“I believe in Alpha Phi.”
This is the exclamation point at the end of the sorority’s creed, and never was the statement more fitting as it fell from the lips of its SUU Theta Sigma chapter sisters than when they accepted the international Order of the Lamp award in recognition of standout excellence among the sorority’s 149 active chapters worldwide at the 68th Biennial Convention of the Alpha Phi International Fraternity in Miami, Florida.
Back home in Cedar City, the SUU campus is proud to laud the accomplishments of a student organization that has established itself as one of the best. According to Jake Johnson, assistant director of SUU Student Involvement and Leadership, “The Theta Sigma Chapter of Alpha Phi consistently enhances the college experience of their women and continues to exceed the University’s expectations for fraternities and sororities.”
A model student organization, the Theta Sigma chapter of Alpha Phi takes pride in their successes as they defy standard perceptions of sorority girls.
In fact, the chapter leads the SUU Greek Community in academic achievement, maintaining an average grade point average (GPA) of 3.14 – which is higher than the University’s all-women’s GPA. Alpha Phi has also placed more students on the Dean’s List than any other fraternity or sorority at SUU.
The Alpha Phi women are encouraged to remain committed to their studies, and Chapter President Timian Yoshimoto says that “first and foremost,” the Alpha Phi sisters “are collegians.” Case in point, she explains that the chapter offers incentives and prizes to members who log the most study hours, achieve high grades on projects and assignments and make the most improvement from one semester to the next.
And book work is just the beginning of the Alpha Phi sisters’ successes at SUU.
Every year, the sorority provides hundreds of hours of community service – more than any other Greek organization on campus – through monthly service projects, an annual philanthropy week, various fundraisers, student and community events and blood drives. Through such efforts, Alpha Phi has developed a positive presence in the campus and local community and established a reputation as champion of breast cancer awareness and women’s cardiac care.
Alpha Phi’s SUU members also hold leadership positions throughout campus and champion student life among their fellow students by hosting various dances, socials and an the annual Move your PHI’t 5k Fun Run. And in 2009, Alpha Phi received the Organization of the Year award at the annual Thunderbird Student Awards.
The sorority’s campus advisor, Kathleen McDowell, credits these successes to the girls’ commitment to their campus and their sisters. “The chapter’s greatest strength is their ability to communicate and share responsibility,” she explains. “They are committed to succeeding as a team and take time to identify and praise the talents each of the girls brings to the table.”
It seems, more than just believing in Alpha Phi, the Theta Sigma sisters believe in one another.
And, according to Yoshimoto, every one of the girls continues to believe in the chapter’s potential. She explains, “This award shows us that although we may be imperfect individuals, when we work hard together, as a sisterhood, something near perfect is brought to fruition. We have room for growth and there is hard work ahead, but together, we can continue to succeed at the highest levels.”
The Alpha Phi Order of the Lamp is awarded just once every two years to standout Alpha Phi chapters who excel in all five areas of the fraternity’s evaluation, showcasing creativity and commitment in their administration of the chapter’s recruitment, finance, citizenship, size and retention, and advisory board.
In addition to receiving this prestigious international award, the Theta Sigma chapter of Alpha Phi garnered recognition for the outstanding loyalty and support of its alumnae when Chapter Advisor and SUU Alpha Phi alumna Kathleen McDowell was honored with the Michaelanean Award of Alpha Phi.
McDowell continues to work with the sister of Alpha Phi as advisor and mentor.
Located in beautiful Cedar City, the Theat Sigma Chapter of Alpha Phi is the largest non-Panhellenic Greek organization on the Southern Utah University campus. The sorority prides itself on maintaining the highest ideals and achieving academic excellence, focusing on Service, Scholarship, Social and Sisterhood.