This last week has been especially difficult with regard to ‘last’ things. I had my last meeting and final ritual with my fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi. Now, Kappa has been my life for the last two years. Being a charter member made the entire process absolutely worth it. I delivered my farewell speech during our last meeting, and I thought I had it all together. Nope. By the time I got to paragraph three, I was a blubbering mess. Ugly crying all the way while reading. You know when you have something that means so much to you hit you like sledgehammer to the chest, it was worth it.
I stand before you tonight in my final meeting as a brother of the Nu Zeta chapter. After two years of prepping, planning, executing, and performing, I’ve reached the point of crossing into Alumni Land. While this two-year journey has been joyous, exhilirating, and sometimes turbulent, I wouldn’t be writing this if it weren’t for my chapter.
When I brought the concept of Kappa Kappa Psi to Edinboro in the spring of 2013, I didn’t expect it to develop as far as it has. We Alphas received our colony cards that May, pumped that we were about to embark on a journey to become something incredible. And that journey, well, we took it at breakneck speed. We knocked out the colony petitioning document, the university paperwork, and all three degrees IN A SINGLE SEMESTER. Most colonies take what, two years to complete everything? Our diligence and thirst for greatness drove us to accomplish all these steps and meet our goals. We knew we wanted this, and we did what it took to get there.
The day we became Nu Zeta, December 11, 2013, is one of the highlights of my grad school tenure, and possibly my life. To see everything come together with the help of the National Council and the Alpha Omega chapter at Pitt, and knowing 317 other chapters had our backs across the nation gave me a comforting feeling of camraderie and brotherhood. While the academic and personal aspects of my life had spiraled out of control that semester, Kappa Kappa Psi was my anchor. It grounded me. The values, rituals, and symbolism have been an integral part of my life since, and I know wherever I walk, Kappa will be there.
Being a Nu Zeta has taken me places: to Connecticut and West Chester for NEDCON two years in a row as the voting delegate, to WVU for precincts, and even as far away as Arkansas for SWDCON. Everywhere I have traveled, I’ve learned something more about myself and this brotherhood as a whole. Watching the District and National leadership councils do their thing sparked my interest in getting involved at a higher level. If you mention that you’re running for a position or doing something with your chapter, you’re going to have ten more chapters backing you up and supporting you. Since I have announced my intent to run for VPSA, I have acquired more friendships and connections across six districts than I ever thought possible. Whether I get voted for the position or not remains to be seen. If it comes to pass or not, I know that my efforts will not have been in vain. I would never trade that moment where I put my foot in the door and said, “I’m going for it.” At the chapter level, I served as VPS and Secretary. If you’re intimidated about taking a shot at a leadership role, take that chance. You never know where it’s going to lead you.
It has been an honor to be selected to serve in the capacities that I have for the Nu Zeta chapter. While I’m sad to be graduating and leaving Edinboro, I know that by passing the reins of leadership down to our newest leaders, Nu Zeta is in good hands. Getting involved with Kappa Kappa Psi has changed my life for the better, and I am grateful and fortunate to have been given a chance to become involved and to call you all not just brothers, but best friends, as well.
Promote the ideals. Maintain the traditions. Preserve the honour.
So there was that.
A couple nights later we had initiation for our Delta class. I gained a second little AND a grandlittle, so my Diamond Line doubled in size in just one night!
This was not only the last Nu Zeta interaction I would have, but the last for the graduating seniors, as well.
I looked out into the empty, still auditorium and got wrecked with emotion once again. Ironically, I sat in those very seats in 2005 for freshman orientation, and I’m about to (hopefully) complete my journey by walking across the same stage to receive my Masters diploma in a few days. (I say hopefully because I had to rewrite the answers to two of my comps questions, and if I don’t pass those, I don’t graduate. Trust me, the anxiety is very high right now.)
I received so many thank yous from so many brothers. It is an amazing feeling when you’re told that without your dedication and what you’ve done for the chapter, they wouldn’t be where they are today. I am so excited to see what they can do in the future. I look forward to becoming an alumna and seeing where my journey in Kappa Kappa Psi will take me.
’til next time…keep striving.