the NKF and Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation do. Thank you so much for making this possible.
     ~ Shannon Walsh, Collegiate Volunteer, Iota Zeta Chapter at University of Minnesota - Duluth

For me, being able to travel to Wisconsin to show my support for the National Kidney Foundation has truly been life-altering. I have met some of the most amazing people here and have shared in an experience that is unique. Remembering these individual stories still gives me chills, and I feel so blessed to be here and to be able to go back home to Kentucky to share what I’ve learned. I love what this has done for me! This is one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I am so proud Phi Sig brought me to share this experience…. My chapter will get to share in my knowledge. Thank you!
     ~ Rebecca Peak, Collegiate Volunteer, Gamma Tau Chapter at Northern Kentucky University

Your donation not only helped the athletes competing, but helped me personally make the realization that in everyday life, so many people have had transplants. It was such an eye-opener today, seeing athletes compete at a level that I didn’t realize transplant recipients could. They may be different on the inside, but they are all like me on the outside. Thank you so much! 
     ~ Anonymous Collegiate Volunteer, Iota Zeta Chapter at University of Minnesota - Duluth

This is the second time I have volunteered to help with the Transplant Games, and it is something I would love to continue doing even after I finish college. The stories that have been shared with me truly show why we (Phi Sig) do what we do, and it helps to put things in perspective. I consider myself very lucky and privileged to have been a part of this. It was truly a blessed experience.
     ~ Megan Wiggins, Collegiate Volunteer, Gamma Tau Chapter at Northern Kentucky University

Thank you so much! The Transplant Games have been a wonderful experience for me and my sisters. I am incredibly lucky that I have had the opportunity to come and help out. I felt like the donors and recipients really made this event magical! I hope I am able to come to more Games in the future.
     ~ Anonymous Collegiate Volunteer

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Frequently Asked Question: Where will the 2012 Transplant Games be located?

QUICK ANSWER TO A COMMON QUESTION we're getting about future sites of the U.S. Transplant Games:

The Foundation has sponsored the Games in Louisville (2006), Pittsburgh (2008) and now Madison (2010).... So where are the next Games scheduled to be in 2012?

We contacted the NKF's public relations people, and they told us today that the final location has not yet been decided. Most likely, when it's announced, you'll see it on the Transplant Games' Facebook fan page. So if you're interested in keeping track, sign up - because that's one of the first places you'll see the information posted.

Otherwise, check back here.... We'll update sisters as soon as we have information to share.

2010 Transplant Games video has just been released!

WHETHER YOU WERE A VOLUNTEER IN MADISON or one of the thousands of sisters cheering from the sidelines at home, Phi Sigma Sigmas are sure to love this heart-warming video from the 2010 U.S. Transplant Games!

See the Opening Ceremony, clips from the different athletic competitions and even Phi Sig's own AUBREY BIRDEN (gold and bronze medalist) at timecode 1:51!

Monday, August 16, 2010

What impact did we have? Read THIS!

FROM: Foundation President Katie Herschede
TO: Phi Sigma Sigma sisters

WOW! Here's a comment I just saw on one of our blog entries. I think it sums up our impact pretty darn well! Excellent work, everyone!

P.S. Jim has posted information about his life's perspective and heart transplant on his own blog. Check it out to see other pics of him, and his observations, at the 2010 Games!


Posted: Aug. 16, 2010, 10:35 a.m.

Ladies, you were all AWESOME! Every place I turned, there were members of your team running off or coming back from some supporting activity. 

Jim Gleason - Phi Sig fan and
recipient of a silver medal!

From this heart recipient (on behalf of everyone there at the Games), "Thank you!" for all your support. I can only dream of what impact there would be on organ donation if other groups such as yours took on this wonderful life-saving cause.

Keep up the great work and see you again in 2012 somewhere at the next Games!

Jim Gleason
Heart transplant 10/19/94 and U.S. Transplant Games athlete
Silver medal winner in the men's badminton competition, ages 60-69

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Phi Sig living donor story: Gretchen Ehle's experience at the Games

By Gretchen Ehle
Games Athlete (Living Donor) and Sister of Kappa Chapter - The George Washington University

Gretchen Ehle
HELLO TO ALL MY PHI SIG SISTERS! I attended this year’s Transplant Games as a proud member of both Phi Sigma Sigma and Team Nation’s Capital.

This was my second time attending the Games - and it was, again, fantastic, though different than Pittsburgh. This year, they allowed living donors to participate in a couple of events. (I donated a kidney to my dad - and the Games have been an important part of our lives ever since, though he couldn't attend this time.) It’s been awhile since I’ve run a 100-yard dash or done a long jump, but I do play in 3 softball leagues, and so that softball toss was right up my alley, I was sure to win a medal! Or so I thought! ... Turns out, I was beat by 4 people who were, let’s say, decades older than me. That’s OK! More motivation to train and try harder next year!

