Bri Spence- PC '15
Hi everybody! I’m Bri, a rising senior! I just got back from a whole semester abroad in Sorrento, Italy. Studying abroad is an amazing experience but it was definitely hard leaving all my sisters for an entire semester. I’ve lived in the house since my sophomore year and let me say that living with roommates that are not your sorority sisters definitely took some getting used to. My dog, Nala, lives in the house with me and I’m sure she missed getting snuggles and pets every time she walked through the house or when someone stopped by our room to say hi. One thing I was really sad to miss was Greek Week. Everyone was so dressed up and it looked like the best time, most of my best memories from freshman year are from spring semester - specifically Greek Week. Another thing that took some getting used to was not having an incredible staff preparing 3 meals a day for me like I have at DZ. Our kitchen staff consists of some of the most kind-hearted and considerate people and the food is REAL good. I had to learn to cook which is probably a good thing but I did burn a dinner or two before I really got the hang of it if I’m being honest. What really was hard, though, was being away from all of my sisters. Normally, if I need advice or just to talk I’ll see what my little Morgan, or my best friend Marcy is doing and that always helps because not only do they give really good advice but they provide the most reliable support system. I know if I ever need anything I can call them or really anyone in Delta Zeta and they’ll be there to help ASAP. Of course I was able to talk to them while I was abroad but between the time zones sometimes it was pretty hard to be away from my people. Something that I thought was really cool was actually meeting a Delta Zeta alumna while I was in Sorrento. Sorrento is a TINY little city on the Amalfi Coast so I certainly wasn’t expecting to meet any alums but I did! She worked for a company that coordinates abroad programs and I was asked to help show her around which was lovely because even though we hadn’t met we knew we had similar values and we were able to joke and laugh and it just felt authentic and organic - truly a heartwarming and special day for me. I’m really excited to be back in t-town to see all my beautiful sisters and of course to welcome the PNMs! I’m so happy I get to go back in time for recruitment because it’s really fun meeting new women, seeing them go through recruitment but especially because recruitment is such a bonding experience for women who are in the house. I’m sure Nala is just as (if not more) excited to see all her friends and preside over the castle like the queen she seems to believe she is. Studying abroad gave me some of the best opportunities and experiences of my life but it would have been way sweeter if I had some, or all, of my sisters there with me. I met some incredible people during my time abroad and I hold them all dear to my heart but there simply is nothing that can compare to sisterhood. I would definitely recommend studying abroad to anybody and everybody but my advice is take a sister with you because it really helps with adjusting to a place that is so foreign, as well as the FOMO and of course you’ll always have someone to take your Instagram photos! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to read about my experience away from DZ for the semester! Have you traveled anywhere cool? Leave a comment with your experience overseas - I love hearing about other experiences/cool things people have done abroad! Maybe one of your experiences will help me convince my parents to let me travel overseas again (a girl can dream).
Bri Spence- PC '15
Our President, Shelby Serad, is from Crestwood, Kentucky and majoring in American Studies with a double minor in Cyber Criminology and Criminal Justice.
What is the most important thing you've learned from being in DZ?
"I have learned a lot of things from being in Delta Zeta. The most important thing is always be there for your sisters. College is amazing. It is the best four years of your life but It can get hard. Sometimes a bad test score or getting homesick can bring you down but I know my sisters will be there for me to cheer me up. They help me study to do better on my next test or have a movie night at the house to make me feel at home. When you walk into Delta Zeta to eat dinner or just hangout, someone will say “hi” and ask how you are doing. My sisters care about me, they love me, and they would bend over backward for me. My sisters are there to celebrate the good things in life but they are there to cry and watch a Nicholas Sparks movie if I need it. Knowing I have 350 girls there for me is incredible."
What are your biggest goals as President?
"I am focusing on bringing back some old traditions that DZ had back in the day. They sound like a blast and a wonderful opportunity to create more memories. I am looking forward to working with our sisterhood chair and VP of Programings to plan some awesome sisterhood events in the fall that the entire chapter can do together. My last goal, is to put the voice back in the chapter. I was elected president by this chapter and it’s my goal to help make this chapter what the members what it to be."
What motivates you to be a leader?
"I am movivated by my sisters. We all joined Delta Zeta to meet our bridesmaids and make memories we will cherish for a lifetime. I want to make these four years the best four years for my sisters. They deserve all the fun sisterhood events, movie nights, and surprises a girl could have. These four years go by fast, so I want to make every member have the best experience of her life. I am motived by change. This chapter is incredible and the love I have for Delta Zeta can’t be put into words, but we can always make changes. Changes to better the sisterhood and experience for our members are vital for moving forward."
Who inspires you?
"My parents inspire me. My mom is a hard working women, who does a lot of volunteer work in our community. She raised me to always but others first before yourself. She is an amazing women, who always leaves any room she walks into a little brighter then when she walked in it. I have yet to meet someone who she hasn’t made smile and I don’t think I ever will.
My dad is a natural leader. His work ethic and determination is inspiring. When he sets goals, he will do whatever is necessary to meet them. Whether he is commanding a team overseas in Afghanistan or working with his team in his civilian job he is a successful leader. I grew up with him telling me how important It was to be a team player. He taught me that your teammates are the ones that are going to help you make memories, be successful, and have your back rain or shine.
Treating my sisters with respect and putting their wishes and needs first is a priority. I always try to make them smile in any way possible.
To have an executive board, filled with 10 amazing women, who have my back is a blessing. We are a team. We work as a team and always support each other.
If I can be half the person my parents are, I will be honored."
What is your personal legacy that you want to leave behind in DZ?
"I want my sisters and future Delta Zeta’s to leave this chapter better then they found It. If everyone of my sisters can make a small change, this sorority is unstoppable. I want people to remember me for the hard work I’ve put into making everyone’s dreams for this chapter come true. I want people to remember me by someone who made them feel special and important. While a chapter this big, It is important to make sure that everyone gets the sisterly love they deserve. I hope when I leave here, I have given back to Delta Zeta because this sorority has done so much for me."
“Once you choose hope anything is possible.”
These are the words I feel summarize what I learned this past summer during my internship.
I decided I wanted to pursue a career in the medical field after my experiences interning at the Mayo Clinic in high school. I am passionate about making a difference in the world and helping those who are sick or in suffering. When I tell people that I have an interest in the field of oncology, specifically in pediatrics I am instantly hit with confusion, and questions along the lines of “ Why would you ever want to do something so sad?”
For me the answer is simple. While I know it is hard for many people to comprehend, often times you can find great hope when put against insurmountable odds. Cancer is a disease that devastates not only ones body, but it affects every single aspect of your life. Last year I was on the executive board for the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation, a foundation that funds cutting-edge cancer research and aims to provide support to families struggling with their child’s diagnosis. The children and families I met in my year as a board member opened my eyes to how we often take life for granted and their positivity and hope inspired me to want to continue to help people in their situation.
This year I was blessed enough to be selected as a clinical research intern at the Mayo Clinic in my hometown of Jacksonville, FL. This was a very competitive internship, only about 50 applicants from across the nation were selected and I felt so honored to have been given this incredible opportunity.
The Mayo School of Health Sciences created the curriculum for this program which includes mentorship from a physician that you are paired with as well as completing a research project for said doctor and presenting it to a group of medical professionals, peers, and health education specialists at the end of the program.
At the beginning of the program I expressed an interest in learning more about the field of oncology and discovered I would be paired with a doctor in the Jacoby Breast Center. The doctor I was paired with, along with the other women working in the clinic were some of the most inspirational, strong, and positive women I had ever met. I am so blessed to have had them as role models and I cannot even express how grateful I am for their guidance and willingness to teach me.
I learned SO MUCH every day at work that it felt like I was going to need more space in my brain to absorb the scientific information that was being presented every day. I got to shadow examinations, pathology analyses, and I worked diligently on a research project pertaining to risk factors for breast cancer. I was fascinated with what I was learning, however, I also felt as if I learned a lot about myself through this whole experience and why I am so drawn to this career path.
Yes there are days when I want to give up. There are days when the tiniest thing that goes wrong can make it seem like your world is falling apart. College classes can feel impossible and as someone who has a knack for stretching themself a little too thin I am not going to act like I haven’t contemplated completely giving up a time or two.
