Our Trustee spotlight for this week is Jen Free!
What made your collegiate Phi Mu experience special?
My chapter sisters. They are crazy competitive. Our chapter had to win everything all the time – we won the Carnation Cup twice! My sisters are also sympathetic. They know what you need before you do. A member was never alone. Playing softball sometimes caused me to miss events/practices/socials, but my chapter sisters held me accountable to be the best I could be and filled me in on the what happens. Even when I failed, they picked me up and loved me. They saw things in me that I did not see in myself.
What (or who) influenced you to give back to Phi Mu as an alumnae volunteer?
When I was my chapter’s Membership Director, I attended Leadership Conference in New Orleans. I was in awe of the “adults” who were there because of their connection with Phi Mu not because they “had” to be there. I will never forget Kathy Williams running around the room yelling “I am.” The audience had to reply “Proud to be a Phi Mu” to her satisfaction. We did it a million times that weekend. Even the “adults” were screaming, “Proud to be a Phi Mu.” I wanted to be like those women. They were encouraging, enthusiastic, welcoming, and . . . a little crazy. They loved Phi Mu and her members. They wanted Phi Mu to be successful, (No. 1 among its peers like it is now!)
And then there is Pam Wadsworth. Pam is my Phi Mu idol. She is a wealth of knowledge, and not just Phi Mu knowledge! She has given of her time, talents, and treasures since her beginning in Phi Mu. Despite being from a closed chapter, she knew the importance of continuing to dedicate herself to both the Fraternity and the Foundation. She makes you want to do more.
What legacy do you hope to leave for Phi Mu through your work with the Foundation?
I hope that sisters will see me for who I really am. Someone who will push you and challenge you to be your best. Someone who will be your biggest cheerleader and supporter. Someone who will be available for a long rant about that stupid thing that happened to make you cry. Someone who wants all Phi Mus to receive a scholarship because college is crazy expensive. Someone who can make with laugh with a story about one of my criminal clients. Someone who will pop in when you least expect it. Someone who can remember your querks/dislikes.
How has your journey in Phi Mu impacted the woman that you are today?
Because of my Phi Mu sisters I challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. I’m really not a great speaker, I flub my words and repeat way too much. But, my sisters have made me work on that. If I make a mistake, I learn from it and think how would this Phi Mu sister have handled that situation. I’m a better listener because of my sisters.
What would you tell a young alumna about why she should invest with the Foundation?
Why wouldn’t you invest in the greatest organization ever! We are amazing, fabulous women who love like nothing else. We strive for success. We encourage our sisters to be anything and everything they want to be. We have a blast when we are together. We have made tremendous strides in the Greek world. Giving to the Foundation insures that your Phi Mu legacy continues on forever.
What is your favorite song on the radio right now?
I don’t listen to the radio but I can’t workout without listening to, “Get Your Freak On” by Missy Elliott!
What book is on your summer reading list?
All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
What is your favorite Phi Mu tradition?
Singing “Linger” at a Phi Mu wedding