By Molly “M.E.O.W.” Naaktgeboren, Staff Writer

The Journey began with a single need. One we have all had in our lives. To belong, fit in, to have a home away from home. To Tracy Wang, no other organization shared similar values. With Sydney Kronrad, they found something that had what they wanted; a strong support system and to help them become strong leaders. In the Spring of 2011 the interest group OPAL (Only Proven And Loyal) was formed. Tracy Wang, Sydney Kronrad, Carmen Lai, Shirley Wong, Jen Le, Fizza Zaman, Deidre Pinkerton, and Diana Lee. They chartered on March 31st, 2012 at the University at Albany.

The chapter’s first president, Jen Le, was where the journey began. She set up the framework and pushed the chapter towards excellence and being the best version of ourselves. After she had graduated, she left, but along with the rest of charter class, her hopes, dreams and aspirations left an imprint on the chapter. The biggest imprint of all was left on her little sister and the next president of Albany, Ann Wen.

Learning from her Big, and stepping up as chapter president the semester after she crossed, Ann had big shoes to fill. She did find her footing, but she was not able to do it alone. The chapter pushed itself to do more in the community, became closer as sisters, and strived to fulfill all requirements by the university and national board of directors. In spring 2015, Wen asked the chapter if they wanted to pursue active chapter status. With an anonymous vote in April 2015, a committee was formed. Everyone, although busy themselves, pitched in to help. Sisters conducted research  and dilligently worked toward presenting their hard work.

“Achieving Mu status represents all the hard work and sacrifices of our charters and our sisters,” Michelle Leung, who crossed this spring as a member of Epsilon Class, said. “It is the legacy that they are giving to future sisters.”

Although some sisters were doing a study abroad in China with a time difference of 12-13 hours, they still managed to communicate effectively with the rest of the chapter to make sure the small bugs were fixed. Not to mention a recent alumna who is very active in the Asian American community, Juliet Shen, took time to make sure everything was correct and suggested improvements in certain areas. Fifteen sisters journeyed to Charlotte, NC to support each other and make their dream come true. 

“It feels amazing to be recognized for all the hard work and love we’ve all poured into this chapter,” Shen said. “We’ve come so far from when we first chartered, and I hope we can continue making our charters proud by working hard and making history.” 

To all sisters, do not give up on your dreams, you may not do it alone sometimes. You may not know where the journey will take you, but it is who you are with, not the destination. Dream on and congratulations to the Mu chapter of Delta Phi Lambda Sorority Inc.!

“It made everything we did worth it,” Melody Tien, a member of Albany’s Gamma Class, said. “I can say I was a part of that process, from being a colony chapter to an active chapter, and I’m proud of that. Proud to know that our work has been recognized.”


Featured Image: Special to The Jade Times