Today is International Badge Day! Sadly I'm not participating this year due to icey weather in Memphis, super sad.
As a Gamma Phi Beta my badge is very important to me as not only a beautiful piece of bling but as a memento of my college days and what being a Gamma Phi meant and still means to me.
I love this pic my sorority's FB page posted as it shows off the different style of badges. The quote is from one of our founders.
The Gamma Phi badge was designed by Tiffany & Co. I may be partial but I just love it. I also love that each new member gets to choose a style that she likes best and has special meaning for her. This is my personal badge:
I selected pearls because its Gamma Phi's stone - the ruby is my birthstone and the four points represent the four founders. I had the option to get the whole thing covered in pearls but I felt you couldn't see the distinct letters as well.
Another sister is wearing hers today with the alumnae pin she received at her lastchapter meeting. Thanks for letting me share Andrea!
IBD is not just a Gamma Phi thing, it's for all Panhellenic sororities (ps: Gamma Phi invented the word sorority, prior to this they were called women's fraternity)
Mandy send me a pic of her Kappa Delta badge:
Angela is representing Delta Zeta with her badge and made this her profile picture:
Susie is planning on wearing her Delta Gamma badge tomorrow since today was also a day at home for her
Jessica not only has her Zeta Tau Alpha badge but her chapter guard and officer dangles
It was really exciting to see so many Gamma Phi and fellow Panhellenic ladies either rocking their badges or keeping theirs near and dear and thus accessible for pictures. As I mentioned, those of us in Memphis didn't get to wear them today because we were chilling at home. It's not just because we weren't going out that badges weren't worn - there's a certain protocol to wearing one's badge. As you can see from the variety each badge has the Greek letters but also a symbol or mysterious word - the meaning of these things are known only to initiated members of the organization and thus the badge must only be worn by such members. Additionally, badge etiquette dictates that badges may be worn under certain conditions and by following the proper protocol.
1. The badge is worn on the right close to the heart, no other pins shall be above the badge
2. The badge is not worn on a outer garmet that may be removed throughout the day.
3. Badges are not to be worn unless the member is in "pin attire" - this is usually business casual at a minimum. Dresses, skirts and slacks. Tops have sleeves and are not low cut. Skirts and dresses are not too short. No jeans, no t-shirts, no beach footwear. In my chapter "dressy" capris were permitted but that is not traditional. Some chapters require hosiery with dresses and skirts and limit shoes to being closed toe.
These are the bare minimum, some chapters and organizations may have additional standards. Most groups also have guidelines for wearing letters period. While this may sound strict and stuck up to some it's really no different than your employer having a dress code. As an alumnae member I can better appreciate pin attire. It's about showing respect to the organization, our ritual, our sisters and ourselves. It's not a mean girls we wear pink on Wednesdays thing.
When we graduate college we are still members of our respective organizations as membership is a lifetime commitment - never ask a lady what sorority she was in, ask which she is in. As alumnae members most of us don't get as much wear out of our badges as we did in our collegiate days which makes days like today even more special. Founders Days, alumnae meetings and a special gathering of sisters are all nice times to bring out the badge. Many women include their badge in their wedding attire.
Casey and her dot (sorority little sis) wore theirs inside their dresses over their hearts on Casey's wedding day.
The National Panhellenic Council has 26 members and although each one is different we each hold our sisterhood to a high level of importance. Being a Gamma Phi continues to mean the world to me as an old lady alumnae just as much as it did when I was in college as some of my near and dear are Gamma Phis. As a sorority woman I feel a special bond to other sorority alumnae and I know many feel the same about their chapters. Wearing out badges with pride is just one of many ways we celebrate our fabulous sisterhoods!
In IIKE to my Gamma Phis and Panhellenic love to all sorority ladies!
PS: check out Amber's awesome post on sorority membership:
Angela is also celebrating Mardi Gras today
on her blog: