aaaand we’re BACK!
Coming off a summer of big wins as Chapter of the Year, recipient of the Alpha Delta Pi Golden Lion Award, and home to 89 new Alphas, Zeta Nu and our members continue to shine on campus, in the workplace, and all over the world…
A true leader within our chapter and all across campus, Hannah Saunders, shares a little bit of her Clemson story and recent experience serving the Panhellenic community as a Pi Chi.
“I’m a junior Marketing major with a Sociology minor from Blythewood, South Carolina! Being so close to USC, I wasn’t always dead set on going to Clemson. But after visiting, it didn’t take long for me to realize that there truly is something in these hills, and I couldn’t stay away!
Some defining things that have shaped my time at Clemson center around organizations that I joined because of encouragement and recommendations from older girls in Alpha Delta Pi. When I went through recruitment as a freshman, I talked to multiple girls in rounds who absolutely RAVED about Freshman Council. I hesitantly applied and was so blessed to have the opportunity to join alongside my sweet sisters that at the time I barely knew - Delaney, Macy, and Jane! I later went on to apply to the Student Alumni Council, again because of pushes from older girls in ADPi that I really looked up to (thanks Caroline, Abby, Carman, Ellen, and Lauren to name a few!) Through this, I have had the opportunity to serve as the Co-Director of the Clemson Ring Ceremony alongside Lauren Stambaugh!
I was also able to serve as a Pi Chi this past year during recruitment! It was one of the hardest, but also one of the most rewarding experiences I have had so far during my time at Clemson. Disaffiliating was obviously difficult, but it was so worth it to be able to see all 19 of my girls in my group find their forever homes within their new sororities. Stepping away from ADPi gave me a new love not only for my own sorority but also Clemson Panhellenic as a whole. We are so lucky to be a part of an organization that is passionate about creating an uplifting community for each and every girl that goes through the recruitment process. I made 70 new Pi Chi friends, had the best time scanning girls in at the door, and was able to hopefully provide a little bit of wisdom about anything and everything to the girls in my group. Being able to run back home to my Big, Little, and friends in ADPi in the West End Zone was like running home on Bid Day for the first time all over again.
I am so lucky to be able to say that my Clemson experience has been shaped and molded by so many fabulous women that I admire and would have never met if it weren’t for joining ADPi. If you were to have asked me two years ago what I thought I would be doing, I never would have guessed that I would be here! This year, four of my best friends and I made our freshman year plan of one day all living together in an apartment a reality- and we’re only a few steps away from so many girls in our alpha class that we couldn’t go a day without! I have ADPi to thank for introducing me to a family of girls that would push me to be the best version of myself, lift me up, and always be there for me when I need it!
As a junior, the thought of looking ahead and planning my future is SCARY, because I feel like I just had my first day of class freshman year! I’ll graduate in May next year and hope to move to a big city to start a career in PR or sales. A quick word of advice to the newest alpha class: soak up every last second with your sisters, because it’ll be halfway over before you know it. Take lots of pictures, go to EVERY function, and squeeze your friends a little tighter!” - Hannah Saunders, AC ‘17
If you could eat dinner with one person, living or dead, who would you choose and why? “Thomas Green Clemson and Anna Maria Calhoun Clemson so they could see what a lasting impact their service is having on so many lives across generations! I would love to give them a quick squeeze and thank them for giving me a lifetime of memories and the best of friends.”
“Edisto, SC looking for sharks’ teeth and fossils! (If you really know me, you know how much I secretly love geology.)”
Childhood trend you miss?
“Did anyone else’s mother dress them in gauchos all the time? Can we collectively agree on comfort over fashion for a second and bring those back???”
One of our amazing new Alphas and your 2019 Miss South Carolina People’s Choice, knows how to set her sights high and embody our mission to be brave, be bold, and be better.
“My road to the Miss SC pageant was a very unexpected one to say the least. This past January I competed in my high school’s annual pageant with many of my close friends as a last hurrah in my senior year. I was crowned at the pageant and soon found out that I would have the opportunity to represent my hometown of Fort Mill at the Miss South Carolina Pageant in late June. I had to immediately start preparing! The Miss South Carolina Pageant requires each candidate to have a talent, and my best option was to play the piano because I had taken piano for 7 years but I had stopped when I was 13 years old. I started lessons again, practiced religiously and surprisingly, the piano came right back to me as if I had never stopped! I worked hard for 4 months in preparation for the big night.
