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Inspiring Action,Leadership,Sisterhood,Values

The Art, Power and History of Kappa Delta Leaders

Kappa Delta’s rich history is filled with champions, both past and present. Corre Anding Stegall has made history throughout her membership in Kappa Delta – from serving her collegiate chapter as scrapbook chairman to volunteering as an advisor for Alpha Chi-Louisiana Tech, from serving on the National Leadership Team to leading KD as national president. Corre is the namesake to Kappa Delta’s highest collegiate honor, the Corre Anding Stegall Collegiate Leadership Award. She continues to play an important role in the sorority world as KD’s National Panhellenic Conference delegate alternate. NCTA 2018 were treated to an inspirational speech from Corre where she encouraged leaders to make history and carry on the legacy of those before them.

“Everybody has a leadership story. We all got here some way.”

Corre began by reflecting on the challenges and rewards she experienced throughout her own leadership story. She first realized she wanted to be a leader when she got to choose teammates for her first-grade kickball team. When she was faced with the challenge of selecting her friends or the best athletes as her teammates, she quickly realized that being a leader isn’t always easy. When she served as Kappa Delta’s national president, she was faced with many challenges but credits her KD sisters and her commitment to her values to her success.

“I studied very carefully the people I admired as women leaders. I studied my idols in Kappa Delta.”

One of Corre’s first idols was Minnie Mae Prescott. Corre described Minnie May as articulate, gracious, intelligent and poised. Minnie Mae was the executive secretary of Kappa Delta. She was the first woman to be named to Kappa Delta’s Hall of Honor after the four founders. She served as NPC chairman from 1971 to 1981, during a time when sororities were making their comeback after being under tremendous fire from the universities. During Minnie Mae’s term, there were no policies in place for extension, which caused uproar in the NPC community. Minnie Mae and her team drafted legislation to govern extension – some of which is still in place today. To Corre (and to many, many others), Minnie Mae is a hero.

When Corre was serving as her chapter’s advisor, she encountered her next leadership idol. Patricia Koken Merrill, another member of KD’s Hall of Honor, was Kappa Delta’s national president at the time and traveled to Louisiana Tech to negotiate a housing situation. Corre said Pat always knew what to do and knew what the common ground should be.

“She showed me what the steel hand in the velvet glove was all about.”

Marion Day Mullins was not only one of Corre’s heroes but also one of Minnie Mae’s. Marion went to her first Kappa Delta National Convention in 1912 as chapter delegate. She was elected national treasurer at the age of 19, and national president at 22. Marion is responsible for many of Kappa Delta’s treasured traditions including the Hall of Shields, flags and special presidential stoles. She was the first to write the history of KD. A literary scholar, Marion studied the Ritual over and over again. She was very passionate about the values of Kappa Delta – its founding principles. Marion became Corre’s mentor and advisor and encouraged her to stay relevant throughout changing cultures. Marion started more KD chapters than anyone else in history. Corre presented Marion with her Hall of Honor medallion, which Marion said was the honor she treasured most because it came from those who took the same vows she had taken.

Corre reflected on the profound courage evident in former national president Alison Jakes Argersinger. Alison was a long-time member of NLT and was elected national president in 2015. After her first term, she had to step down from her role because of a serious illness. Throughout that time of hardship, she never let a thing drop. Corre called Alison an example of love, courage, radiance, grace and determination.

“Her lesson in courage is born of those things in which we rely – faith, hope and love.”

Corre stated that these women – these champions – all learned by doing. They led with their hearts and were women of influence. They were (and are) always willing to put their sisterhood – those people they love – first.

She encouraged those in the audience to “make the world better. Be champions of courage and conviction. Be unstoppable. Be invincible.”

“The change is now yours – as the current and future leaders of Kappa Delta.”