Allowing the living donors to participate this year was a great experience, because it made us feel more a part of the "team" – and we’re hoping that in 2 years (wherever the Games may be) we will be allowed to participate in more events! I’m hoping for ballroom dancing, and my dad and me getting down to "The Hustle!" 

Gretchen at the Opening Ceremony
with Team Nation's Capital
I’m always truly inspired at the Games, and this year I had the pleasure of being on Team Nation’s Capital with 2 amazing individuals who were anonymous donors. Transplantation has come so far over the past several years, but what has really developed is the heightened awareness of those living on transplant lists, and more importantly the altruistic nature of Americans in anonymously donating.  I am continually inspired by the stories that I hear and that are shared at the Games, and I can’t wait to attend with my Phi Sig sisters in 2 years (hopefully we will know soon where the games will be!).

With all my love,


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I may have won GOLD and BRONZE medals - but Phi Sig sisters at the Games won my heart!

By Aubrey Birden
Games Athlete and Sister of Iota Epsilon - Indiana University at Kokomo; Winner of Gold and Bronze medals (cycling and bowling, respectively)

Hello, Phi Sigs! Oh, my goodness.... The 2010 National Kidney Foundation Transplant Games in Madison Wisconsin were so amazing! It was so great to see all my fellow Phi Sig sisters there volunteering their time and effort. As a transplant recipient and athlete, it was especially meaningful to see my sisters there to show their love and support! :)

I did pretty well this year - and I am very surprised (LOL), but I won GOLD in cycling and BRONZE in bowling! Yay! And the bowling was so close, I was only 10 pins away from gold; those girls were good!

The best part about the Games, as always, was getting to know other transplant recipients and making new friends. Plus, seeing the donor families, who lost loved ones, was so heart-warming.... Their strength empowers me to continue my advocacy to raise awareness for needed organs.

This year, both my mom and dad (my donor) got to come along! It was their first time, and they had so much fun. On Aug. 12, Dad and I will be celebrating the 17-year anniversary of our healthy kidney transplant! Here's to the next 17 years!

Aubrey with parents
Ron and Diana Birden
Thank you so much to all my sisters who came, those who supported me from afar, and of course to the Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation. All of your love and fundraising efforts help benefit the National Kidney Foundation in so many ways! Many people (over 100,000) are still waiting for a lifesaving transplant. Sign up to be a donor, and you could ultimately impact up to 150 people’s lives! Isn't that amazing?

Phi Sigma Sigma means so much to me - not just as a sister, leader and volunteer, but as a person. I know that our proclamation of "Once a Phi Sigma Sigma, Always a Phi Sigma Sigma" rings true not only in my heart, but in the heart and soul of every sister I have had the opportunity to meet, as well as those I haven't yet met.

Thank you, again, for all who attended the Games or rooted for the athletes! You DO made a difference and have an enormous impact on raising awareness of the need for organ and tissue donation in America.

Love you so much, sisters! PSLAM!

THANK YOU to all my Phi Sig sisters for volunteering and making this such a great experience...

By Missy Spishak
Transplant Games Coordinator
Zeta Kappa - University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

OK, PHI SIGS: As we wrap up another successful Games season and our blogging efforts, I WANT TO THANK EVERY SINGLE SISTER who donated her time to the Games! 

Many traveled far to volunteer (nearly coast to coast), and everyone gave a tremendous amount of time and energy to make this a wonderful event for the athletes, their families and the donor families.

We even had some guests who worked extremely hard at the Games alongside the sisters! Special thanks to our guys Jon Barrows and Steve Roberts, and also to Shannon Salisbury who took the road trip with Danni Pascuma to attend.

I also have to thank the amazing committee who helped pull off organizing our 80+ volunteers and keeping me well-caffeinated throughout the weekend (see me with Starbucks in most pictures). Thanks to Jessie Stapleton, Gretchen Ehle, Tara Ervin, Jess Berner and Kelly Chirumbolo, and also special thanks to Foundation President Katie Herschede, Vice President Marianne Cohen and Director Pam Downey (also our GA!) who pitched in just as hard as everyone else to make this a huge success.

Additionally, thanks to the NKF staff for working with us the entire weekend, and to the Hilton staff (including our favorite guy, Dave, who could be found carrying box after box to the Foundation suite). Thanks, too, to Grand Vice Archon Alicia Scott for baking some awesome cookies and having them shipped in the Dora the Explorer pull-ups box. They were definitely yummy! And let's not forget our sister Lisa Romero for helping to bring our voices from the Games to you via this blogging channel.

Every single person who pitched in was appreciated, and I hope everyone had an incredible, life-changing experience! See you in two years - destination still to be determined, but we will let you know ASAP!