Shirley Mccann Gee, Archives Manager 2017-06-16 07:26:00
NATIONAL OFFICES When perusing quotes for a purpose, there is usually one wise old Chinese proverb. Here is an example: "A wise man adapts himself to circumstances, as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it." Just as water never stands still, an organization is constantly fluid, adapting to meet the current needs. "Nothing is permanent but change." Now that comes from the pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus. Nothing could be truer. Like it or not, it applies to every fiber of our society. Societal changes might be skirts at our ankles to, well, let's say slacks. Changes in our living conditions include electricity, highways and the internet. And then there is the transformation within the organization. We started with four young women and now have more than 250,000 members. In the beginning, there were three national officers running the sorority. Julia Vaughan was the first Alpha Chapter president. It wasn't until the first convention in 1900 that national officers were elected. From 1900-1904 our officers were grand head, grand scribe and grand treasurer. By 1904 assistant secretary and chapterian were added. Chapterian is a curious word. Other fraternal groups used the term, but it cannot even be found in a 1911 dictionary. The chapterian seemed to be overseeing the success of a chapter from A to Z. The position of chapterian on the National Council was from 1904 until 1969 when the title became national collegiate vice president. In 1911 historian was added to the council offices. The decision to add the position was probably for a very purposeful reason. The organization was almost 15 years old, and no one was keeping records or documenting events in an organized manner. An offshoot from gathering the history was the realization that a national registrar was needed. In 1912, the job of assistant secretary was eliminated while the office of national registrar was added. Keeping up with members was vital. In fact, by 1925 the National Council realized the importance of keeping up with alumnae. Kappa Deltas are members for life. Encouraging them to participate in alumnae activities was crucial. One interesting occurrence was when Marion Mullins, national president from 1915-1919, took the job in 1925 as the first national vice president. The position was created to recapture those alumnae who were inactive and to create more alumnae chapters in towns across the country. In 1915 the position of historian had been dropped from the National Council, but the job of Angelos editor was added. In 1925 the duties of the registrar were turned over to Central Office, which by the way is now called National Headquarters. Once again a position had outlasted its usefulness. It wasn't until 1969 that major changes came again. There now were three vice presidents serving the alumnae and collegiate areas along with a general vice president to help the president. Four years later the position of Angelos editor was removed from National Council. It was time to place a professional journalist in the position. There have been few changes since 1991. Short periods saw an extension vice president, a programming vice president and an education vice president. Secretary-treasurer merged in 1989 and became national vice president-finance in 2005. Remember those titles chapterian and registrar? These are outdated words not used in today's business vocabulary. Positions at National Headquarters reflect the times. Information technology manager and multimedia manager are positions needed to manage tools that didn't exist a few years ago. Kappa Delta will continue to evolve. It's inevitable. So it's appropriate to end this piece the way it was started, with another Chinese proverb. Whether in life or work "do not fear going forward slowly, fear only to stand still."
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