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How late flights, roommate pairings and Kappa Delta Convention led to a 20-year friendship

Do you remember how you met your best friend? Your parent’s might have been friends and you’ve known each other since you were kids. You might have met on Bid Day when you happened to stand next to each other in a group photo. No matter how you started, your friendship is something you will carry with you throughout your life.  

Throughout September, we have been sharing stories of Kappa Delta friendship in celebration of International Women’s Friendship Month – stories about you and your unique friendships and why those friendships are so important. This is a story about how one friendship started in the most unexpected of ways. 

Julie Wendell (Zeta Alpha–Texas Tech) and Courtney Dickey (Zeta Omicron–Wake Forest) have been friends for nearly 20 years. Julie is Kappa Delta’s National Vice President of Collegians, and Courtney served as Kappa Delta’s National Vice President of Membership during the 2021-2023 biennium.  

Their friendship began in 2005 after a random roommate pairing and a hotel room mix-up brought them together. 

How did you meet each other? 

Julie Wendell: The year was 2005. I was attending Kappa Delta’s Convention in Washington, D.C. as the delegate for the Lubbock, Texas Alumnae Chapter. I was attending solo, so I requested to be matched with a roommate at random. Upon arrival at the hotel, I was informed my roommate had not arrived, and there were only rooms with king beds left.  

With no options other than to accept my fate, I headed up to get settled. Knowing my roommate wouldn’t be arriving until close to midnight, I got ready for bed and quickly scribbled a note explaining and apologizing for the situation. I fell fast asleep, and awoke early next morning, rolling over to find my roommate there, also awake.  

She said, “Hi, I’m Courtney!”  

And the rest, as they say, is history!   

Courtney Dickey: It was June 2005. I was in law school at Baylor University and serving on their CAB. I was attending Kappa Delta’s Convention in Washington D.C., but to save the chapter money, I requested to be placed with a roommate. Because I couldn’t miss any classes, I had to take a late flight and got in well past midnight – missing the first night of the Convention.  

To no surprise, when I went to check in, the front desk told me that my roommate was already there. What did surprise me was when I walked into the dark hotel room and only saw one king bed – and a person already sleeping in it.  

Having gone through a week of grueling law school classes and two long flights, I was not about to sleep on the hotel room floor. So, I changed into my pajamas, crawled into the bed, and tried to sleep as close to the edge as possible.  

In the morning, we both rolled over, held out our hands, and she said, “I’m Julie.” We’ve been roommates at every Kappa Delta Convention since.   

What is your favorite KD memory with each other? 

JW: Too many to count! If I had to narrow it down, I guess I’d pick the time we were having a virtual happy hour, and I told her I was going to Disney World for a solo visit while I was in the area.  

Being from Seattle, “in the area” meant I was at Kappa Delta Headquarters in Memphis. But that still counts, right?!😉 

As we were hanging up, I casually asked if she would want to join me. She said she would check, but it wasn’t four minutes later that I had a text letting me know she was in! 

Three months later, we were enjoying some best friend time at Disney World, and it is a trip I’ll cherish forever! We had such a blast being together in a place we both love so much!   

CD: When I found out that I was slated for National VP-Membership in 2021, I was ecstatic and incredibly honored, but I was also slightly sad because I knew I would be installed over a computer screen at a virtual convention.  

Instead of taking the oath of office in front of 1,000 sisters in convention hall, I was going to take it alone sitting in my house. Julie of course wouldn’t have that. We had been roommates for every Kappa Delta convention since 2005 and the pandemic wasn’t going to stop the streak. So, I drove up from Austin and she flew in from Seattle, and together we had our own Kappa Delta Convention in Grapevine, TX at the Gaylord Texan (we even had shirts made!). Julie took photos and videos of my installation, which are some of my most treasured keepsakes. She clapped for me and celebrated with me and made the moment so incredibly special and memorable.  

Loyal and enduring friendships are central to the Kappa Delta experience. We hope you take time during International Women’s Friendships Month – and every other month – to celebrate the special friends in your life.  

You can find Kappa Delta’s 31 Stories of Friendship here.