Only alumni and currently students at Grove City College know what a “Gamma Sig” is, but that doesn’t mean I have to exclusively wear my letters on campus. In fact, wearing my letters while traveling has proven to be a rewarding fashion choice.
While traveling home for summer vacation, I chose to wear a sorority t-shirt through the airport. Last time I flew home (Christmas break), I didn’t have a bid yet and was enviously eyeing the sorority girls at my gate. Now with a full semester as an active under my belt I proudly walked through Pittsburgh International Airport with my sequined-outlined letters. After getting patted down by a TSA agent (note to self: any kind of glitter sets off the machines), I was beginning to regret my decision.
As I got in line to board my flight the gentlemen in front of me turned to ask my boarding position. Noticing my letters, he asked then about my sorority. Proudly I responded, “Gamma Sigma Phi, we’re a local sorority at Grove City College!” To which he replied, “I know, I’m a Phi Tau.” (A brother of the Phi Tau Alpha fraternity at Grove City College.)
Completely floored that an alumnus of a Grove City fraternity was on my flight, and always up for a conversation about Greek life, I was glad he chose to sit next to me on the plane. He shared with me some of the history of Greek life at my college-all of the changes, best memories, and the get-togethers he still hosts for his pledge class! In return I told him about my amazing first semester of Greek life. We both agreed that Greek life had a huge impact on our college experiences and we felt closer ties to the college because of our Greek affiliations.
The take away from this? Connect with your alum! They have amazing insight, a strong sense of brotherhood/sisterhood, and a love for the college. This was a wake up call for me to reach out to our own alumni to hear their stories, too! Greek life isn’t just about the members you know now and the pledge class you’ll take next fall. Greek life is an ongoing family and network of amazing men and women.
The late Oscar de la Renta once said, “Fashion is a trend. Style lives within a person.” Not to twist a cultural icon’s words, but I also believe that your letters are a trend, the sisterhood/brotherhood lives within you and every Greek man or woman. Celebrate the fashion today, while always reflecting on the tradition of yesterday and the hope of tomorrow.
In other words, wear letters, love your alum.