Following the Very Old Pin

Sister Spotlight

Becoming an alumni initiate is a dream come true for recently initated sister, BethAnne. BethAnne’s legacy began with her grandmother almost 70 years ago in the Phi chapter at Brooklyn College. BethAnne was never able to meet her grandmother, Barbara Meisel Kern, a highly involved collegiate and alumni member of Delta Phi Epsilon, as she passed away at a young age in 1967.


In most legacy cases, Delta Phi Epsilon is introduced at an early age and legacy women grow up with hopes that they will one day get the opportunity to allow their inner royal purple and pure gold to shine, but that experience was not BethAnne’s. Delta Phi Epsilon found her when she least expected it.


Similar to most college students, the search for fulfillment began with finding organizations and clubs that aligned with her interests and values. BethAnne was involved in many Jewish clubs and organizations, took opera lessons and performed in many of the university’s school musicals, but she always had an itch that made her feel as though it was not enough. She knew that she wanted more out of her college experience and consequentially, perhaps a sign from her late grandmother, Delta Phi Epsilon found her in a computer science class and she was later extended a bid without knowing how far her legacy heritage went. BethAnne had just opened a door to what will turn out to be a life changing experience for her.


Unfortunately, as life happens, BethAnne was unable to complete her new member education process and thus was not a full sister during her undergraduate career. BethAnne held Delta Phi Epsilon and the Greek community dear to her heart, despite the circumstances. She met her husband who was heavily involved in his Greek organization and fostered relationships there while in the environment of mutual love and respect that fraternities and sororities hold in their values.


A degree, a husband, a career, three children and 10 years later, Delta Phi Epsilon and BethAnne’s grandmother found her, yet again, when she received her grandmother’s old jewelry from a relative of hers. As BethAnne pieced through the jewelry one article at a time, she locked eyes with something triangular in shape, an original Delta Phi Epsilon badge, the model that was given to initiated sisters prior to 1951.


“Triangular, gold, inlaid with pearls, and then the letters, Delta Phi Epsilon. My grandmother’s sorority pin. In all the years since I stopped my new member process I don’t think I ever felt the pang of regret quite so strongly. It was one thing to know I had been so close to having this profound connection to my grandmother. It was another thing to see it firsthand.”


After emailing IHQ to report her discovery and learn more about her grandmother’s involvement in the organization, she learned about Delta Phi Epsilon’s alumni initiate program. This program allows current sisters to recommend membership to women in their lives who embody our values but who were unable to experience Delta Phi Epsilon at the collegiate level. BethAnne worked hard to learn all about Delta Phi Epsilon and was initiated at ILF this past July. With a sisterhood under her belt, she could revive the dormant legacy of Delta Phi Epsilon that her grandmother left for her to discover.


BethAnne was Barbara Meisel Kern’s only chance of continuing their family legacy. Now as an initiated sister, she is able to honor Barbara’s life through her membership and the legacy that she will pass onto her three daughters.


“Thank you for giving me the biggest gift to reconnect with my grandmother and reignite her legacy, DPhiE is in my heart and in my blood.”


This story deeply moved me as I always enjoyed a close connection with my grandmother. How wonderful that BettyAnne could continue the proud legacy of community service, friendship and sisterhood that was such an integral part of her grandmother's life through Delta Phi Epsilon's Legacy program.

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