If I choose to continue down this career path I will experience things that are incredibly sad, but I love the patients and the families I have met so far, they are some of the sweetest and most appreciative people I have ever interacted with. For all of the pain and fear that these patients face If I can be part of the reason that their day brightens up then everything is worth it.
When I think of the beautiful, strong, and courageous women I met during my time at Mayo and how they were filled with so much hope and light at a time of such great devastation and suffering I am reminded that when you choose hope anything is possible. I learned that when you choose to persevere and appreciate every day for what it is you cannot be defeated. Life is worth fighting for and it is important to live every moment like it is your last.
I have learned about love, and sacrifice. I watched each day as women would put on a smile or crack a joke in an appointment because even though they were dying on the inside they couldn’t bear to think that anyone else should suffer because of their situation. Women are truly the strongest creatures on earth and I am encouraged to empower my sisters in Delta Zeta to be the best that they can be because they are all so beautiful on the inside and have so much to offer the world.
-Alex Sample PC '16
A picture of me with the doctor I was paired with getting taught how to examine for suspicious lumps or enlarged lymph nodes
The Mayo Clinic I worked with in Jacksonville, FL
It’s no secret that Bid Day is an emotional roller coaster. Everything seems to happen in a blur, one minute you’re opening your bid in the stadium and the next you’re running through streets of people to your new home-away-from-home. The difference for me was that among the hundreds of sisters welcoming me at the Delta Zeta house was the most familiar face in the world: my momma. During recruitment, I tried really hard to forget about my ties to Delta Zeta. I had just survived four years of having my dad as my high school principal; I wanted an experience that was mine, and only mine. Throughout the week, I was trying so hard to find a fit at other houses solely so that I could be different from my mom. At some point, it occurred to me how ridiculous I was acting. I was trying to find a sorority that I could be myself in by not being myself. During this entire internal debate, my mom was nothing but supportive. She kept reassuring me that I didn’t have to love DZ the way she did and that it was my life, my choice. On Bid Day, when I was hugging her in the library of the Delta Zeta Castle, I knew I made the right choice. I had no idea the impact that this moment would have on my life. On that day, in the chaos of pink and green, I didn’t realize the legacy I was continuing.
Her support helped Delta Zeta feel even more like home. You never realize how much you need your momma until she is 712 miles away. Our bond, through Delta Zeta, helps the distance feel a little less far. She sent me turtles, as I was now going to be starting my own turtle collection to rival hers. She shared more memories from her experience in a sorority, as it now pertained to my life. When the time came for me to be initiated, she was there. I remember being nonchalant about it. I kept saying it wasn’t that big of a deal if she couldn’t come; my big would be there, so it would be fine. She came, which was no surprise, as my mom has always shown up when I needed her. I never expected her attendance to matter as much as it did. To have her being the active member to officially welcome me into the sisterhood made the moment so special. Every year, as we initiate new women into Delta Zeta, I think of my mom being the one to place the Delta Zeta badge over my heart.
As she shares in my experience, I get to share in her memories of college. This summer, she took me around her alma matter to show me what being a Delta Zeta meant for her. I got to drink milkshakes at The Poky Dot, her old hangout, as she told me stories about her sisters. She took me to paint the bell, a tradition on Fairmont State University, where clubs would sneak out at night and paint the school’s bell in their colors. And while painting the bell in pink and green, I couldn’t help but think this is what Delta Zeta sisterhood is. It’s a connection that spans over time, distance, and generations. On Bid Day, it became a running joke that she was my “Sister Momma.” As I bonded with more and more girls within the sorority, the joke spread. My mom isn’t “Morgan’s mom” or “Miss Jean”, she is Sister Momma Jean. To all my friends, she is a sister (that likes to send Facebook messages with cute turtle stickers). She’s always there. I can tell her everything that goes on and she gets it. She was the one I talked to when I was positive I found my little sister and the first one I texted when I was elected historian. Like all of my DZ sisters, no matter the distance or time, I get to have her for more than four years. This experience has only increased my excitement for the future. I know that when my time is up at Alabama I will always be a Delta Zeta.
