Sunday, November 1, 2009

Founding SISTER PROFILE: Karen Allen Anthony

Please share a little about yourself: I am completely blessed to be happily married to my college sweetheart (literally…he was AOII Sweetheart the year after I graduated) John. Our two children, Jonathan (14) and Maggie (13), continue to be the lights of our lives and we live in Mechanicsburg, PA. I enjoy teaching 5th grade in the Camp Hill School District.

What was SHIP like? A fantastic, college 45 minutes from my home which was just the right amount of distance to come home when I needed but far enough to feel like I was on my own.

What differences have you seen? I’m sad to say that although I don’t visit as often as I’d like, I was fortunate to return to earn my teaching certificate in 1993. When I do visit, the new buildings and traffic patterns continue to blow me away!

What is your favorite AOII memory? My favorite collegiate memory was when John’s fraternity (Kappa Sigma) invited the sorority over for an impromptu mixer because classes had been cancelled due to snow. After we danced together the entire night, we’ve been together ever since. (Unless you count that time that he stupidly broke up with me while in the library for a 12-hour period)

My favorite alumnae memory was and still is being able to still participate in events with the wonderful members of the Harrisburg Alumnae chapter…. what an amazing group of women ranging in age from their early 20’s to their early 90’s!! Although returning to a career after being a stay-at-home mom for 10 years has interrupted my ability to join them for their monthly events, it is truly heart-warming that I can participate when I am able!

What is your most meaningful AOII moment? Having the most beautiful inside and out woman, Rosamond Bratton, be my sponsor at our founding chapter initiation performed by then international president, Ginger Banks, along side of my real life sister, Deb (Allen) Wirth ’85. It doesn’t get any more meaningful than that!!!

What were the challenges for AOII in the beginning? It was really tough standing up for our beliefs with regards to hazing and the other groups on campus weren’t very receptive to these convictions. We just kept plugging away knowing full well that as long as we stood together as one unit, we’d knock all their socks off…and we did!

What was your vision for this new sorority? Forming an involved/philanthropic organization with lasting friendships with the bonus of passing on the legacy of a fraternity/sorority that would last for years to come…thanks to the countless people who have worked so hard to keep that idea alive!

What do you remember most about your SHIP days? All the fun moments (and yes an education) with such wonderful friends and of course my early days with John. It’s amazing how songs from the 80’s can bring memories flooding back!

What funny story can you share with us? Hhmmmm…since having children, all my funny memories are about them. (Some professionals refer to it as Maternal Brain Cell Loss) I’m sure that when I read other’s stories, a whole bunch of memories will come rushing back!

What is your most proud accomplishment since college? Raising happy, healthy, responsible, caring and spirited children in a home environment that I am proud of.

What advice can you give our current sisters? Try to think of the bigger picture of life being more than just yourselves…practice random acts of kindness…remember to feed your soul….stay active and involved in all aspects of your life!

Other comments? Thanks to all those sisters who pledged after the original 36…it’s because of all of you that Tau Lambda is alive and well!!

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