The Miss South Carolina pageant lasted 9 long days and believe me, while those days were grueling and tiring, my time in the pageant ended up being some of the best days of my life. My mornings would start often at 4:30 AM for hair and makeup which was followed by rehearsals or appearances. The days ended with the preliminary competitions leading up to the finals. I definitely had my fair share of ups and downs throughout the week, including the time I completely botched my On-Stage Question in front of 2000 people (lol). At the competition, I met some of the most wonderful young women who continually lifted me up and taught me that it is okay to not be perfect, and that making a mistake does not mean the end of the world. My biggest highlight of the week was when my name was called for a Top 16 finalists! I was especially honored to have been the first person from Fort Mill to place in the state pageant. My pageant days are far from over and I plan to compete again in the near future.
Coming into recruitment I made a goal to simply be myself in every single chapter. I knew that whichever sorority made me feel the most comfortable was the one for me. Growing up in the South I had heard about the amazing reputation of the ADPi sorority. The ADPis I knew were intelligent, stylish, beautiful, hardworking girls that were leaders at Clemson. They were the type of girl I looked up to and wanted to emulate. Coming into preference round I knew I was going to have a very important decision to make, so I talked to my mom that morning and she told me to pick the one for the girls in the sorority and not just the reputation. There are many reasons I wanted ADPi but the main reason was when I walked into the ADPi preference round I honestly felt like I was home. I would like to give special thanks to Bailey Philips and Mattie Lee for welcoming me with open arms every single round and always making me feel comfortable being myself and nothing more. These two ladies played a major role in my decision to join and I am happy to say that was the best decision I have ever made.” - Hunter Dest, AC ‘19
If you would time travel, would you go to the past or future? Where and why?
“For some reason I have always wanted to live in the Roaring 20’s - just like the setting for the book The Great Gatsby. Everyone always seemed so happy and the cute bob haircuts and flapper dresses were absolutely adorable during that time.”
Food you couldn't live without?
“Salt and Vinegar chips… it’s my guilty pleasure.”
Fav time of year and why?
“CHRISTMAS!! I love the music, the decorations and just the overall feeling during the holidays. Everyone is so much happier - Christmas is just the best thing ever!!”
Coming into her senior year, Kendall Alford reflects on a summer like no other and shows us that this sisterhood has no borders.
“This summer I studied post-conflict societies with the Political Science department in the Balkan Peninsula (Peninsula between Italy and Greece). We began our trip by spending two weeks in Serbia, primarily in its capital, Belgrade, before traveling in a circular route by van to Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia. I chose this particular area as it was an area very unknown to me prior to traveling there. I also really wanted to travel to Eastern Europe as I have always been very interested in the region’s culture, history, and economy. During our stay in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, our group met with President Dodrik. After the meeting was over, I was also interviewed by the their news station about the meeting. It was really cool to see my clip on Bosnian National TV haha. Another highlight was going to Plitvice National Park in Croatia. It truly reminded me of Pandora in Avatar.
One of the biggest lessons that I learned was to really reflect on the positive and to maximize the full potential of every opportunity. There were many times where I felt myself getting annoyed at minor inconveniences, which I do in all aspects of life, but I really just had to remind myself that in the big picture it’s the experience that counts and should be memorable, not tainted with complaints.
ADPi has truly shaped all aspects of my time at Clemson. I was fortunate enough to go abroad with a sister in a different Diamond Sister class, Emily Daly. Having Alpha Delta Pi as an existing link between us prior to traveling across the Atlantic to a very different, new place really allowed me to elicit the most value from this experience. Also, having this bond gave me a sister when I was missing my own in the States.” - Kendall Alford, AC ‘16
What are your goals for senior year and beyond?
“After I graduate in December, I will be staying at Clemson to continue getting my Masters in Economics before going to Law School next fall.”
What’s your spirit animal?
“My spirit animal is hands down a golden retriever. Not only is my love language acts of service, which is practically why we love dogs so much, but I’m not going to lie, I do love playing fetch.”
Celebrity you would like to be best friends with?
“Ellen Degeneres, I think she would be the most fun person to be at a dinner party or playing games with.”