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 Past National President and current Trustee Robin White Fanning.
What made your collegiate Phi Mu experience special?
My collegiate experience was special because my closest friends and I were able to select a new sorority to bring to our campus, and that was Phi Mu! I was a charter member of my chapter (Beta Iota) and got to meet some great Phi Mu volunteers – Beth Maxson Monnin, Rho, who was my chapter consultant; Mary Raye Casper, Gamma Lambda; Clarice Shephard, Beta Zeta.
I have to say that my favorite Phi Mu job ever was serving as Chapter Adviser for Rho Beta at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. It was then that I met Mary Jane Johnson, Gamma Delta. She has been my mentor since I aspired to be Vice President Collegiate Operations and was lucky enough to serve in that role for three years. Then, I served as National President from 2006-2010. I loved being NP, and I will continue to serve our sisterhood with great love and pride.
What (or who) influenced you to give back to Phi Mu as an alumnae volunteer?
When my chapter was installed, there were alumnae initiates recruited by Ada Henry, Rho – Laurie Cappello and Audrey Linden – who served as two of our advisers. Laurie, Audrey and Ellie Rupp, Sigma, spent many hours assisting our chapter and helping us to be successful in the Clarkson community. Their kindness and support was an example that I knew I wanted to follow and continue in a lifelong experience.
How has your journey in Phi Mu impacted the woman that you are today?
There is no doubt that I am the person I am today because of Phi Mu. I never would have met my husband during my college years had I not been Greek. The collegiate Greek experience had a profound effect on our lives. We are better leaders in our community and church and better business professionals because of our Greek experience. If you think about it, life is a big recruitment party! We impact and influence others through networking, and being Greek surely helped us to begin to hone this skill.
What legacy do you hope to leave for Phi Mu through your work with the Foundation?
I hope that I can inspire others to develop a habit of giving. We truly make a difference in the lives of our members through scholarships, leadership programming, member assistance in times of distress, and in preserving our history to share with future generations. We are confident women leading in our communities and having an impact. Kindness is the most important trait we can share and through Phi Mu Foundation we benefit our sisters. We are privileged and it is our responsibility to support Phi Mu through our lifetimes.
What would you tell a young alumna about why she should invest with the Foundation?
I would advise a young alumna to invest in Phi Mu Foundation because she would be enabling other sisters to have the same opportunities that she has had and more. We “play it forward” and that is so much more than simply buying a cup of coffee for the next in line. We should play our experience forward investing in it and improving upon it. That is our obligation to this sisterhood.
What is your favorite song on the radio right now?
I can’t pick one! The Message and Beatles channel are my favorites on Sirius radio. I like pop and country music and Broadway soundtracks. The latest – Hamilton!
What book is on your summer reading list?
I have many books and read many at once. Recently I binge watched “Thirteen Reasons Why” and started the book on my last flight from HQ. I am an avid reader of many genres. It is important to me though to understand our students and women and the challenges we face.
What is your favorite Phi Mu tradition?
My favorite Phi Mu tradition is now Carnation Banquet! I always love the presentation of awards and then Darlene Reyes came along and makes it the event of the biennium, and I just find the whole evening so magical. Celebrating our sisterhood and our successes drives us to persevere and improve as we journey into the future.
Robin and her Alpha Chi Rho husband and were college sweethearts and have been married for 31 years. They have two adult sons, Mark and Ethan. Robin loves golden retrievers and has an almost 2-year-old golden pup named Sherman.