A Joyous Return

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Pi Phi chapters, regardless of size or history, are successful because alumnae graciously dedicate their time as Alumnae Advisory Committee (AAC) members. These women shape the next generation of Pi Phi leaders and model what it means to be a lifelong committed member of Pi Beta Phi.

One woman who said “yes” and helped shape our Fraternity through her service is South Carolina Beta Toy Skipper Glennon. Toy joined AAC just a few years after her college graduation. Essentially, she explains, as soon as she could. She was drawn to the role because of the opportunity to work with and mentor collegiate women. She also had served as Rush Chairman while in college and was excited to help in this area.

Toy served on AAC for the South Carolina Beta Chapter for many years, including as AAC Chair. She was a well-liked and respected advisor because she was intimately familiar with campus culture and chapter traditions. But she also was a younger AAC member, and the collegiate women often entrusted Toy with more information than their other advisors.

Toy’s AAC experience was particularly unique because the South Carolina Beta Chapter was facing some membership challenges at the time. Toy remembers the collegiate women were all strong leaders and 100 percent dedicated to the chapter. “We worked, we worked and we worked,” she said. But unfortunately, after many setbacks, the chapter closed in 1993. Toy was AAC Chair when the decision was made. “When your chapter shuts down, it kind of breaks your heart,” she said.

For many years following, Pi Phi sisters would ask Toy if she had heard any news about South Carolina Beta. The chapter alumnae were a tight-knit group since they had been resilient in the face of adversity together. She always answered the decision to return to campus laid with the University. “I always hoped the chapter would return,” she said, but she understood the extension process and that Pi Phi would have to be selected by a committee in order to return to campus.

Fast forward more than 20 years. Toy was overjoyed when she learned Pi Beta Phi submitted materials to Clemson’s extension committee and was chosen to return to campus in Fall 2016. In fact, she was so thrilled that she attended the Installation Weekend for the chapter this past November. She participated in a Cookie Shine, Initiation Ceremony and the formal Installation Banquet. More than 30 South Carolina Beta alumnae attended the banquet and Toy reunited with many old friends, including her college roommate, Judge Mary Geiger Lewis, South Carolina Beta, who was the toastmistress for the evening. Though Toy had not seen some of these women for decades, it felt like no time had passed.

“You have absolutely no idea how great it is to have this chapter back on the Clemson campus,” Toy said. “It’s wonderful to see the support from the University, Pi Beta Phi Headquarters and the local alumnae. It’s wonderful to see how excited the collegiate women are. And I especially love seeing all the families, and watching how these parents are supporting their daughters.”

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