Founders’ Day in Rome

Every year, I look forward to Founder’s Day. In addition to commemorating the five trailblazing women who started our sorority over 140 years ago, I also know I will get to catch up with sisters that I haven’t seen in a while, and also have the opportunity to meet other Sigma Kappas for the first time. Sometimes I celebrate locally, usually with one or more collegiate chapters. But not always.

As a member of the European Alumnae Chapter (EAC), I often travel across the pond to celebrate Founders’ Day¬†during a weekend known as Annual Meeting. This was one of those years. Since the members of the EAC live all over the place, we set aside one long weekend per year to get together in a different European City. Whenever possible, we try to gather on or around Founders’ Day on November 9th.

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European Alumnae Chapter members on the Skinny Bridge in Amsterdam during Annual Meeting, November 2003

When I first joined the chapter in 2003, only a month after arriving at my Air Force assignment in Stuttgart, Germany, Annual Meeting was in Amsterdam. Over the years, we have met all over Europe: from London to Prague to Helsinki to Naples, and many places in between. I haven’t lived in Europe since 2009, but I have been back to Annual Meeting several times since moving back to the States. This year, the 20th Annual Meeting of our chapter and our Founders’ Day celebration was held in Rome, Italy.

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Sarah and Christine, who were presented with 25-year pins in Rome

More than 20 sisters were able to make it to Annual Meeting this year. Many of them have been members of the chapter longer than I have; I look forward to seeing them each year. I was also very excited that I got to meet a handful of new EAC members as well. Some were recent graduates, and others were close to my age but only recently moved to Europe. In fact, the two 25-year pins that our President presented this year were both to women who moved to Europe within the last year!

Throughout the weekend, we shared many stories and reminisced about days gone by. We walked many miles and shared many meals.

 

Regardless of the weather they find at their destination each year, EAC members make sure to visit major tourist attractions.  This photo was taken in Piazza Venezia after a walking tour.
In addition to conducting Sigma Kappa business and playing tourist during their Annual Meeting weekend, the European Alumnae chapter always tries to enjoy a sampling of local eateries!

At the end of it all, we marveled at how the mystic bond can help a sister who you’ve known just a few days become a lifelong friend who you can’t wait to see again!

Speaking of which, the planning has already begun for Annual Meeting 2018. We’ll be in Iceland! Will you be joining us?

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