- Morgan LaRosa (PC' 15)
On February 5th, 1918, Sarah Bernice Stacy was born. 100 years later on February 11th, 2018, her birthday was celebrated in Centerville, AL at The Oaks surrounded by her friends and family. The President of Delta Zeta, Taylor Curtis, had the honor of giving Stacy flowers and introducing the active members of the Alpha Gamma chapter, Stacy’s beloved sorority.
Throughout Stacy’s life, she has touched the lives of thousands of people and will leave behind an amazing legacy. She lives up to her nickname “shine” that she was given because she always brings positivity and laughter anywhere that she goes.
In 1936, Stacy attended The University of Alabama and completed her undergrad in 1940. After being initiated into Delta Zeta, she also became the Vice President of Glee Club, a member of Black Friars, Crimson and White and played golf. Because of her busy schedule, she cherished the summers that she would travel with her sorority sisters.
“[My favorite memory of Delta Zeta was] when school would get out for the summer. There were only 60 of us in the entire chapter so me and my sisters would plan a vacation each year together and it helped us to bond while having fun,” said Stacy.
After graduating UA, Stacy went on to teach at Bibb County Jr. High for 34 years as an 8th grade science teacher and later as the librarian. She became well-known and loved by her students and community who knew her as “aunt Bernice.”
Her main goal as a teacher was to encourage and help those who needed extra attention. She instilled in her students to “be the best you can be.” Because of her commitment to teaching, the Birmingham Post Herald nominated her for the “Alabama’s Favorite Teacher” award in 1966. Out of the 3,000 students that she taught, 25 still keep in contact with her and visit her weekly.
Stacy has accumulated a long list of “honors” over the years, some of which include- President of the DZ Alumnae in 1945, nominated as “Woman of the Year” for Bibb County by Alpha Kappa Delta in 1960, The Red Cross “Outstanding Volunteer” award in 1996, President of the Alabama School of Librarians Association in 1962 and 1st President of the Alpha Kappa Delta society of female teachers in Bibb County.
Although she has had many accomplishments, her proudest was helping to provide technical assistance to establish the Brent/Centerville public library. She wanted to spread her love for reading and books to others. To do this, she would host a children’s reading hour each summer and would help them find books that suited them best.
Stacy’s kind-hearted and giving nature didn’t end there. She has also significantly impacted students that attend UA. There have been endowed scholarships in the College of Communications and Information Sciences given out in her name. Because of her scholarships, a number of UA students could go forward with their education.
To this day, Stacy remains an avid Alabama fan and continues to attend football games and events. Her goals in life are to learn and to continue performing acts of kindness for others.
- Adriana McGhee PC'15
With Thanksgiving among us, I can’t help but feeling so thankful for all the wonderful things in my life, Delta Zeta being one of those wonderful things. When I decided to go through recruitment my senior year of high school, I knew I wanted to join a sorority where I would feel at home and loved. When I walked in the door at DZ and felt like I could sit with anyone, at any table and have a friend, I knew I made the right choice. Since I pledged last year, DZ has proved time and time again to be a huge blessing in my life. I’m thankful for the opportunities Delta Zeta has given me during my time on campus. Whether it’s helping me get ready for an interview or congratulating me on a position I got, I know no matter what I strive to do or be, I will be supported and loved by my sisters every step of the way. I’m also thankful for Delta Zeta because of the lifelong friends it has given me. My older sister and I were very close growing up and I wanted to find something like that at college. The friendships I’ve found in Delta Zeta have exceeded my expectations. I have found my bridesmaids and my forever friends. My sisters are always there to be the shoulder to cry on I need and the voice of reason I need more. Delta Zeta has given me friendships and bonds that will last a lifetime. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without Delta Zeta and will always be thankful for everything it has given me.
