July 2021 Alumnae Chapter of the Month: Charlotte, NC

This month, we are excited to feature the Charlotte, North Carolina Alumnae Chapter! This group has been bringing alumnae together since 1940! Read more to see how these women are staying connected and what they’re looking forward to in the coming year.

Chapter Philanthropy Event/Monies Raised for CMN Hospitals

  • Throughout the pandemic, volunteering has been a bit challenging for everyone. As Covid rates have started to improve, we’ve reached out to Levine Children’s Hospital, our local CMN Hospital, to see how we can best help them. We’re currently exploring a way to volunteer at Seacrest Studio, an internal studio at Levine that broadcasts to the televisions in the kids’ rooms. We hope to sponsor a live Bingo event via the studio, providing an interactive activity while also keeping everyone safe.
  • We also did a virtual collection to purchase a brick at the Headquarters in support of Phi Mu Foundation!
Chapter members have taken advantage of the many outdoor spots in Charlotte for their recent outings.

Fun Chapter Facts

  • Charlotte is an AMAZING city! Mountains, ocean and sunshine are all easily accessible – and we like to top it off with a cold beer from one of CLT’s numerous breweries! The city has so much variety and continues to grow every day.
  • We have over 160 collegiate chapters represented in the Charlotte Alumnae Chapter, which resembles the diverse group of people who live in the area.
  • With so many options in the city, we like to rotate the style and location of our events based on our members’ interests and locations. In the past, we’ve done craft nights, gone bowling, trivia nights, happy hours/meet and greets, book clubs, listened to live music, holiday parties, gathered with our collegiate sisters from Queens University and more!
  • Last year, most of our events were virtual and now we’re starting to plan more socially-distanced events outdoors as vaccinations continue. We aim to have at least one event per month, if not more, and it’s common for sisters to plan smaller get-togethers too. Brunch is a classic option!
  • We started a monthly newsletter last year as another way to reach out to our members. We have over 2,000 sisters on our distribution list and this compliments our Facebook and Instagram presence, so members can choose however they want to stay in the loop. We are thankful that Lora Stearns, Lambda Theta (University of South Carolina), brought this to life! 
Several Charlotte area alumnae serve as Area and National Officers, including Lindsay Diaz, Laney Jahkel-Parrish and Kendall Walsh.

Interesting Facts about Members

  • We have many chapter members involved in Phi Mu volunteer roles at the local and National level and we are also active in the local Alumnae Panhellenic.
  • Our members are employed in every industry you can think of – if you can name it, we probably have someone who does it!
  • Charlotte is a big financial hub and has the headquarters for Bank of America, Wells Fargo and several other large companies – many of our members work at one of these corporations.
  • Kristina Seek, Gamma Gamma (Queens University of Charlotte), is the author of the book “The Hashtag Hunt.”
  • Lora Stearns, Lambda Theta (University of South Carolina), is a Development Representative for ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
  • Laney Jahkel-Parrish, Gamma Gamma (Queens University of Charlotte), is the Pastry Chef at 300 East and has hosted several cooking and baking events for Phi Mu.
  • We also have alumnae working in healthcare (including Covid research and testing), education, IT/Analytics and real estate.

Collegiate Chapter Support

  • Our Heart to Heart chapter is Gamma Gamma at Queens University in Charlotte.
  • To stay connected during the pandemic, we organized our “Send to a Sister” pen pal program in which we paired Gamma Gamma collegians with alumnae to exchange letters throughout the spring semester. Some alumnae even decided to send their pen pal little treats or daily inspirational texts. We hope to build more traction on this program when our collegiate sisters are back on campus this fall.
  • We also hope to have more in-person events with the Gamma Gamma women and see how we can better support their chapter in the future.
Charlotte Alumnae Chapter members enjoyed their annual holiday gift exchange via Zoom in 2020.

Staying Connected during COVID-19

  • We’ve continued with monthly events, either virtual (like trivia) and have had some socially-distanced events too like meet-ups at the park or in a setting with live music.
  • We held a virtual “All the Bubbles” event, where a local wine sommelier walked us through the differences between various types of Champagne. She suggested wine and food pairings, and better equipped us to purchase a Champagne we are sure to enjoy at our next outing!
  • Our holiday tradition in Charlotte is to host a book swap each December and in 2020, we did it virtually! Everyone mailed a book of their choice to another sister and received a surprise book in the mail from someone else. We then hosted a reveal session where sisters virtually shared the book they received in the mail. It was enlightening to see everyone’s unique preferences and reading styles.
Chapter members look forward to more face-to-face gatherings in the upcoming year.

What We Are Most Looking Forward to

  • We can’t wait to meet everyone face-to-face! 
  • We’ve been meeting virtually for so long, that it will be terrific to welcome new members in person.
  • Charlotte has had a huge influx of new residents since Covid, so there are new sisters to join our crew!
  • We also looking forward to being more creative with our events, given the variety of activities and venues in Charlotte.

Stay Connected with the Charlotte Alumnae Chapter:

               Instagram: @charlottephimu

               Facebook: @PhiMuCharlotte