Monday, November 23, 2009

A letter from a charter member, on the Chapter Room Dedication...

Dear Delta Upsilon Sisters of Gamma Phi Beta,

My own candlelight was held in this house back in 1985 when I became engaged to our sorority big brother, Mark White, whom I started dating in 1983. That time seems so long ago, yet it is so bright in the memories of the women who were charter members of Gamma Phi Beta at the University of Georgia. Rush, chapter meetings, and our first candlelight were all held in the terribly hot upper room of Memorial Hall where we had so many decisions to make and so much to learn. It was our hope and dream to have a house of our own, but we thought that a group of apartments near Atlanta Highway would have to do until the amazing chance came for Gamma Phi Beta to own 397 S. Milledge Avenue.

With help from national, collegiate and alumnae advisors, we hurried to get the house ready for fall rush in 1983 with all of us cleaning, polishing, doing yard work and learning flip flop in our free time. It was exciting to see this house decorated and filled with flowers, one family even presented us with a beautiful engraved antique hall tree. Rush that year was amazing, but the reality that the meeting space was too small was very clear. Chapter meetings filled every available inch in the front of the house, and during candlelight ceremonies it was hard to tell who blew the candle out. PACE meetings had to be elsewhere in the “Bell South” community room or in a campus classroom. We all thought that we would have a chapter room soon, but we really had no idea what an effort would be involved.

The crowding never got in the way of our fun, though. We laughed our way through each new challenge, and we loved each other, though Ms. Carolyn, our first house mother, didn’t always think so. That love still lasts through the years, and it brings me joy to reconnect with Gamma Phi Beta sisters and to meet new ones in my community of Northern Virginia. It is with delight that I’ve seen daughters of friends become Gamma Phi Betas, too. When parents of seniors at our children’s school met recently, one said that being in a sorority was the worst mistake of her life. I had to disagree with her, though, because Gamma Phi Beta has only enriched my life. Were there problems? Yes, of course there were, but we grow through adversity. Were there temptations? Yes, of course there were, but this helps us to learn how to focus on what is important. Did each of us grow as people? Absolutely, we are all still growing. You are on a lifelong adventure filled with love, labor, learning, and loyalty.

We enjoyed the fruit from many sisters who had gone before us, and today you enjoy the fruit from many sisters who have gone before you. We could not forget that this house needed extensive renovations since we used it ourselves, and it is a pleasure to help you to have the first chapter room for Delta Upsilon. We know that you will use it well, and you will leave things better than you found them, too. Our Chapter Advisor, Martha Mendenhall, was one of the sweetest women I’ve ever known. She helped us through many struggles, and she lived an incredible example of love and forgiveness. I challenge each of you to always have someone you are mentoring and to always have someone to be mentoring you, too. Wherever you go, may you be a shining light for Gamma Phi Beta, honoring those who came before you and, like those of us continuing our commitment to Gamma Phi, helping those who will come after you.


Sharon Anderson White ‘83

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Phase 2

Just because I haven't been posting as regularly lately doesn't mean things haven't been moving a mile a minute at the sorority house! I will catch you up on all of the details soon, but suffice it to say that there will be women living in the new upstairs bedrooms (above the new chapter room) in JANUARY!

That's right! The bedrooms and new large bathroom will be complete in the next week or two. Then, in December, while school is closed for the holidays, our amazing contractor team will come in and open up the hallway between the existing back of the house with the new addition, create bedrooms where the old back stairwell is, and also make bedrooms where the upstairs president's room bathroom and hall bath are currently.

If you're a visual person like I am, all these words do little for you. I will post pictures as soon as I can.

I would love to hear from you if you've been to the house since construction started. Am I the only one who is blown away by all these changes?!

Monday, November 16, 2009

It happened!

I actually ate dinner in our sorority's chapter room last night!

182 women were in attendance, including a couple dozen alumnae. (Shout out to my pledge sisters Emily, Hannah and Stacey - great to catch up!)

Stop by the house when you are in Athens next... it's really pretty unbelievable until you see it for yourself.

Top Row L-R: Meredith Gurley Carr (Alumnae Collegian Advisor), Michelle Hood Rosenthal (HCB President), Julie Dunn Eichenberg (Atlanta Alumnae and Founder Day Keynote Speaker), Kristen Schmidt White (Chapter Advisor), Natalie Black Muir (Capital Campaign Co-Chair)
Bottom Row L-R: Joan Trefz (2009 Alumnae Collegian Co-Chair), Sarah Rettker (2009 Chapter President), Jillian Farr (2009 Alumnae Collegian Co-Chair)
(PHOTOS/Jackie Reedy,

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Don't Miss Founders Day Chapter Room Dedication

All Alumnae:
The sisters of the Delta Upsilon Chapter of Gamma Phi Beta cordially invite you to attend
2009 Founders Day Dinner &
Chapter Room Dedication
Sunday, November 15, 2009
6:00 p.m. Networking and Socializing Activity
6:30 p.m. Dinner
7:00 p.m. Program and Chapter Room Dedication
Tickets: $25.00
Please RSVP by November 11, 2009
Mail payments to: Joan Trefz, Alumnae Relations Liason, 397 S. Milledge Ave., Athens, GA 30606
(E-mail me with questions

Please join us in welcoming our Founders Day Speaker, Julie Dunn Eichenberg. Julie, an alumna from the Beta Mu Chapter at FSU, has been an active Gamma Phi Beta sister since joining the organization. While being active on her campus and Panhellenic activities in college, Julie continued her dedication to Gamma Phi as a Collegiate Leadership Consultant. Julie visited Delta Upsilon in the 90's as a CLC, and continues her involvement and leadership with alumni through the Atlanta Alumnae Chapter. Julie is the Vice President for Sales and Marketing at Turner Network Sales.

Tour the beautiful renovations of our Sorority House. Celebrate the past and envision our future!


About Me

I pledged in 2000, and that's when I first heard we were going to renovate the house. I graduated in 2004, moved to Atlanta where I now live with my fellow UGA grad (and AKL advisor) hubby Eric. Since 2006, I've been volunteering with HCB. I have been an Atlanta-area Realtor for the past 3 years and now also serve as the southeastern property manager for Chick-fil-A, Inc. You can reach me at: