Growing up, Ellen Fryman Bower didn’t know much about Greek Life or joining a sorority … and if you would have told her in the fall of 2002 that she was about to join an organization that would change the path of her life, she may not have believed you. But Ellen says there was an instant connection once she stepped foot inside the Phi Mu house on the campus of University of Illinois, and one she knew would be for a lifetime.
Ellen joined the Delta Beta Chapter at the University of Illinois that fall, and went on to serve in many leadership positions, eventually leading the way as Chapter President. After graduation, Ellen was selected as a Phi Mu Chapter Consultant for two consecutive years, and was the summer intern at Phi Mu Foundation in between her first and second years. What she learned during those two years, travelling the country and working at Phi Mu National Headquarters, helped her understand the underlying value of her membership.
“I had the incredible chance to work with Joan Wallem, ΔB, as my chapter’s alumnae chair, and everyone knows that Joan’s passion for Phi Mu Foundation is unmatched!” said Bower. “Her view on giving back to Phi Mu really helped me look beyond my internship as just a ‘summer job’ and to see the mission and work of the Foundation for what it was. We were helping women all over the country enhance their Phi Mu experience, and it was amazing.”
After travelling as a Chapter Consultant, Ellen eventually settled in southern Illinois where she began a career in healthcare administration, but her love for Phi Mu was never far behind. She always carried with her an affinity for Phi Mu Foundation, going on to serve as the first Carnation Club Giving Program Chairman, and leading by example as a loyal, longtime donor. Looking back, Ellen says her time in Phi Mu has helped shaped the woman she is today and that it’s truly heartwarming to see our sisterhood continue to grow and thrive.
“Phi Mu Foundation is so much more than philanthropy. Our goal as an organization is to be vibrant women, and the Foundation helps bring that to life everyday by providing women with academic scholarships and exposure to programs like Phi Mu Leadership Institute. Giving to the Foundation is about encouraging each other to succeed; we truly are sisters helping sisters!”