Trustee Tuesday: Meet Past National President and Trustee Robin White Fanning, Beta Iota
In this edition of Trustee Tuesday, we’re pleased to introduce to you Past National President and Trustee Robin White Fanning. No stranger to the Board of Trustees, Robin served as Chairman of the Board from 2006-2010 as part of her duties as National President and was elected to serve as a Trustee in 2016. If you’ve had the chance to meet Robin, you know her genuine passion and pride in Phi Mu is what drives her to continue to volunteer for the organization that she holds so dear.
“My collegiate years were truly the best of my life and Phi Mu was a major part of that experience. Phi Mu was my home away from home and my sisters were (and still are) like family! I serve as a Trustee today because I want others to have the same excellent experience that I had.”
Robin and her husband met while she was a member of the Beta Iota Chapter at Clarkson University, and later, they relocated to Michigan and put down roots and raise their two sons. As a full-time mom to her children and National Council member, she was thankful for the flexibility to travel the country, visiting collegiate chapters and alumnae volunteers as they worked together to usher Phi Mu into a new era of developing members into confident, vibrant leaders.
“For the seven years I spent on National Council as Vice President Collegiate Operations and as National President, Phi Mu was my full-time job! I spent many days each month traveling during those years and was lucky to have the support of my husband, babysitters and sons as we juggled everything.”
Later when Robin transitioned off of National Council and her sons were grown, she went to work as a retail manager for Vera Bradley. While she never thought of herself as a sales professional, she soon realized that her years of serving Phi Mu had prepared her well for her newfound career.
“Looking back on my years of volunteering, I was ‘selling’ the Phi Mu experience to many women during that time. I never really thought about it in that way until I began drawing the parallels between that and the work I was doing at Vera Bradley. There, I was selling a product and mentoring staff members just as I had done for our Phi Mu women.”
As a member of the 1852 Society, Robin understands the important role each of us plays in investing in the future of Phi Mu and she’s seen the good work of our donors come to life in more ways than she can count. One of her favorite memories from her tenure on National Council was the Campaign for Phi Mu, which brought the dream of a new Phi Mu National Headquarters building to life.
“Phi Mu Foundation is investing in women as leaders, which in turn brings success to their careers and to their communities. For more than 166 years, Phi Mu has had an impact on women as they seek educations from campuses across the country. We are their first experience of adult networking and offer opportunities for lifetime enrichment. When you give back to the Foundation, you’re helping others have the benefit of the experience and privilege we call Fraternity.”
When we asked Robin what she’d like to share from the stage at the Foundation Business Session at National Convention in 2020, simply put, she said, “Let’s raise the most money we ever have for Phi Mu women!”