#MeetTheMus: Trustee Lynn Storlien-McGraw

We’re launching a multi-part series this summer called #MeetTheMus, where we’ll introduce one of our Phi Mu Foundation Trustees each week, and give you an inside peek at what drives their passion for the lifetime development of Phi Mu women!

Next up, meet Trustee Lynn Storlien-McGraw, Zeta Sigma!

What made your collegiate Phi Mu experience special?

The women who shared the experience with me! To this day, I remain in contact with many of them. We travel together, share in each other’s life experiences and are there to support one another just as we did when we affiliated years ago. We were part of a new chapter and the experience of establishing our chapter on campus and our affiliation with Phi Mu holds a special place in our hearts. We love supporting our collegiate chapter and enjoy returning to campus to relive fond memories, meet the next generation of sisters and share in their continued achievements and successes.

What (or who) influenced you to give back to Phi Mu as an alumnae volunteer?

The collegians – shortly after graduation I found myself living and working in a new community on a small private Catholic campus in Dubuque, Iowa. I was newly married and hired to serve Loras College as a Residence Hall Director. I missed my sisters dearly and was adjusting to being an alumna, a wife and young professional. At my time of joining the Loras community, there were only local sorority experiences offered. Some of the students approached me and were curious about my sorority affiliation with Phi Mu and inquired about the benefits of membership, how a nation affiliation was different and asked how they might go about bringing a national sorority to campus. Since I had recently been a part of that process with Zeta Sigma, I was able to coach these women through the process and connect them to others who could assist. Mary Jane Johnson, Past National President, at that time served as National Colony Director. I had such strong and positive interactions with her and other Phi Mu sisters during my undergraduate experience that I knew she would be a wonderful resource for these women and could connect them to NPC. I was delighted when Phi Mu was offered a presentation and overjoyed when we were invited to establish a chapter on campus. As I grew in my career and moved I found myself living closer to my collegiate chapter and was always delighted when I received invitations to return to campus and connect with sisters. I have had the fortune of meeting many collegians and alumnae over the years and every time I spend time with our sisters I am reminded of the amazing lifelong experiences we have the privilege of receiving and sharing because of our membership in Phi Mu.

How has your journey in Phi Mu impacted the woman that you are today?

Immeasurably, Phi Mu sisters encourage and challenge me every step of the way. Sisters believe in me when I am uncertain of my future or my abilities, push me outside of my leadership comfort zones, challenge me to expand my understanding of others and the world around me and rally around me when I need extra support. Phi Mu has provided countless incremental leadership opportunities that allow me to refine my skills and enhance my confidence with each new experience. Phi Mu has proved to me that I am a lifelong learner and that she has something to teach me throughout my life.

Lynn and her husband Tim at Phi Mu Formal, 1991.

What legacy do you hope to leave for Phi Mu through your work with the Foundation?

I strive to inspire sisters to connect with each other and Phi Mu, to experience lifelong benefits of our membership and to identify opportunities to give back in ways that are meaningful and important to them. We each have the potential to make a significant impact on the future of our organization and on the lives of our fellow sisters.

What would you tell a young alumna about why she should invest with the Foundation?

I would tell her that sisters before her invested to ensure that she and her chapter could have a meaningful experience and that it is important for her to give back to ensure our sisterhood continues for future generations. I would tell her that no gift is too small and that every dollar we receive makes a difference to the experience and support we offer. I would encourage her to give how she can and grow her contributions as her personal circumstances allow. I would tell her that I believe what we each receive from our membership is proportional to our engagement and involvement with it and encourage her to find ways to stay connected from following the Foundation and Fraternity on social media to reading the Aglaia to calling a sister or volunteering with a local alumnae, collegiate or alumnae panhellenic chapter. The opportunities for friendship, service and philanthropy are a phone call or message away. You are a Phi Mu, your alumnae experiences can be amazing and your membership is for life!

What book is on your summer reading list?

There are a couple. I hope to finish How to Raise an Adult, Julie Lythcott-Haims. My husband Tim and I are raising a son who will be a freshman in college this fall at the University of Minnesota and a daughter entering 8th grade. We love our parenting journey and I find that I continue to appreciate information and knowledge on this topic. There is some comfort in knowing that others share similar challenges and questions. I hope to carve out some time to read Radically Unfinished, authored by Phi Mu sister Erin Fischer. Erin’s book speaks about finding authentic, uncomplicated confidence. Erin is an exceptional speaker, facilitator, author and business woman and I look forward to reading her thoughts on this important and relevant topic.

The McGraw Family

What is your favorite Phi Mu tradition?

Sadly, my collegiate chapter lost a sister to a vehicle accident the summer before we were installed. The charter members honored her during our installation weekend and celebrated her life by planting a memorial tree on campus and developing a ceremony. Each spring since our installation, Zeta Sigma sisters remember Roxie and selects a chapter sister who emulates our ideals of love, honor and truth to receive the Sacred Heart Award and traveling necklace. This award is presented each year at a ceremony around our memorial tree where information about our chapter founding and Roxie are shared.