A Different Path to Sisterhood

The alumnae initiate program provides the opportunity for individuals to join Delta Phi Epsilon that did not have the opportunity to join through traditional collegiate recruitment. Alumnae initiates are sisters, friends, mothers and daughters that share the same values and ideals as all DPhiE members. While their path to sisterhood may be different, alumnae initiate members participate in meaningful training and are initiated with all of the same rights and responsibilities as alumnae members. This could not be more true for Mother/Daughter trio Ann, Erica  and Melissa Neuburger who are now all DPhiE sisters thanks to the alumnae initiate program. 

Ann was a founding sister of the Epsilon Iota chapter at SUNY Geneseo. Because she joined the Spring semester of her senior year, she missed out on a lot of the traditional chapter experiences such as recruitment, ceremonies and having a little sister. As her daughters, Erica and Melissa, went off to college she watched them grow into Amazing young women. She stated, “They were smart, independent minded and caring. I hoped they would find friends, learn about themselves and expand their interests as well as doing well in their studies.” The sisters were very involved in college – between the two of them participating in clubs, newspaper, radio stations, tv stations, fundraising, work, internships and volunteering. Ann hoped that they would be able to join DPhiE and though they looked into it on campus, it didn’t work out to be in their paths at the time. 

While in an alumnae facebook page, Ann learned about the alumnae initiate program. After learning more information on the DPhiE website she was so excited for the possibility of her daughters joining DPhiE! Ann stated, “I was so excited because it was an opportunity for a different path for women to become alumna of DPhiE who had aligning values and characteristics. While this path does not give you the collegiate experience, it gives you the lasting aspects of all the support, connections and opportunities that a national sorority has to offer across the country and internationally. It goes beyond college.” 

After writing letters of reference for both of her daughters to participate in the alumnae initiate program, they waited anxiously to hear if they were accepted. After both were accepted, Erica was initiated in June 2018 and Melissa was initiated in October 2019. Ann stated “I could not be more proud to have my daughters accepted into DPhiE and being able to share that experience with them. Now they are my sisters and, in a way, the “little” sisters I never had the chance to have in college.”

Another member that went through the alumnae initiate program was Amber Myer. Never seeing herself as a sorority women in college, she did not think greek life was a good fit for her. After graduating with her masters in College Student Affairs, she began working at the University of Tampa. Around this time, Delta Phi Epsilon rechartered the Delta Upsilon chapter at The University of Tampa. While rechartering many DPhiE sisters and staff were on campus working to recruit new members into the chapter. Amber stated that she “Met the DPhiE staff during their interviews to recolonize at UT and immediately clicked with them. I just felt they were different (in the best way) and an organization I could see myself belonging and contributing to.” 

While her experience has been unique given the global pandemic, she has already started connecting with DPhiE. Joining the Tampa Bay Alumnae Association and participating on the leadership team in the “Good and Welfare” role she had the opportunity to meet more sisters in her area. In her role she has had fun sending out birthday and holiday cards to the Tampa Bay Alumnae Association members and spreading joy from afar. She also connects with the Delta Upsilon chapter as their on campus advisor. 

Amber did not know her sponsor, Jennifer Vasquez, prior to joining DPhiE. It was a match made in history – Amber shared that “She was just the best and welcomed me with open arms.” The trainings were held virtually through weekly podcast episodes as well as follow up conversations and virtual activities with her sponsor. Amber and Jennifer continue to connect as they are both on the leadership team for the Tampa Bay Alumnae Association. 

For anyone considering joining DPhiE as an alumna, Amber shared that “Joining has been nothing short of a positive experience. For me, it was about opening my heart to a group of women who are eager to know me and support me. I didn’t know how much I longed for those kind of relationships until I discovered DPhiE. As you move forward in life, social circles get smaller and smaller. Joining DPhiE as an alumna is the perfect way to form a new circle and create new and meaningful relationships.”

While their paths to sisterhood may look different, they share the same passion for Delta Phi Epsilon! If you would like to learn more about the alumnae initiate program, please email mcrouse@dphie.org.