Caroline Anderson, PC '16
Everyone always talks about how in joining a sorority you meet your best friends, your favorite roommates and your future bridesmaids. On bid day 2015 I came to Delta Zeta to see Madison Wilson holding my sign, who I had talked to on preference round the day before. It was nice to see a familiar face since I did not know anyone. Being a freshman it was crucial having Madison to show me the ropes, help me get ready for date parties and introduce me to more friends in Delta Zeta. Quickly Madison became one of my best friends, which made it easy to choose who I wanted my big to be come time for big/ little reveal! Throughout my freshman and sophomore year my relationship with Madison grew and we were inseparable. We spent our time between classes at Starbucks, and evenings at the library together. It was even better when we both moved into the Delta Zeta house because then we didn’t need to drive to each others place to hang out. Summer 2017 I drove to Texas to spend the 4th of July with her and we talked about how excited we were for the upcoming year because it was going to be her senior year and we had to make it special. It was heartbreaking to realize this was my last year with her.
During recruitment, I was on the recruitment team and had been working endless hours for two weeks. Madison was not able to come to recruitment because of an internship, so I was not able to talk to her. During the morning of the preference round our advisor made an announcement that we had a candle pass to do. A candle pass is something our chapter does when someone gets engaged, there is a flower bouquet with a candle and everyone passes it around and sings a song. Once it gets to the sister that is engaged they blow out the candle. No one had any idea who got engaged so we all were standing in a circle singing the song waiting anxiously for our unknown sister to blow out the candle. Once the candle got passed in a full circle, Madison came out from the side door and blew out the candle. She hadn’t told me but she got engaged to her long time boyfriend at the end of the summer. I was ecstatic! It was unbelievable. So, when time came for her to choose bridesmaids she told me that she wouldn’t want to have her big day without me there. Madison also asked my little to be a bridesmaid because of how close we had all grown. All of the sisters that Delta Zeta has given me, especially Madison, I know are my lifelong friends. Cliche, but joining a sorority really does give you your future bridesmaids!!
-Lauren Baker PC '15
In Delta Zeta, I found not only a big sister, but also a best friend. Ashley and I, ironically, had grown up going to the same school. Being older than me, we knew of each other but did not know each other personally. Throughout recruitment, I saw Ashley on several occasions when I came in to the Delta Zeta Castle. She always waved and smiled, which gave me a little comfort during such a hectic week. It was nice to see a familiar face on my first week away from home. On Bid Day, I was ecstatic when I opened my bid to see that I was running home to Delta Zeta. Upon arriving at the house, Ashley was holding my sign and welcomed me home. It immediately felt comfortable to see such a familiar face, although we had never known each other personally in school. Coming from the same home town gave Ashley and me an instant connection. As the fall semester progressed, Ashley and I grew closer. We bonded over pizza (lots of it!) and laughed about stories from our home town. It was so crazy how Delta Zeta brought me so close to someone in a matter of months, who had lived down the street from me my entire life. Freshman year is a whirlwind of emotions, but I knew Ashley was always there for me. When we went home for summer, we hung out all the time. We literally lived three minutes away from each other, and never would have known it if it was not for Delta Zeta.
Not only did I find a big and a roommate, but I also found a best friend. Someone who had been around my entire life, but it took moving to college for her to become my best friend. Ashley was a rock to me freshman year. She encouraged me to get involved both in and out of DZ, was there for me when the days were hard, and celebrated the triumphs with me on the best of days. We have so many silly memories, whether it be singing throwbacks in the car, obsessing over her dog when we get distracted from studying, or yelling at each other from our bedrooms when we are too lazy to get up and go to talk to each other. While we have only been friends for a year, we have enough memories to last a life time. Ashley is the most hilarious, thoughtful, and lively person I know, and I’m so thankful to have her as my Big and roommate. So thank you, Delta Zeta, for making my down the street neighbor, my best friend.
<3 Emily Truchon
Last fall, coming to Alabama to start my collegiate career, I was nervous – but in a good way. I convinced my parents to allow me to participate in sorority recruitment, and more than anything, I wanted to run down sorority row with all of my new sisters to the front lawn of my future home. However, I wasn’t going to settle for just any house - I wanted to be a part of a genuine sisterhood where the members would push you to be the best version of yourself possible. I wanted my house to value scholarship, individuality, creativity, and kindness. Running home to Delta Zeta on Bid Day was everything I could’ve hoped for and more. I knew that the women in this house would encourage and guide me through this next chapter of my life and I couldn’t wait to fully experience everything that Delta Zeta had to offer.
