Leading a College Panhellenic

By Sarah Williams, Samford University’s Panhellenic President

Becoming actively involved in the Panhellenic community is single-handedly the best decision I have made during my college career. As a backstory, I served as the Vice President of Public Relations for Panhellenic before stepping into the role as President for this year. During that first term of serving on the Panhellenic Executive Council, I quickly learned that Panhellenic is full of diverse women coming together for a bigger purpose. I grew in leadership, self-confidence, joy, and overall purpose in my life. I knew I had to continue serving with Panhellenic and give back to the community that had given me so much. Serving as Panhellenic President, through a global pandemic, has been the most humbling and challenging experience in my life. This community has brought me lifelong friendships
and more life lessons than I could ever count.

At Samford University, our Panhellenic community is filled with 6 chapters and over 1300 members. We are the largest organization on Samford’s campus, and we represent roughly 40% of the student body. Serving a community this large can easily become intimidating and daunting. However, during my time with Panhellenic, I learned there is strong power in these numbers. There are 1300 members who represent 1300 women’s stories in the making as they navigate their college experience. There are 6 chapters that are special, unique, mission minded, and strong to their values. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I had the absolute privilege of witnessing these chapters coming together and sharing ideas to keep their chapters thriving in a virtual platform. Leading Panhellenic through a global pandemic was definitely not what I had pictured when I accepted this position. However a year later, I can confidently say that I would not have wanted it any other way. I truly saw the absolute best in this community over the past year, and I am a better person because of it.

I have spent half of my college career alongside the Panhellenic Executive Board. While this was the best decision I could have made, it still came with bittersweet moments. Serving on Panhellenic caused me to take a sideline position with my own personal chapter, Phi Mu, in many circumstances. Standing outside of the Phi Mu house while recruitment parties started and watching one of my best friends (and Recruitment Director at the time) welcoming potential new members into the house was bittersweet. That moment (and many others) also caused me to swell with pride for my chapter. I have had the honor watching my chapter’s executive boards lead with unwavering devotion and love for Phi Mu. It has been my goal that I have represented Phi Mu well in the Panhellenic community and that I have made them proud. I am eternally grateful for Phi Mu being a consistent home and safe place for me over these past 4 years along with the entire Panhellenic community.

My time with Panhellenic has been filled with more love, friendship, leadership opportunities, and unforgettable memories than I can ever truly comprehend. Above all else, Panhellenic has taught me the importance of stepping outside of your comfort zone, because you are capable of more than you think. I can never thank this community enough for everything it has taught me over the past 4 years, and I pray that I served these women well. I will forever say that the Panhellenic community at Samford is unlike any other, and I am so grateful for an up close experience to all that it has to offer.

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