Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Tonight's dinner sure lived up to its theme -- Laissez les bon temps rouler! Let the good times roll!

We were treated to a surprise Mardi Gras parade from members of the New Orleans-based Krewe of Cesar, dressed in huge, elaborate, sparkly costumes. Beads were flying as they paraded around the room, and nearly everyone scrambled to take their pictures with the different krewe members. We had never seen anything like it! It was definitely a taste of New Orleans culture ... and we also got a taste of delicious Cajun food with a bit of red beans & rice and king cake from the famous Gambino's Bakery.

Each king cake was iced in the colors of Mardi Gras -- purple, green and gold -- and held a tiny gold plastic baby tucked inside. We cut into the cake, and to my surprise, I found the baby in my slice. In Mardi Gras tradition that means I would have to bring a king cake to the next party, but tonight, finding the token meant wearing a glittery pink crown all night.

ZTA also handed out several awards at tonight's banquet.
  • Alpha Psi from the Univ. of Missouri and the Tuscon Alumnae Chapter won the Outstanding Website Awards. (And for good reason ... check these links out:;
  • Barb Natvig from the Alpha Phi Chapter at Northwestern University won the Nora Nell Hardy Jackson Outstanding House Director Award.
  • The Outstanding Local House Association Award went to Theta Gamma House Association at Texas A&M Univ.
  • The Outstanding Local House Corporation Award went to Alpha Kappa House Corporation at the Univ. of Illinois.
  • Psi Chapter at the Univ. of Washington and the Long Beach, CA alumnae won the Attendance Awards for traveling the most total miles to Convention.

I can't wait for the first business meeting tomorrow. I get to carry my chapter's flag in the processional!

Nighty night sisters!
Zoe Zeta

PS -- Find all of my Convention pics at Be sure you're a fan of the ZTA Facebook page to get daily updates.

Let's Get It Started!

All of the collegiate and alumnae delegates arrived today! Everyone stopped by registration to pick up their programs and a "Think Pink! Think Zeta!" tote, then booked it to lunch for a yummy muffuletta sandwich ( -- gotta love this Cajun cuisine we're having).

We just wrapped up the opening General Session. I loved, loved, loved how the National Council, Fraternity Housing Corporation, Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation, and the new Traveling Leadership Consultants paraded in on Mardi Gras "floats" (a.k.a. decorated luggage carts) to kick things off with the spirit of New Orleans. Becky Kirwan, President of the ZTA Foundation, shared some great news, announcing that we topped our biennial fundraising goal ($5 million)... by A LOT ... the ZTA Foundation raised more than $6 Million from 2008-2010! GO ZETA!

With a little bit of free time before dinner, I went to check out the brand new ZTA Historical Exhibit. Can I just say ... WOW! It chronicles ZTA History from our founding in 1898 to today, asking the question "What part will you play in the future of Zeta Tau Alpha?" The exhibit had loads of interesting items from the shoes and handbags of our founders to the first Silver Award ever given, and even the cover of founder Miss Ruby Leigh Orgain's college scrapbook and the buttons from her wedding dress. My favorite part was finding my chapter's link on the real Chain of Chapters. Susan Beard and Patti Levitte, co-chairs of the Archives Committee, did such a fantastic job putting the new exhibit together. For all of my sister-friends at Convention, be sure to get up to the 41st floor to check it out (P.S. -- The room has an amazing view of the city, too!)

Off to dinner! It's Crown Chapter Award night!

Zoe Zeta

Welcome to ZTA Convention

It's time! Convention has finally arrived. We're "Experiencing the Sisterhood" at the 50th National/39th International Zeta Tau Alpha Convention here in the Big Easy -- New Orleans, Louisiana.

The weather is beautiful (sunny and HOT!) and it's a great day for the almost 900 sisters arriving to "Experience the Sisterhood." This will be our biggest Convention since celebrating our Centennial in 1998! Whether you are able to join us in New Orleans or not, we hope that this blog will fill you in on the Convention excitement -- so WELCOME!

We had a fun-tabulous first day on Tuesday as the National Officer arrived. We started things with training for the volunteers who work closely with our collegiate and alumnae chapters and things got festive with the National Officer reception and dinner last night. National Council members greeted each person with Mardi Gras beads (with a 5-pointed crown emblem, of course) and each table created their own Zeta-rrific Mardi Gras themed "krewe" to get us in the spirit. And just like at ZTA's first social function ever more than 100 years ago, we capped dinner off with a strawberry themed dessert. Mmmmm!

More to come from New Orleans. Check back with us to catch up on what is happening in Zeta Land.

Zeta Love and Mine,

Zoe Zeta