Thursday, August 16, 2012

Inspired by Convention: #YOLO – What Is Your Legacy?

Welcome to the eighth post in the "Inspired by Alpha Chi Omega Convention" series! Thank you, Jill Moran, for sharing the moments at Convention that most inspired her!

2012 has marked my 4th Alpha Chi Omega Convention (I’m officially an Olympian, it takes attending 4 conventions to qualify), my 12th year as a member of Alpha Chi Omega, my 5th wedding anniversary (which was celebrated at Convention the night of 7/14/12) and I turned 31.
Jill and Brian Moran celebrate 5 years
of Marriage at the Arch

With all these milestones I took time throughout the weekend to do some much needed internal reflection at the 2012 Alpha Chi Omega Convention. One word was the catalyst for said reflection, Legacy. I heard it over and over throughout the weekend. 

First let me give a little bit of my Alpha Chi Omega story. 
Debbie Meyer Chamberlain, mother &
Jill Chamberlain Moran, daughter
Legacy means many things: birthright, gift, and inheritance just to name a few. In the Panhellenic world a legacy is a sister, daughter, granddaughter or great-granddaughter of a member. For me, legacy describes who I am in the Alpha Chi Omega world. I am indeed a legacy of Alpha Chi Omega; my mother was initiated into my same chapter of initiation (Alpha Delta at the University of Cincinnati) a mere 30 years before me (1970 for my mom and 2000 for myself). The legacy of Alpha Chi Omega was introduced to me at an early age – some of my first memories of the University of Cincinnati as a child are at the Alpha Chi Omega house. At an early age I learned the importance of supporting your sisters and in turn leaning on them for support. Now, I instill those same principles into the ladies I advise at the Beta Tau chapter at Miami University.
Jill Chamberlain Moran PAC-OH,
Madeline Power BT VP of Recruitment,
Kelly Fried ALA Co-President

Back to the 2012 Convention, on Saturday at the opening chapter meeting, or as my husband (he is almost an Olympian himself with this being his 3rd convention) says – all white day.

I shifted my focus from just absorbing information and taking notes a step further with self-reflection and meditation. All of this started with one little hashtag phrase our out-going National President, Marsha Grady, used as a theme in her opening speech – #YOLO.

I will admit for a tech and social media savvy 31 year old who works with college women I had yet to hear or pay attention to this particular hashtag. During Marsha’s speech I learned it was an acronym for You Only Live Once and is often used when you tweet about doing something really great or doing something just the opposite, making just as much of a mistake. In her speech she pointed out that most use the hashtag for the latter. It was the story of her son’s high school senior class that used the term to take a horrible situation that they experienced and turn it into a positive by making their senior Year the best it could be with only positive outcomes as their legacy to their high school and community.

Outgoing National President
Marsha Grady
Later at the Foundation lunch, The Alpha Chi Omega Foundation launched the “For Now For Ever”  capital campaign. I remember leaving the lunch, again, with the word legacy on my mind – but in this case how can I motivate the Alumnae Chapters and their members that I work with in Ohio to help leave some sort of financial legacy (as they are able). 

My “A Ha” moment with the word legacy came at the final night dinner as the incoming National President, Diane Wilson Blackwelder, was giving her speech.

Incoming National President
Diane Blackwelder
Her speech was an anthology of real life Alpha Chi Omega stories including her own. My personal and metaphorical light bulb finally shone so bright it burst – the legacy I can leave my fellow sisters and potential sisters is my Alpha Chi Omega story that I am currently living. My story is more than the simple went school, joined a sorority, went to class, graduated and etc… my story will show others how an organization I love so much has endured and evolved over time with many highs and lows. Alpha Chi Omega has given me my second family, priceless leadership and networking skills (my mom and I will bump each other at community social events to work the room), as well as the opportunity for me to do what I to best – coach and motivate women who will be our future leaders.

I interact with a member of Alpha Chi Omega almost everyday – I work with 2 other Alpha Chi’s, my mother is an Alpha Chi, my maid of honor and closest friends are Alpha Chi’s, many of my twitter friends are sisters I have yet to meet, and the collegiate women I advise have constant communication with me. These lovely ladies who range in age and live across the country have become part of my current story as I share my past with them. I now know what my speech will be if I am ever asked to talk at an Alpha Chi Omega event. It will be my Alpha Chi Omega story as my experiences have shaped me into the woman I am today. I mentioned having highs and lows as any good story has – such as rising above and becoming closer to my Alpha Delta Alpha Chi Omega sisters when our chapter was closed during my 2nd year of school, to the high of being honored with the Grace Daniels Outstanding Sorority Chapter Advisor Award at Miami University.

Each time I return from convention I always feel energized and wish I could bottle that feeling to give to those Alpha Chi Omegas that may have gotten lost along the way. Instead all I can do is share my story and ask what will be your legacy to give? #YOLO, so you better make it be a lasting (& positive) legacy – I know my legacy in progress will last.

Photos courtesy of Jill Moran and Greek Year Book.

Jill Chamberlain Moran is an initiate of the Alpha Delta Chapter (University of Cincinnati). Currently she serves as the Province Alumnae Chair for Ohio, Collegiate Liaison Chair for Alpha Lambda Alpha (Cincinnati), Technology Specialist – Brand Use Materials, and Chapter Advisor for Beta Tau (Miami University) for Alpha Chi Omega. Check out her blog where she has many observations and (mostly humorous) insights in her everyday life of a graphic designer and follow her on twitter or find her on facebook.

1 comment:

  1. "I always feel energized" - perfect! Well said!

    I feel the same way even when I just enjoy a great meeting with a consultant or s CRIC - it gets me pumped.

    I also wish we could bottle & share that "AXO feeling" with other sisters! Let's keep trying Jill!

    L&L with WDA


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