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May 2014

The Lungrin Family

Carol, Tracy & Molly Lungrin are mother and daughters who share a special bond as Alpha Phi sisters. They continue to give their time and talents to Alpha Phi as volunteers and Foundation donors. Here they share a little bit of their Alpha Phi experience, and inspiration to give back.

Carol Lungrin (Delta Xi-Nebraska/Kearney)

What does Alpha Phi mean to you? 

Alpha Phi has had numerous meanings for me. As a colleigate member, I think these three things sum it up pretty well: first, pride in being selected, then the comfort of acceptance, and lastly, empowerment. I needed a place to belong, and Alpha Phi instantly gave me the feeling that I mattered! Alpha Phi provided me the opportunity to lead, to express myself, and to offer my gifts to the chapter and the campus while having fun and making lifelong friends.

I moved away from campus for nearly 20 years, but I never lost touch with my chapter. Keeping a strong chapter was always a priority for me because I appreciated so much the value it brought to my life, and I hoped that my own daughters would someday reap the benefits.

What is it like to be sorority sisters with your daughters? 
Well, in a word, it is amazing! As a mom, I have always tried to encourage my children to follow their own hearts. I had no idea how difficult that would be when Tracy went through recruitment. She knew how connected I was with Alpha Phi, but also wanted to make her own mark. Being able to pin my daughter(s) was more special than I ever imagined. 

It was an unspoken passing of the torch as I watched Tracy soar to new heights as a campus leader, friend and game changer within the chapter. She not only became the chapter president, but she served as the Panhellenic president concurrently. She wrote system-changing policy for her chapter and the local Greek system that aligned with Alpha Phi International policies, and over time, became the campus norm.

Fast forward six years and it was recruitment time for Molly. She, too, went on to serve as a campus leader and chapter president, and she embraced everything the Fraternity aspired to teach. She attended Leadership Academies, Conventions, Regional Conferences, and through it all, developed such a respect for the organization that we are! She went on to become an ELC, and that year was an amazing experience for her in terms of understanding and promoting the unbelievable reach of Alpha Phi.

Alpha Phi isn't just a "sorority" to us. It's more like a family business - we are all invested in its success, its vision and its longevity.
 We see the benefits of its structure and empowerment opportunities for women. We have experienced its generour scholarship, leadership training, mentoring academies and opportunities for service. And, while each of us has served as chapter presidents and advisors, we believe we have received far more than we have given.

Is there anything more powerful than a group of women with a cause worth pursuing? We feel incredibly blessed to have been given this opportunity to experience it individually, but to be able to share it as a family... well, it just doesn't get any better than that!
 
Tracy Lungrin (Delta Xi-Nebraska/Kearney)
What does Alpha Phi mean to you? 
Alpha Phi means sisterhood first and foremost to me. I define sisterhood as a group of women who support me as a I learn, grow, contribute and strive. I certainly felt this when I was in college, but I feel it even no from the collegiate members that I advise which is so rewarding. I find it fascinating that these young women support and encourage me as much as I do them - which is the essence of sisterhood.
I am still amazed by how many of my sisters periodically write me emails, texts and messages thanking me for my time, wondering how things are going for me and wishing me the best always as I pursue my dreams.

I feel so fortunate because I have had the opportunity to meet even more amazing women through getting involved with Alpha Phi at the International level by attending regional and national conferences, as well as the Emerging Leaders Institute.
 I've gained a great deal of confidence and support from my sisters and family; and feel truly empowered to really go after the things that I wanted to achieve!

What is it like to be sorority sisters with your mom and biological sister?
I absolutely think our family connection to Alpha Phi has strengthened our relationship over the years. I remember growing up and mom talked a great deal about her wonderful college experience at Kearney State College, and the majority of those memories included her Alpha Phi sorority sisters and her leadership opportunities. She treasured her relationships and her experience and truly wanted Molly and I to have a similar one. I think she knew how much Alpha Phi would help us grow as women, as leaders and contributors and ultimately empower us to strive to make an impact in the things that we take on - and she was right! We also watched mom serve as an advisor to our chapter and to the alumnae group, which certainly planted the seed for giving back.

I can honestly say that my connection to Alpha Phi is stronger because of mom's loyalty to the Fraternity, but I must say I was really inspired to re-engage after watching Molly travel for the Fraternity in 2004 and then return to serve as Delta Xi's chapter advisor while attending graduate school at UNK. It's one thing to commit to the Fraternity as an undergraduate, but it's even more so to give your time and service as an alumna.
I think both mom's stewardship and Molly's service inspired me to re-engage and ultimately serve in an advisory capacity as well.