Monday, October 27, 2008

Lunch with the LA Alumnae Chapter!

The Adventure Continues!

Here's the latest installment from Kim and Judith!

It’s Sunday morning and our trip to west coast is coming to an end as we prepare to fly home to Virginia. Yesterday it was my honor to meet with the sisters from Theta Upsilon at the University of La Verne and the sisters from Epsilon Delta at Chapman University. Both chapters are very generous supporters and I was thrilled to talk to them about their hard work for the Foundation, how their gifts are used, and thank them for making what we do possible.

The Theta Upsilon’s got up early to meet with me before heading out to their Make a Difference

Day event; meeting with foster teens to talk about career planning. What a terrific activity!

Our Chapman sisters presented me with a many personalized cards wishing the athletes good luck at the Games for Phi Sigs to distribute in 2010. They have made these cards during philanthropic recruitment and we couldn’t be more grateful for their support.

Early in the afternoon, Judith and I had lunch with representatives from the LA alumnae chapter. It was wonderful to see these sisters talk about Foundation and share alumnae activity ideas.

We could not let this fabulous weekend come to an end without expressing our sincere and heartfelt thanks to Carol Schwartz (Zeta, UCLA) and her husband Lee for hosting Phyllis and our oral history interviewees at their home these past three days. Their home has served as “Phi Sig central” since Carol’s days as a sister at UCLA and over the years Carol and Lee have hosted many events for collegians, alumnae, and even members of the area alumnae panhellenic where Carol has long-served as a member. Carol and Lee could not have been more gracious and we cannot thank them enough.

Good Morning, this is Judith writing now. Our time here has been filled with fun, excitement for Phi Sigma Sigma, and tremendous enthusiasm. I spent time talking with Sandy Wesler Warner (Zeta ’66) who was a senior when I was a freshman. She brought her pledge class scrapbook, and I saw the faces of Sisters I had not seen since they left school to graduate! The warm feelings, friendships, and life experiences these Sisters have shared since their graduation in the mid 1960s is wonderful to discover, and to know that they were based on their Phi Sigma Sigma membership. I also spoke with Sandy’s mother, Marge, who is also a Zeta, class of 1939, who remembers her collegiate experiences with great fondness. How special for me to be able to hear her comments and to share these precious memories over the span of years!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Even Phyllis Has the Blogging Bug!

Phyllis Dreyfuss, Beta Alpha, shared this wonderful blog with us. As you will recall, Phyllis is our oral historian and has made the trip west with Kim and Judith.

Hi. I’m Phyllis Dreyfuss, an alumna from Beta Alpha, University of Maryland, and have been privileged to be the Fraternity’s oral historian since 2002. My responsibilities have taken me to many parts of the country to meet with sisters that included all from recent graduates to those who graduated as early as 1939.

Kim, Judith and I arrived in Los Angeles on Thursday, and thus began my first series of oral histories on the West Coast. The process requires some background research to determine the role the potential interviewee played within their chapter and perhaps, nationally, either as an active, an alum or both. Once identified as being able to provide information that may help us trace our history in a way that is more personal and anecdotal than that found in the written word, our Headquarters handles the necessary releases and makes appointments for me to speak in person with our selected sister. Judith, Kim and I review the basics of my interview guide and off I go…………off to meet and have a very private conversation that include, a sister I’ve never met before and a tape recorder.

Much of what I learn serves as new insights into what makes us a diverse group to be proud of….the stories of how we have learned to work together, live together and make a difference on our campus, in our community and for our fraternity….and serves as a window as much to our past as it is to our future. We shall keep you posted on how we can best use the information we have been gathering as part of our Centennial celebration. In addition, we will keep you posted on some of the very funny experiences we have had traveling together from the East Coast….ask any of us about Factor’s Deli and we can repeat.

Kim Visits Chapman University

Kim shared this wonderful picture of the Chapman University chapter! What a great group!

More from Kim and Judith's Excellent Adventure!

Here's more news from Kim and Judith!

Well, we have finished day number two in paradise. Our day began with dropping Phyllis off at the lovely home of Carol Schwartz (Zeta, UCLA) who is hosting Phyllis as she completes her oral histories. Carol is one of the interviewees as well!

Judith and I then headed out to see Wendy Lau and Tara Ervin, both Theta Upsilons, La Verne University. As generous donors we had lots to thank them for and received some terrific feedback from both as we explained some of the new ways Foundation is reaching out to alumnae to find both a cause and giving program that is customized for each individual donor.

