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.
Our Trustee spotlight for this week is National President and Chairman of the Foundation Board of Trustees Beth Maxson Monnin!
What made your collegiate Phi Mu experience special?
It was the women in my chapter, Rho. We were SO fiercely proud of being members of Phi Mu, even on a small campus. At that time Hanover College had 1,000 students and 100 of us were Phi Mu! I remember enjoying everything that we did whether it was formal recruitment, supporting athletic teams, serenading (we really did sing back then!) or just being together in the Rho chapter house. The women of Rho gave me the foundation for my life-long love of Phi Mu Fraternity.
What (or who) influenced you to give back to Phi Mu as an alumnae volunteer?
Two women: Linda Litter (PNP) and Maureen Kerscher (Past Council Member). These two women, both from our Upsilon chapter at Ohio State, were my first real role models in Phi Mu. Linda was serving as National President when I was a Rho collegian, and her daughter Auna was in our chapter. We were in awe of Linda and the fact that we actually KNEW her. She had such a passion for Phi Mu and was very progressive and forward-thinking . The year I traveled as a Chapter Consultant, Maureen Kerscher was the Area Coordinator I worked directly with. She was married, had two young children, was pregnant with a third child and yet she had unlimited time for me and the chapters I worked with. I could depend on her, day or night to give me great advice and perspective. I remember at some point having this realization that both of these women were also my SISTERS! How lucky was I?
How has your journey in Phi Mu impacted the woman that you are today?
In every sense of the word. I work in an industry that is male-dominated. (Collegiate licensing-much work with college and university administrations and athletic departments). The communication skills and poise I developed as a sorority woman post-college are those I have employed when facing challenging situations. I definitely found my voice through my years as a member and leader of this organization.
What legacy do you hope to leave for Phi Mu through your work with the Foundation?
There are many alumna members of our organization who had an outstanding collegiate experience and have not thought of giving back to the Fraternity through the Foundation. I would like to continue to remind our alumnae, by my own example, that giving through the Foundation is not only the best means to impact young women (our current collegiate members) across the country but also to truly leave a lasting legacy through giving.
What would you tell a young alumna about why she should invest with the Foundation?
What a young alumna doesn’t necessarily know is that the demands of her time and talent are only going to be higher in terms of her everyday life. While I would love to think that every one of our young alumna members could serve on an advisory council or be a member of an alumnae chapter, the reality is not always so. The ONE WAY to consistently stay connected with Phi Mu is by giving through the Phi Mu Foundation. There is no amount-large or small – that does not ultimately have an impact upon our organization. Those dollars go towards scholarships, leadership development and programming, historical preservation and member assistance. Through donating, our young alumnae are able to give back to the organization that has helped form them as a confident young woman and member of society!
What is your favorite Phi Mu tradition?
Initiation and ritual-Our ritual brings us emotionally back to our founding. The opportunity I have had through my role as National President to initiate many young women across the country ranks at the very top of my favorite Phi Mu memories.
What is your favorite song on the radio right now?
Castle on the Hill by Ed Sheeran.
What book is on your summer reading list?
I read to escape so I am downloading “Into the Water” by Paula Hawkins. (Girl on the Train author)
What else do you want our members to know about you?
I love having two Phi Mu daughters and they have had two very different experiences in our organization. Kara, our oldest daughter, had an outstanding collegiate experience at Case Western University as a member of our Delta Omega chapter and today serves as the Rho Kappa (Kent State) chapter adviser while working towards her PhD. Alisha on the other hand is an alumna initiate who also had the wonderful opportunity to work in our Headquarters as an intern. As a proud mother, I have watched both of them evolve as confident young women through their Phi Mu experience.
I also love to read, and my husband and I enjoy walking several miles together each day. Our shared passion is the Victorian home we built in 1993/94 and we continue to search for those perfect pieces and details to create a look of authenticity. The biggest compliment we receive is when someone walks in our front door and cannot guess the age of the house. I have to credit Jeff for finding the antique doors, chandeliers, woodwork, etc. that make the house truly feel like it could have been built in the late 1800’s.