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  #1  
Old 02-04-2004, 01:07 PM
TSteven TSteven is offline
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Question What to do with GLO items

I'm not sure how to explain this predicament, so please forgive the length of this post. Any suggestions y'all can give is greatly appreciated.

My Mother was a charter member of her GLO (I will call ABC) on her campus (in our hometown) back in the 1940s. ABC was also the first GLO on campus. My sister is also a member of ABC having been initiated into the same chapter. When my Mother passed away, all of my Mother's ABC items went to my sister - her only daughter - with the hope that my sister might have a daughter(s) and she too might be an ABC. Thus Mother's ABC items would be passed down to her.

It turns out that my sister never had a daughter. Recently, my sister has started thinking about what to do with all the original ABC items. And by items, I mean my Mother's badge; her person notes regarding the chapter's founding; her original pledge and other handbooks. Ribbons and I'm not sure but maybe her pledge badge or something like that as well. Also, ABC song books and other sorority related items. I believe there is correspondence from the ABC national headquarters as well.

So here is the predicament. Being the "good" Southern family that we are, we believe in passing down Mother's stuff to the women of the family. While my sister does not have any daughters, we do have two nieces. Our Mother's granddaughters. Our brother's oldest attends, and will graduate this spring from, a college that did not have any GLOs. His youngest daughter will be entering college in three years. Her mother is a XYZ so she is a legacy of both ABC and XYZ. At this time, we don't know where she will attend school or if there will be an ABC and or XYZ chapter on her campus. Or if she will even pledge either at all. My "personal" guess is that if there is an ABC and XYZ chapter on her campus, and all things being equal, our niece will follow her Mother and be an XYZ. But if she ends up being an ABC, then my sister would love for our niece to have her Grandmother's ABC items.

I should add here that my sister would have a hard time "giving up" any of our Mother's items. And I do not blame her. However, since most of the items are paper related, and over 60 years old, my concern is that with natural deterioration, we - the family - may loose some or all of them.

My suggestion was that our Mother's ABC items be "loaned" to the college's - now university - history museum. My understanding is that they would be able to provide the necessary care to ensure that the papers/items are preserved. There is a wing dedicated to personal items of college students over the years which includes other GLO items related to the campus. Many of the items are on what I believe is called something like "Personal Loan". In other words, the items are at the museum, but belong to the person, family or estate.

A good friend of mine from high school is the curator of the museum. She would LOVE to have Mother's items in the museum. She was an active undergrad and now graduate member of DEF sorority on campus and knows well the groundbreaking history of ABC on the campus. She is someone I trust to ensure that our Mother's personal items are treated with the respect they deserve. Note, there is no guarantee that the items will be displayed until my friend sees the items. But even if they are not displayed, they will be taken care of at the museum and we would still have access.

A few more wrinkles in this. The local ABC chapter is still active on campus so giving these items to the chapter is a possibility. For what it is worth, most of us - brothers, in-laws, cousins - are members of GLOs as well. So we all understand and respect the importance of these items to the local ABC chapter. Our concern is that with the local chapter, these items may not be in the best hands. By that, I mean that the chapter may not have the resources for the upkeep of 60 year old papers and such.

Of course, we can check with the national headquarters about them housing our Mother's items. But with the national headquarters, our concern is that the family may "loose" any access to our Mother's items. For example, my understanding is that my Mother's badge "belongs" to ABC. Plus the headquarters is not located near family.

Our family understands that this is really my sister's decision. And we understand my sister's desire to pass down to, and keep the items in, the family. Frankly, she is doing a good job taking care of these items. However, they are getting old. Personally, I would really like to be sure that my Mother's items are taken care of properly now that they are getting really old. Which is why I am in favor of the university museum taking care of the items now. Since we still "go home", an additional benefit is that more family members would be able to have access/view them if they are housed in the museum. And my Mother's and sister's ABC chapter would be able to view these items.

So, do we wait until our niece is enrolled in college to see if there is an ABC chapter? And if so, she would receive the items. If we wait, my friend at the museum may not be there years later and thus no guarantee that the museum will take them later if she is not there. So do we loan the items to the university's museum now with the understanding that our niece - or others - may "use" any of the items? For example, our niece is pinned with her Grandmother's badge as was my sister. Do we give or loan to the local chapter? Go with the national headquarters?

Thanks for reading this extremely long and rambling post. My sister is really having a hard time with what to do. Surprisingly, my sister will listen to me - her youngest brother - so any suggestions or help you can give us is greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2004, 01:20 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Don't give it to the national. You'll never see it again. Sorry if I sound blunt, but it's the truth.

I would donate the paper items to the university and do the personal loan thing. That way they will be preserved and you can still get to them if you so desire. I don't think the chapter would be offended - as you said, they most likely don't have the ability to keep them as they should be kept as far as the paper not falling apart .

Hang onto the badge until you see what your niece decides to do. If she pledges ABC, great. If not - one of our chapters had an alumna donate her badge to the chapter and there is now a yearly award in her name. Perhaps you would like to do something like that. If not, and you want to keep the badge as a memento of your mom - do so and don't feel guilty.
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  #3  
Old 02-04-2004, 01:44 PM
SmartBlondeGPhB SmartBlondeGPhB is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by 33girl
Hang onto the badge until you see what your niece decides to do. If she pledges ABC, great. If not - one of our chapters had an alumna donate her badge to the chapter and there is now a yearly award in her name. Perhaps you would like to do something like that. If not, and you want to keep the badge as a memento of your mom - do so and don't feel guilty.
Just be sure that if no other member of the family goes ABC that the badge does not fall out of the family.

And yes, technically speaking most GLO's (at least sororities) have wording that the badge "belongs" to the GLO.

I would keep it until you know that no one in the family will use it and then donate it to the University since it seems like they have a good process for displaying historical items. Our headquarters collects historical items but I believe teh displaying of them is still in the infancy.

However, the GLO would probably love to eventually have the information since it is from a charter member of the chapter.
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  #4  
Old 02-04-2004, 01:58 PM
GtownGirl98 GtownGirl98 is offline
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Having a degree in History I have been about to see the behind the seens work that Muesums do... I would give the paper products to them. They will have proper chemicals to slow the deterioration process, they will also have the proper room temps that help. Also little buggies love to eat paper and there are techinques that will eliminate those also.

As to the photos... if there are any... I would make copies of them and given them to the chapter. That way they can hang them up or use them as they want to. The originals, I would also let the school "borrow". They would be able to preserve them.

Hold off on the badges and jewerly. I would wait and see where your niece goes, if she goes. If she doesn't, I would either hold on to the items, donate them to the muesum or return them to HQ.

I think it would be okay to let us know what sorority we are dealing with. I know that AGD's are suppose to return their badge or be buried with their badge. The only reason for this is the same problem you are facing. What to do with the stuff when there isn't a member left in your family? Returning your badge to the HQ isn't a bad idea. WE all know that you care about the items and apparently understand why you shouldn't sell the badge on EBAY, so by returning it to the HQ you will insure that that never happens.

YOU could also give the badge to the chapter, making sure that it was a traveling badge that was wore by the president or the sister with the highest scholarship... I know that it would have meant alot to me if I had the opportunity to wear a founders badge and maybe one day my badge will be used this way, since I was charter member of my chapter. I would hope that the president would have the responible and deep appreciation for the badge that she would insure that nothing happened to it. Maybe wear it only for meetings and "special" sorority moments... Like initiation.

These are just ideas and my two cents!

ETA: Sorry I wasn't aware that I was just repeating what had been said.... see we all think a like!
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  #5  
Old 02-04-2004, 02:17 PM
ISUKappa ISUKappa is offline
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Concurr with the other posters.

If you feel comfortable hanging on to the items (especially the badge) for another three years to wait and see if your niece will go ABC, keep everything until then. Otherwise, I think donating the historical memorabilia--papers, books, etc...--to the University Museum is a wonderful option, especially since there are other items from GLOs and you know it will be preserved and taken care of properly. You could also split the items between the University Museum, the HQ of the GLO and the chapter (giving the chapter copies--not originals--of some things). There is no harm in contacting the HQ to ask how donated memorabilia is used and displayed. I know it varies from org to org, but mine has a very nice heritage museum and archives for historical items that the public can peruse when they are there.

Now, if your niece does not become a member of ABC, my personal thought would be to donate the badge to either the chapter to be used as an honorary or display piece or the HQ. Some HQ (again, not all) keep and display badges that are older, unique or have some sort of historical significance. Some badges are also loaned out to chapters or given to Fraternity officers for use.

This is not an easy issue for anyone to decide upon. Best of luck to you and your family!
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Last edited by ISUKappa; 02-04-2004 at 02:22 PM.
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  #6  
Old 02-04-2004, 02:35 PM
TSteven TSteven is offline
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Thank you all for your help. Many great ideas that I will pass of to my sister.

GtownGirl98 - I hadn't even thought about photos. I believe that we have some of my Mother and her sorority. They are with the family photos, but giving copies to the chapter or the school is a great idea.

And along the line of the photos, and what ISUKappa suggested, maybe we can make copies of the original documents for the family archives and "loan" the originals to the museum for proper care and treatment.

And GtownGirl98, you mentioned that Alpha Gams are suppose to return their badge or be buried with their badge. This is why I didn't want to state which GLO it was. And no, they are not AGDs. My concern is that someone from the ABC national headquarters would hunt us down and demand the badge. The family would like to keep the badge(s) in the family with the hope that there will be another ABC down the line. Three generations of ABCs and their badges. By the way, we would NEVER allow the badge to go on eBay or anything like that. As for other "jewelry", I don't think there is any per say. There might be some sort of new member ribbon or something like that. I really don't remember what all my sister has.

I would venture to guess that the badge is the one item that my sister has the greatest concern about. I know that my sister has a fear that something might happen to Mother's badge and would never forgive herself if something did happen. While I like the idea of the chapter being able to use the badge, getting my sister to allow the local chapter to use the badge might take some convincing. But something I will bring up with her.
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Old 02-04-2004, 02:43 PM
sageofages sageofages is offline
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I suggest contacting the national office of the ABC organization and talking to them.

Phi Mu has been developing an extensive museum of items. A climate controlled exhibit hall in incorporated into the new EO plans! We have also been building a collection of badges from each chapter as well, especially from the chartering classes.

At the 2002 convention there was even a display of "inaugral" gowns from national presidents .

While title to Phi Mu badges is technically signed over to Phi Mu at initiation, Phi Mu honors all requests to keep a badge in a family. When a badge is returned to the EO, it is kept for many many years, in case a legacy in a family occurs who would like to have a particular badge. Perhaps that is the case as well with your GLO.

Good luck and let us know what you decide in protecting that wonderful treasure in your family.
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Old 02-04-2004, 02:49 PM
WhiteDaisy128 WhiteDaisy128 is offline
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I don't know if this has been said, I'll admit that I did not read all the replies, but this is what I would do:

Donate her badge to her chapter as a scholarship to someone who may be struggling to get their own badge. All of her personal effects and notes should also be given to the chapter to be put in archives, etc. It's a way to make her live through the chapter. The other option I would see for her badge, is to give it to your sisters sorority family - like to her little sister, grand lil, as far back as needed to get the badge active again.
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  #9  
Old 02-04-2004, 02:49 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by TSteven
I would venture to guess that the badge is the one item that my sister has the greatest concern about. I know that my sister has a fear that something might happen to Mother's badge and would never forgive herself if something did happen. While I like the idea of the chapter being able to use the badge, getting my sister to allow the local chapter to use the badge might take some convincing. But something I will bring up with her.
Have your sister put a codicil in her will that specifies the disposition of the badge, how the chapter should use it, and what would happen if the chapter is ever (heaven forbid) closed.

While I know that the badges technically belong to HQ, I would sincerely hope that you wouldn't be "hunted down" for it - you obviously want to keep it for sentimental reasons and are not attempting to make a profit from it.
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Old 02-04-2004, 03:16 PM
ISUKappa ISUKappa is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by sageofages
. . . Phi Mu honors all requests to keep a badge in a family. When a badge is returned to the EO, it is kept for many many years, in case a legacy in a family occurs who would like to have a particular badge. . . .
Likewise with Kappa Kappa Gamma. In fact they now have downloadable forms and guidlines so a member can decree what should become of her badge after she passes. Our HQ always honors the requests of the members whether it be to keep the badge in the family, be given to their chapter or alumnae association, be buried with her or sent back to HQ.
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Old 02-04-2004, 03:39 PM
GtownGirl98 GtownGirl98 is offline
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I just want to reassure you that AGD would never "hunt you down" if that were the case Ebay would be a place with few bagdes.

The only reason I asked about the glo was maybe one of the GC members from that GLO could help you with what to do.

I know that if I had gone a different way with my college choice and there had been a DDD chapter and that was were I had joined, I would have asked my aunt if I could wear her Badge because that is one of the wonderful things about sororities. So I think you should wait till the niece makes up her mind about college and Glo's.... I am sure that she knows about the badge and the history of her family, so she will keep that in mind about the possiblity of wearing that badge.

I would also have it stated in your sisters will what should happen in case something were to happen to her. There are many people that don't wish for their badge to go into an estate auction but sh*t happens and they can't control it because they didn't prepare for sh*t to happen.

Again my $.02
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Old 02-04-2004, 03:39 PM
Tom Earp Tom Earp is offline
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While there is a varying difference between GLOs, I have already made a will stating what is to be done with My GLO items.

Pretty extensive actually being the founder of the Local.

I have given my Lawyer, Executor, and a Brother instructions to be used at his discretion.

