Fellowship, leadership, and a lifelong commitment to community service are daily themes in the lives of sorority women from our college members to alumni. On Monday, March 1, these women (who number in the millions) celebrated International Badge Day during National Women’s History Month. On that day, all of us honored our separate and distinct greek affiliations by wearing our badges or letters. It was a moment in time set aside to acknowledge successful women around the globe—whether they are U.S. senators or incoming university freshmen working for humanitarian aid in far-away continents.

The National Panhellenic Conference, one of the largest and oldest women’s organizations in the world, is not alone in celebrating and acknowledging all that women do. Other groups, such as the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations and the National Multicultural Greek Council, also celebrate women in their own unique and diverse ways. Each group is distinct in its fraternal bonds; and each will celebrate it in different ways, but all will be celebrating the diverse interests of women.

On March 1, campuses and chapters across the globe joined to celebrate achievements in science, community, government, media, literature, art, sports, and medicine, as well as those female leaders who have had a huge impact on the development of self-respect and new opportunities for younger women everywhere. Each year there are still firsts for women that go unrecognized. Let’s pause to take a moment and reflect on all that we do in our deeds and words and recognize the milestones we have achieved.

On this campus alone, Lois Graham ’46 and Mary Ellen Rathbun ’46 were the first two women to graduate from Rensselaer—at a time when there were over 400 men to each woman. More recently, President Shirley Ann Jackson was announced as Rensselaer’s first female president in 1998. Imagine what may happen during the next year as we continue to work together to break down barriers.

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