Before initiation, I remember reflecting on what sorority is. At large universities like Alabama, it’s easy to get caught up in the frills of Greek life – the date parties, flawless photoshoots, and game days with your sisters. Even though Delta Zeta provided me with all the frills, our tight-knit sisterhood was the fabric of our organization. I remember thinking that Delta Zeta is so much more than a social club – it’s a network of philanthropic, passionate, independent women pursuing success in their collegiate careers and beyond. This organization has helped me achieve more personal success on campus than I could ever imagine. From the moment our current president, Hayley White, introduced me to First Year Council, up until now, the women in this chapter continue to mentor and support me in every way possible.
On campus, I currently serve as SGA Director of Veterans Affairs, UA Habitat for Humanity Marketing Director, and in my chapter as Assistant Panhellenic Delegate. I am a full-time student at the University of Alabama double-majoring in Marketing and Management Information Systems (MIS). I maintain a personal blog, study art, and enjoy traveling all on the side. Because of the endless support from my sisters, I have been able to live my best life – managing my priorities and projects successfully. I cannot even begin to express how thankful I am to all of the women in my chapter who support me in everything I do. Thank you for inspiring me every day to be the best that I can be, and to live a life full of passion and adventure. KOB
-Meredith Coleman (PC '16)
Dear Potential New Members,
Freshman year of college is a whirlwind of new opportunities and chances to make memories. Joining Alabama’s Greek community exposed me to support systems and friendships with women that rival any other you’ve experienced.
Recruitment is a time full of emotions. It is overwhelming, exciting, and exhilarating all at once. I just had to keep reminding myself each active member had been in my shoes before.
I told myself to not be afraid to be myself; it ended up only benefitting me in the end.
I continuously reminded myself that I couldn’t listen in to what other people said, and I needed to be prepared. I made sure to have a purse full of items I’d need each day, especially a personal fan because Alabama heat is no joke. During my recruitment, I was true to myself the entire time, and it led me home to the charismatic women of Delta Zeta. I gained new shopping buddies, lunch dates, and lifelong friends in DZ. I am more than proud to be a Delta Zeta and glad that during recruitment I was able to find my organization by staying true to my values.
Everyone who experiences the Capstone is in luck, as it is the best university in the nation. You’re in for the time of your life from football games, to sisterhood events, to living in the dorms, as soon as you step foot on campus as a freshmen. Delta Zeta is a gift that keeps on giving. I was encouraged to get involved on campus and am now the recruitment director for another organization as well. I was pushed to have better grades, and in turn I have had higher GPAs every year of college than I ever did in high school. Delta Zeta and The University of Alabama are the best things that have ever happened to me.
Tara Griesemer, Vice President of Membership
“ The larger the tote...the better” - Sarah Lindsay McBurney PC’ 16
“Bring oil blot sheets and an umbrella...Alabama heat is beyond unpredictable” - Christina Daughenbaugh PC ‘14
“Put nike shorts in your purse to wear in between parties under your dress...you’ll thank me” - Katie O'Donnell PC’ 15
“Drink lots of water throughout the day and bring snacks” - Megan Welker PC’ 14
“Setting spray is your make ups best friend” - Kari Eisenberg PC’ 16
“Wear what you feel the most comfortable in!! Don’t worry about what you think you’re “supposed” to wear” - Julia Cornejo PC’ 15
“Bring sandals or flip flops to wear in between parties, especially on days when you’re running around the row” - Shelby Epstein PC’ 15
“Smile!! As much as you possibly can” - Gabby Dicarlo PC’ 16
“Make sure to listen to your rho chi’s and j-board they’re there to help make your experience the best it can be” -Emily Crisci PC’ 15
“Drink lots of vitamin C and stay healthy- rush week can be exhausting” - Victoria Moody PC’16
“Be yourself!! That’s the most important part” -Rachel Kinsella PC’ 14
“Have an open mind each round. Just because you didn’t have the best conversation the first time, doesn't mean you won’t have the best conversation the next” - Emily Truchon PC’ 16