We’re finishing up our multi-part series called #MeetTheMus today, where we’ve introduced one of our Phi Mu Foundation Trustees each week for the entire summer, giving you an inside look at what drives their passion for the lifetime development of Phi Mu women.
Our final Trustee spotlight for the summer is Pamela Ferguson Gaines!
What made your collegiate Phi Mu experience special?
Looking back, there were so many experiences ! One of my most fond memories was living in the house. We had a beautiful house with an amazing house mother, Mrs. G, and a phenomenal team of women who helped to make our living away from home so special. Living in the house allowed me to get to know many of my chapter sisters in a way that I wouldn’t have otherwise. While no one believes me that I was ever shy, my collegiate experience tapped into potential I didn’t know I had. Being entrusted to the role of Membership Director was such an honor. The skills that I learned from that experience are ones that I continue to use today.
What (or who) influenced you to give back to Phi Mu as an alumnae volunteer?
My Chapter Adviser, Cathy Evans-Moore. Between Cathy and my Membership Adviser, Kathy Martin Weatherford, I had great examples of what it means to be a Phi Mu beyond the collegiate experience. When I graduated from college, I instinctively knew that my Phi Mu experience was just beginning. I have had the wonderful opportunity to serve Phi Mu both at the local and national level in a variety of positions.
How has your journey in Phi Mu impacted the woman that you are today?
It has absolutely impacted the woman I am today! (That would be a resounding yes if we were talking face-to-face!) Did I mention I was shy? Recruitment gave me the confidence and ability to talk with people no matter what the situation is – interviewing, public speaking, awkward conversations, introducing myself, etc. My membership in Phi Mu has also unlocked my desire to give back and “to lend to those less fortunate a helping hand.” Through my involvement in Phi Mu, I am inspired at how our alumnae and collegiate chapters give back to their communities. Phi Mu instills that sense of caring for others in our members.
What legacy do you hope to leave for Phi Mu through your work with the Foundation?
My goal is to establish the Foundation’s ability to do more. Give more scholarships to our collegians and alumnae, provide more assistance to our sisters struck with catastrophic live events, sponsor more leadership and life skill training to not only our collegians but our alumnae, and create more resources that record our rich history.
What would you tell a young alumna about why she should invest with the Foundation?
She is investing in herself, in her sisters now and those to come, and in ensuring that we can continue to develop and encourage women to tap into the potential they may not even know they have.
What is your favorite Phi Mu tradition?
Of course, it is Founders’ Day and Convention! Both of those events are wonderful ways to reconnect with my Phi Mu sisters from around the country, recommit to the values of Phi Mu, and learn something deeper about our ritual. No matter how many times I hear our ritual ceremonies, I leave with a renewed appreciation of our values – Love, Honor, Truth. With my participation in Foundation, I have additional traditions that are my favorite such as M3, our annual Phonathon, and announcing how the funds raised throughout the year benefit our sisters through Leadership Programming, Scholarships, Member Assistance, and Historic Preservation. As the second oldest sorority, we have a such an amazing history of innovation to develop strong and confident women. I am proud to be a Phi Mu!
What is your favorite song on the radio right now?
Well … I LOVE Despacito! When that song comes on, I cannot help dancing to the music. It has such a bright and catchy beat. We dance to it in Zumba and use it during tennis drills. When it comes on, everyone starts to sing and dance.
What book is on your summer reading list?
My favorite book this summer was Station Eleven. It is a science fiction about civilization’s collapse as a result of a pandemic. I know – it sounds dreary, but it is so interesting. My book club is going to read it this year. I really think that it will drive an interesting conversation about how our lives would change and what we would do to survive!
Pamela resides with her family in Texas, where her 12-pound miniature poodle, Chloe, is the center of the household! Her favorite line of the Creed is “Believe that our given word is binding,” knowing that when she makes a commitment to someone, it is extremely important to her that she upholds that commitment. And a quick fun fact … while not a pilot, Pamela has flown a 737 aircraft. You’ll have to ask her about that at Convention next summer!