Age-old feuds like the Montagues and Capulets, Hatfields and McCoys, and Tupac and Biggie have set the example of what happens when rivals can’t play nice. At Spelman, the Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta sororities have shown that rivalry need not end in tragedy. In fact, the women in these exceptional organizations equally demonstrate a commitment to scholarship and service around the world. However, get them in a competition and a little friendly smack-talking will ensue.
This year, the 2012 Homecoming Spirit Group Impact Competition gave Spelman’s AKAs and Deltas an opportunity to extend their friendly rivalry while continuing to support the united house that Spelman founders Sophia Packard and Harriet Giles built in 1881. The competition was simple: alumnae make their gifts and nominate the residence hall, sorority, or student organization that supported their ascent to being a Spelman Woman of Impact. The top two groups would each receive a $5,000 current use scholarship named in their honor and awarded to deserving Spelman students in the spring 2013 semester. The participants would be counted toward the 41 percent alumnae participation goal. The AKAs and Deltas stepped up and each claimed the prize.
Christian Mitchell, C’2007, and Michelle Harris, C’2002, are devout Spelmanites who bleed blue and raise funds for the College. Mitchell is an annual giving officer and an AKA. Harris, who works two doors down from Mitchell, is a planned giving officer and a Delta. When the competition was announced, both women went to work to ensure that their sorority took home the top honor. Both spoke of the importance of service in their sororities and how they made phone calls, and posted on Facebook and Twitter to remind their sisters of that sacred commitment when the time came to participate in the competition. “I thought it was a fun way to get involved and support Spelman while at the same time connecting with my sorors,” said Harris.
Their efforts paid off and both women were very excited about their sororities taking home the bragging rights. Mitchell was moved by the opportunity to help her younger Spelman sisters through scholarship support. “Being a part of an effort that lends itself to the needs of a deserving Spelman student is what it’s all about,” she said. “With so many students having a true need for assistance, I feel I am giving in the name of not only my sorority, but also in the name of all of the women who are true champions for the College. The sisterhood that we experience is truly one of a kind, and I am humble and proud to be a part of giving back.”
Harris agrees. , “I think it is such a wonderful reminder to all of us of what we can do when we all work together to support Spelman,” she said. “It shows that the money and contributions we make really make a difference in the lives of students.”
While the friendship and respect is evident between the two women, Mitchell’s final words of advice to her Delta co-winner were: “Better be ready next year because we’re coming for you!” – Written by Kristine Haskett, development writer, in the Office of Institutional Advancement.