In an effort to highlight the people who are leading graduate chapters across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to the sorors of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc.’s Theta Lambda Sigma Alumnae Chapter in Cary, NC and did an interview with Darlene McDoe the Basileus of the chapter.
The position of Basileus/president of a Black sorority chapter is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. McDoe, who is a Training Development Specialist for John Deere, has served in the position of Basileus for one year.
We interviewed McDoe, who is a Spring 2016 initiate of her sorority, and talked to her about her position, goals, future and what it means to hold this type of leadership position in the digital age.
Read the full interview below.
What does it mean to be a chapter president to you?
Being a chapter president means dedication and commitment to each Soror represented in my chapter. It means receiving each Soror at their level of presentation, and providing them the sense of safety, security, and structure during their stay in the chapter. Personally, getting to know each Soror helps me build individual bonds and serve each Soror respectively. Being Basileus is and has been a rewarding experience, but it’s also work to furthering the initiatives of Sigma as we plan activities, events, and partnerships within my chapter and community partners.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the surrounding community?
Our annual Swim 1922 scholarship initiative will be starting for the 2019-2020 sorority year. This is one of our favorite initiative because we, TLS, along with our community partner, Triangle Aquatic Center (TAC), have been able to award 13 swimming lessons and counting to Western Wake County, NC students attending elementary, middle, or high school. These scholarships are geared towards reducing drowning rates for children, and to know that we are contributing to saving their lives motivates our chapter to continuously meet and exceed our annual goal. We are most humbled and know that we are making a difference, when we witness the smiles on both the parents and students faces when they are presented with their certificate, swim gear, and backpack. This initiative exemplifies our “Blue House | Gold Market” brand.
What made you want to pledge Sigma Gamma Rho?
Sigma Gamma Rho received me for my authentic self, as I didn’t have to conform to what someone thought that I should be. I also noticed the work that this awesome organization was doing in the community. They exemplified the 3 pillars that we stand on, which is sisterhood, scholarship, and service.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
Theta Lambda Sigma is a personification of our chapter brand – “The Blue House | Gold Market.” We are constantly working to illustrate our zealous commitment to service, our passionate desire to accomplish more, and our enduring bonds of sisterhood at all times; and, as we serve, we strive to elevate our individual and collective standards to become “best in class” in all that we do.
Joining TLS provides the Blue House | Gold Market experience, as we chic and elegant! Every woman receives warm greetings from our leadership with detailed information regarding the chapter, events, and a brief overview of who TLS is. They receive gifts as well as chapter branded material. However, the greatest gift received is the gift of true sisterhood, respect, and a strong network! We are inclusive and represent diverse membership perspectives, personal backgrounds, and educational knowledge. We invite members to play to their strengths and provide opportunities to develop weaknesses in a safe environment. We encourage members to rise to levels of leadership within Sigma Gamma Rho on the local, Regional, and International levels. We demonstrate respect for each other, and work to tackle obstacles together as sisters. And fun, but true fact – we love to stroll!
We now live in a digital world, what do you think alumni chapters across all orgs need to do to represent themselves online in 2019?
In a digital world, especially now in 2019 and moving forward, alumni/alumnae chapters could represent themselves online by staying relevant and relative to the current trends, BUT still say grounded to the foundation of why each org was established. For an example, this could possibly look like conducting online stroll clinics to bridge the gap between undergrad and grad chapters. This is something that TLS is currently doing, to make it easier to bond with those who were undergrads now transferring into alumni/alumnae chapters.
Another example could also be rendering webinars and videos about your chapter, to those interested in being a part of your org, and/or those looking to reactivate. Everyone likes to click and buy, click and view, and click and listen from the comfort of their home, island villa, airport layover location, etc, so this enables them to do so and still be present in their current activity. This is something that TLS is doing as well!
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership, to me, means having a vision and guiding individual contributors, who make up a corporate body, with love, patience, and understanding to success. It’s the total embodiment of having everything and everyone’s best interest at heart, and demonstrating that in sound decisions, event planning, meetings, community partnerships, fellowship amongst other D9 organizations, but most importantly the community that the corporate body serves. Lastly, it’s being the front-line visual representation of the vision and brand. I place this last because, if the above is addressed, then being the visual representation of the vision and brand takes care of itself.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
I think that Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom, because it depicts an accurate level of the WHAT, HOW, and WHY of which D9 organizations were founded. The high level of excellence exudes the core sentiments of who we are as members of the Divine 9, but it also celebrates the major accomplishments of individuals who represent each BGLO.
What does brotherhood/sisterhood mean to you?
To best answer this question, I’ll address it as follows…Within TLS, we are each our sister’s keeper – we provide each Soror with network support, dependability, trust, honesty, accountability, and loyalty. When visiting Sorors are in the area, we accommodate them and make them feel at home with TLS. Locally, Regionally, and Internationally, we also strive to support any and all activities hosted by sister chapters and to ensure that we play our true part when called. The above is what sisterhood means to me.
How is your chapter providing for the undergraduate chapters you support?
In ties of love and sisterhood, TLS extends our undergraduate advisees in the Kappa Omega chapter at North Carolina State University. We provide unwavering encouragement for the growth of these ladies as students, Sorors, responsible citizens, and future professional women. There is always alumnae support from members of TLS at all of their campus events and/or activities.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Darlene McDoe for her work as the Basileus of the Theta Lambda Sigma Alumnae Chapter which has a legacy that spans back to 1997.
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