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 Jennifer Chapman Joyner.
What made your collegiate Phi Mu experience special?
Many people may not know that I have an older sister that was a senior at Mercer when I went through recruitment. She was an officer in our chapter at the time and I had a very special recruitment going through as a legacy and then having her participate in my initiation.
What (or who) influenced you to give back to Phi Mu as an alumnae volunteer?
My first volunteer experience was as Alpha Iota’s faculty adviser when I joined the staff at Mercer University. They needed one – and at that point, there wasn’t an alumna on staff at the University. Shortly after, I became the chapter adviser and stayed in that position for six years until we moved. I feel becoming the chapter adviser was very serendipitous in that the current adviser had to step down unexpectedly and I received a letter from Headquarters congratulating me on my appointment as chapter adviser. I have no idea how that happened to this day (I didn’t even know they knew I was the faculty adviser – it was pre-OP and anything web-based), but it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had as a volunteer. Chapter advisers are truly the hardest working volunteers for Phi Mu! I highly encourage all alumnae to get involved on an advisory council.
How has your journey in Phi Mu impacted the woman that you are today?
I served as my chapter’s recruitment chair and I truly believe that started my interest in event planning, public relations and “friend-raising.” Had I not been given that leadership opportunity, I don’t think I would have found my true love for my profession and my true love of all things “membership.” Having served the Fraternity in the Membership Department for eight years was some of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had yet as a volunteer. This is my first term as a Foundation Trustee and I have found a new love as a volunteer. Instead of helping women just in my area, I now get to help all collegiate women and alumnae through the help of the Phi Mu Foundation.
What legacy do you hope to leave for Phi Mu through your work with the Foundation?
I have always believed that giving to the Foundation is an investment in our future. By investing in our members (scholarships, member assistance, leadership training and historic preservation), I believe that I’m helping improve and grow our sisterhood so that Phi Mu will be even more vibrant and relevant – not just for my 10 year old daughter, but her daughter and her daughter’s daughter and so forth. Phi Mu is an extremely important part of my life – I can’t imagine my life without it. I’m sure that is true for every Phi Mu and what I hope will encourage others to make an investment in Phi Mu.
What would you tell a young alumna about why she should invest with the Foundation?
I can think of many things I can support and contribute to in my community, but nothing has touched me the way Phi Mu has touched me. I made the choice a long time ago to make Phi Mu my philanthropic priority. That has meant different things over time, but it is still true today. I support my University, other charitable organizations, etc., but Phi Mu is where I believe I make the biggest impact and where I chose to make my largest investment.
What is your favorite song on the radio right now?
I love all things Mumford & Sons and Adele but Ed Sheeran’s new album is really good!
What book is on your summer reading list?
John Grisham came out with a new book this summer, “Camino Island.” I’ve always enjoyed his books! This one looks like a good read!
What is your favorite Phi Mu tradition?
Because my chapter is in Macon, a tradition for us was for the entire chapter to go on a history tour of Wesleyan, the Cannonball House and Riverside Cemetery before initiation. I realize how incredibly blessed we are to be surrounded by our Fraternity’s rich founding. Having all of us gathered at these sacred places made our initiation mean even more to each initiate and placing a carnation bouquet at the grave of Martha Bibb Hardaway each time paying tribute to one of our Founders, was always special to me.
Jennifer resides in Georgia, and is married to her husband, Richard of almost 19 years. She has one daughter, Audrey (10) and a step-daughter, Anna Swope (25) who lives in Orlando, FL with her husband, Aaron.