VERMILLION, S.D. -- The women of Alpha Xi Delta at the University of South Dakota celebrated 115 years on campus over Dakota Days weekend, Oct. 6-7, with a ribbon cutting and volunteer recognition event. Over 100 Alpha Xi Delta alumnae returned to visit the new chapter house in Vermillion.
On Oct. 7, members celebrated the volunteers who helped during “Coming Home: The Campaign for 214 N. Plum Street,” followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony in front of the house. During Sunday’s brunch, Sandra Dickenson, (Vermillion, S.D.) was recognized for Distinguished Service to Alpha Xi Delta. As a licensed architect and board member for AIA, Dickenson volunteered her professional services to the sorority as a consultant, helping the corporation board make sound decisions from beginning to end of the building process.
“We were blessed to have Sandy’s experienced voice at the table. The board was confident as we went into meetings with the architect and builders because we knew we had Sandy in our corner. She helped us keep the dreams of the chapter women at the forefront of the project,” said Mary Duncan, president of the Alpha Xi Delta Corporation Board.
The volunteer leadership committee was recognized for their dedicated service to the chapter. Campaign Chair Mary Brandon-Miller (Rochester Hills, Michigan) gave over $320,000 to the campaign and led fundraising activities.
“The new house is a miracle. I’m so proud to be a part of the success,” Brandon-Miller said during the event.
Bonnie Bjork (Rapid City, S.D.), received an award for her outstanding service as part of the campaign team.
“Bonnie made hundreds of phone calls, visited countless alumnae in person, organized gatherings and is a large part of the new house we built,” Duncan said.
Duncan (Vermillion), was recognized for her role in coordinating all of the pieces of the project including fundraising, chapter communications, meeting with the architectural design team and builders and working with Alpha Xi Delta headquarters.
“We wouldn’t have a new home without Mary. She was everything to this project,” said Brandon-Miller.
Following the brunch and awards guests moved out to the front porch of the new facility and dedicated the new house to the current and future members of Alpha Xi Delta at USD.
Fundraising efforts for the Alpha Xi Delta project continue as the final touches are put on the new home. To date, alumnae have raised $1,355,000 with a goal of $1.4 million. Fiegen Construction, a design/build firm from Sioux Falls, completed the architectural design and building project. Pennington & Company out of Lawrence, Kansas, helped organize the fundraising and planning pieces of the campaign.
Alpha Xi Delta inspires women to realize their potential by providing opportunities for sisterhood, leadership, knowledge and service. Founded in 1893, the organization has grown to 150,000 initiated members nationwide. Epsilon Chapter was founded in 1903 at USD and is the fifth oldest chapter in the nation.