There is a simple reason that I support the Circle of Sisterhood: I support sorority women and I support women in leadership roles.
I am a better man because of the women who have helped develop me in my life and I believe in paying it forward. I believe that if you have been positively impacted by someone or something, then you have a duty to ensure that those institutions and leaders know and feel their impact on you by how you give your time and money. If you want to know someone’s priorities, look at how they spend and give both.
My parents were divorced when I was born. The arrangement was school months with Mom, summers with Dad. Both had a significant and positive impact on my development growing up. But there is always a special bond between a mother and son or a father and daughter. My Mom was no different. She nurtured, challenged, and supported me. She played a significant role in shaping my core values. And she is a sorority woman.
As an undergraduate fraternity man at Kansas State University, my fraternity/sorority advisor was Barb Robel. She was a leader in the field and someone who had been advising fraternities and sororities for 25 years. Barb encouraged me to run for IFC again, even though I was beat out in my first election by a freshman while I was chapter president. As a sorority woman, she opened doors for me that put me on a trajectory to have a successful career.
My first job out of college was working as a consultant for the North-American Interfraternity Conference. There I served the conference educating and advising IFCs on how they could improve. Karyn Nishimura Sneath, a sorority woman, and fellow employee, often took me under her wing and mentored me in a way that helped me reach my potential. We still often co-present at conferences together.
After the NIC, my next job was on a college campus advising fraternities and sororities at the University of Oregon (where Animal House was filmed). My boss, Shelley Sutherland had the most significant and profound development experience in my development as a leader. She was the first woman to advise fraternities in the country. Shelley also had been an advisor for more than 30 years and is a sorority woman who has multiple awards in her namesake. We remain close friends today.
These and countless other sorority women have shaped me to be the man I am today.
Now, I live with two women at home, Kirstin, my partner, and our daughter, Zoe. Every day, they make me a better man. I strive to be a man that is deserving of their love, admiration, and appreciation, but often fall short. They have my heart.
So, it’s no surprise that when one of my role models, friends, and confidants, Ginny Carroll, founder of the Circle of Sisterhood, told me about this new project she was working on – I asked how I could help. Only later did she tell me I was the first man to write a check to support their cause.
Thankfully now, there are many men that have given their time and money to support this worthy cause. Brothers for sisters is a real thing. I invite you to join me today in supporting the Circle of Sisterhood with a gift that inspires others and honors the sorority women who have positively impacted you. It’s why I choose to give every year to the Circle of Sisterhood.
Let’s make a bigger difference together.
Michael McRee, Ph.D.
This post was provided by Mike McRee, COO of the North-American Interfraternity Conference, Inc., and member of Sigma Nu Fraternity. We will be sharing more Brothers for Sisters stories this summer, so stay tuned! If you would like to share your connection to the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation, please contact Mia McCurdy at firstname.lastname@example.org.