For many women, the sorority tradition is deeply meaningful far beyond the college years. And when the time comes for daughters and nieces to consider sorority, attempting to convey the value of sorority reveals the depth long-term impact of the experience.
In this love letter from a Panhellenic sorority alumna to her teen daughter, Amy Wilburn Morseburg, mother of sixteen-year-old Katie, eloquently describes why sorority is so special to her and why she desires the same experience for her daughter. If only we could all be so articulate with our feelings. Enjoy and share!
My darling daughter, my dearest, my angel,
As I think about the years ahead, I am full of excitement and wonder for you. So much is on the horizon, just waiting, so close I can smell it, but not yet touch it. When we discuss this, you point to specifics: What choir will you sing in? What will dorm life hold for you? What team’s sweatshirt will you wear? Will you come home only at Christmas because you are so far away, or whenever you want because you are just across the lake? I understand this. I remember this vividly, because it was where I was just a short time ago.
But now, with the wisdom of years behind me, I am less focused on the concrete for you, and more excited for the intangibles. I’m excited for you to get to know yourself, to enjoy yourself, to know exactly what a unique individual you are and what you have to offer the world. When you are in college, beginning in just 16 months (the time it takes a brand new baby human to walk and talk), you will experience growth, challenge, and change like you’ve not yet known.
You think I’m going to cry, and be lost for you. Yes, I’ll miss you, but honey, I am so excited for watching you grow into yourself. I know that you are growing in the right direction because every day of your life so far, 6,112 days in all, I have been intentional about providing you with a sense of self-sufficiency, personal awareness, values, determination, and most importantly, faith in the loving, holy spirit all around us. A life built on this foundation will not be easy, but will be worthwhile and fulfilling. However, even a foundation needs to be sustained, just as the soil for a plant needs to be continually watered and fed.
When I was in college, I chose to join a sorority. I chose to join because I wanted a community even more tightly knit than my small, liberal arts campus was. I found that the women of Tri Delta were women I liked and admired, and being inspired by them, I joined Tri Delta. Through my time as a new member and through the initiation process, I found out more about the sorority—its history and its values—and was pleased to learn that the values of Tri Delta matched my own. I enjoyed my years in the sorority. I enjoyed a good college experience, and my sisters made it even better. But there was more, a benefit I see only now, decades later.
In fact, my own foundation was nurtured by Tri Delta in the same way that I wish for yours to be. Who I am, fundamentally, is supported by my sisterhood. You see, the organization and its history is one that has drawn the very best women, who self-selected into a good college. My relationships with my sisters came not because we shared a few years together over 20 year ago. No, those relationships grew because we have a shared sense of values. We have supported one another to be the very best women we can be.
For four years, we said to one another every week or more, “Let us steadfastly love one another.” It’s part of who we are as Tri Deltas. Indeed, over the years, we have loved one another through pain, heartbreak, children, joy, love. We have done so steadfastly, without ceasing, knowing there is a bond—like family—that simply doesn’t go away. It’s a given. My collegiate sorority sisters are still my sisters. And this is what I want for you.
You are about to embark on a time of incredible discovery. For you, my love, I want you to be surrounded by women who will steadfastly love you; women who know your heart, who trust the best in you, and who feed your soil so you can grow into the beautiful flower God made you to be.
Ah yes, this is the dream we have for all our daughters, born to us or born to others. It is the dream of a deeply enriching experience to make our lives full.
Happy Mothers’ Day to all!
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Amy Wilburn Morseburg (Delta Delta Delta) is a SureSister contributor. She holds a bachelors degree in French and a masters degree in teaching from the University of Puget Sound, along with the Juris Doctor (law) degree from Seattle University. Amy lives in Woodinville, Washington with her husband Dan and children, Katie (a music theory aficionado and aspiring vocalist) and Ben. She runs the Law Office of Amy Morseburg.