We then headed to California State University at Dominguez Hills. There we spoke at a chapter meeting – can you believe these women have their meetings at 6:30pm each Friday? But what was so wonderful was that it was family night (such a cool idea) where the chapter hosts their families as they attend a meeting, make tee shirts for new members, make posters, and of course have dinner. It was such an honor for Judith and I to meet all our Iota Gamma sisters and their families. The chapter invited us to make a few remarks, which we did. Judith shared her experience as a parent of a Phi Sig and I spoke about Phi Sig’s founding, our core values, the important of inclusiveness, our new member programming, and what it means to be a part of our larger Phi Sig family. Of course I also talked about how the chapter’s generous gifts are put to work for fund scholarships and educational grants, leadership programming to develop sisters and strengthen chapters and to help those with kidney disease. Thank you Iota Gammas for hosting us and congratulations on a fabulous event!

More news Saturday!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Foundation Visits California!

Judith Distler and Kim Hildred took to the road to visit California this weekend. Here's a blog post straight from the two of them that they wrote in between meetings with our sisters!

We arrived in paradise yesterday, Los Angeles, CA. We are here to spread lots of Foundation love. Joining us is Phyllis Dreyfuss (Beta Alpha, University of Maryland), our oral historian.

Some of you may know that the Foundation has undertaken an oral history project where Phyllis is interviewing past Grand Archons, former Supreme Council (SC) officers and other volunteers – past and present – and other sisters so that we may have the story of Phi Sigma Sigma’s history told in words of our own. Phyllis will be interviewing alumnae from our Zeta chapter at UCLA, our Mu chapter at Berkley and our Beta Tau chapter at California State UniversityNorthridge. Included will be Marge Wesler, a former SC officer from the 1940s. Wow!

We have jam-packed schedule this weekend. Last night, Judith and I visited our sisters from Zeta Alpha, Woodbury University, in Burbank, CA. The sisters took Judith and I to dinner after a mini-tour of their beautiful campus to CA’s own “Shakeys” a pizza place with wonderful food. There, we learned all about the chapter’s philanthropic work, fundraising, and other activities while we dined on Hawaiian pizza and mojos – amazing potatoes. We were thrilled to meet the chapter’s new members and one of our very own scholarship winners who won the Michelle Stacey Friedman Scholarship.

This is so invigorating for us; the Zeta Alphas were wonderful and so happy to have visitors! This chapter has an up close understanding of how Foundation serves the Sisterhood. Today we head on down the freeway to visit our Orange County sisters. More adventures will follow!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Good News From Iota Gamma (CSU Dominguez Hills)!

Thanks to Carolyn, the CKA for the Iota Gamma chapter for sharing this great news with us!

The Iota Gamma and the Southern Los Angeles County Alumnae Chapters are working with the Cal State University, Dominguez Hills Institute for Cultural Diversity (ICD) for Sight Night 2008. As part of Make a Difference Day we decided to change it to Make a Difference Month. For the complete month of October members of the collegiate and Alumnae chapters and the ICD will be collecting used eyeglasses, store bought reading glasses, sunglasses, and eye glass cases that will then be donated to the Lions Club. These will then be refurbished and distributed to needy people throughout the world.

This has become an annual event that the 3 groups do together on the campus of CSU Dominguez Hills.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Delta Sigma (SUNY-Brockport) is Making A Difference!

The Foundation would like to thank the sisters at Delta Sigma for this awesome update! If you have news to share, please don't hesitate to contact the Foundation at!

Because members from Delta Sigma Chapter at SUNY Brockport volunteered at the Transplant Games and they were able to meet athletes from the hometown team - NKF of Upstate asked if members of the chapter would help volunteer at the recent NKF Walk. The walk took place on Saturday, September 27th at Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester.

We had over 28 active and alumnae volunteers who signed up. NKF was very pleased with the response as we had more women participate than what was requested. Last year chapter members actually walked and this year they were happy to help as volunteers. They hope to make this an annual event.

We were able to catch up with some of the Team Upstate athletes including Bonnie who was featured on the blog during the games. We are also fortunate to have a chapter sister, Alli Williams who is currently completing an internship as a special events assistant with NKF of Upstate in Rochester.

Alli had this to say, "I am SO PROUD and grateful for everyone who volunteered to take part in this event on a Saturday morning!"

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Make A Difference Day -- Saturday, October 25, 2008

By now, you have probably heard about the Foundation's participation in Make A Difference Day...after all, we have received national recognition for our participation in the past!

This year, we want YOU in on the action. We are calling all collegiate chapters, alumnae chapters and even just group of sisters and friends to help make this one of the biggest Make A Difference Day events for Phi Sigma Sigma!

To help you get started, the Foundation has created a step-by-step guide to choosing the right project. You can access our guide by clicking here. You can also get more information by visiting our website at

After you complete your project, be sure to tell us about it by leaving a comment on the blog or by emailing us at We will be featuring chapters for their awesome work on our blog and website to be sure to pass along your information so we can feature YOU!

To learn more about Make A Difference Day, visit their official website by clicking here.