1. Have my Badge as The Presidents Badge, to be passed down to each New President.

2. Have a collage of the BX ( Local ) Badge and Pledge pin, My Badge, a TKN (merged with LXA in 1939), My APO Badge and a Key Badge from one of the original GLOs Associated with LXA.

If perchance that My Chapter is not any longer at My U. then it will be held for Five years and if no Chapter is there, then revert to Internaional with all Funds from the Estate to be used for Educational Purposes.

Is this important, yes it is! I had to give a Active Badge and a Pledge Pin of the Local to LXA when we colonized. Why is it important to me, I designed them and have the only other set in existance if they lost the other.


I am very glad to see you taking such an interest in this and it is important that The Heritage Lives on some how.

Thank you for caring this much!

Time is so prescious and it is so fleeting and History gets lost to easily!
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Old 02-04-2004, 03:59 PM
HotDamnImAPhiMu HotDamnImAPhiMu is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by sageofages
I suggest contacting the national office of the ABC organization and talking to them.

While title to Phi Mu badges is technically signed over to Phi Mu at initiation, Phi Mu honors all requests to keep a badge in a family. When a badge is returned to the EO, it is kept for many many years, in case a legacy in a family occurs who would like to have a particular badge. Perhaps that is the case as well with your GLO.

Good luck and let us know what you decide in protecting that wonderful treasure in your family.

Wow, well said, Pam! And also GtownGirl98 -- sage advice from these ladies.

I'm really glad you're trying to do the "right" thing here. I wish more people realized how important their GLO memorabilia is.
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  #14  
Old 02-04-2004, 04:26 PM
madmax madmax is offline
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Sell it on ebay.
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Old 02-04-2004, 04:28 PM
TSteven TSteven is offline
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Again, thank you all so much. All of us "kids" have really been out of the "greek world" for a while and all this support is great.

As a side note: I recently came across this site by accident and have checked it out off and on. I really haven't felt a "need" to post until now.

I guess it is OK to discuss which sorority since it might help. Besides, my sister's last name - her married name - is different than mine. And my last name is different than our Mother's maiden name. So I think it might be difficult for the headquarters to hunt her down. If not, I'll be sure to give her a call so she can get a running start.

My Mother and sister are members of Sigma Sigma Sigma.

Some more history.

When Mother attended college, back in the 1940's, the college was considered a "teacher's college". Tri Sigma was the first sorority - or any greek organization - to colonize at the school. At the time, Tri Sigma was a member of the Association of Education Sororities or Education Sororities Association. Not sure what the name was, but it was the national group for educational sororities at the time. I believe that Alpha Sigma Alpha and Alpha Sigma Tau are the other members from the Association that merged with NPC. Which happened shortly after Mother's initiation. In any case, a lot of my Mother's stuff has to do with this association. i.e. The Association's guidelines, rules etc. for the member organizations.

So by the time my sister was initiated, Tri Sigma had joined NPC. So between the two of them, they have a history of their chapter which is also an important part of the history of the school's greek organizations. Which is why the university museum is interested in their items. (My sister would also "lend"/"donate" her items as well.) And while I haven't seen this stuff - my sister, being the good Tri Sigma won't let us "boys" see anything about ritual etc... - there may very well be some historical significance for Sigma Sigma Sigma specifically.

And to be clear, my sister would only give "public information" regarding Tri Sigma to the university museum. Which is why I wrote in my original post that my friend, the curator of the university museum, was a member of another sorority and should not have access to Tri Sigma rituals and secrets. As such, all Tri Sigma secrets would remain with my sister, in the family or would go to either the chapter or nation headquarters.

On the other hand, having as much of this chapter's history together would make for such a better historical presentation. Either on the local or national level. Thus the debate about giving our Mother's items to either the local chapter, the national headquarters or the university museum. And if necessary, how to break up all of the items.

Our family is very proud of our Mother's accomplishments. Only a select few, out of the whole women's student body, were chosen to be Sigmas. We are very proud that our Mother was so honored and was able to help colonize her chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma. So this is not only a part of Tri Sigma history but that of the university as well.

Our Mother continued to be active with Tri Sigma throughout her life. She would often host teas for the local chapter. Every so often, members would come by our home to visit with, and to show their respect to, our Mother. Mother, always the gracious Southern woman, would great these women - her sisters - with open arms. So in turn, we children learned to respect the Sigma sisterhood as well. Which is why there is a special place for Sigma Sigma Sigma with the whole family and not just my sister. And why we all want to do the best for all involved. Our family, the university, their chapter and the national headquarters.

Again, thank you all for your help and patience with these long and rambling posts. I think I will post on the Tri Sigma forum to get their input.
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