November 4, 2015
MEMPHIS, Tennessee – Kappa Delta Sorority awarded the prestigious Order of the Diamond to three outstanding members of the National Panhellenic Conference at NPC’s annual meeting, Oct. 24, 2015, in Irving, Texas. In its 30-year history, the Order of the Diamond has been given to a select group of individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the women’s fraternal movement and have demonstrated the true spirit of Panhellenism.
The 2015 recipients are Jean Mermoud Mrasek, Chi Omega; Laura Malley-Schmitt, Alpha Phi; and Julie Landgren Johnson, Kappa Delta.
Mrasek, an initiate of Chi Omega’s Epsilon Gamma Chapter at Tulsa University, a former Chi Omega national president and current NPC delegate, served as NPC’s 2013-2015 chairman, retiring from the leadership position at the annual meeting. Johnson, who presented two of the Order of the Diamond awards before being surprised with her own distinction, described Mrasek as “a truly remarkable leader and visionary woman.” Johnson said, “Jean’s ability to see the big picture, advocate on behalf of the sorority movement, mobilize people and get the job done under the most challenging of circumstances has been evident these past two years under her leadership.”
Malley-Schmitt, an initiate of Alpha Phi’s Zeta Phi Chapter at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, former Alpha Phi national president and current first alternate delegate to NPC, is credited for creating Release Figures Methodology (RFM), a mathematical formula used during recruitment. According to Johnson, RFM, which was piloted in 2002, “has been one of the largest, if not the largest, precipitating factor in the double-digit membership growth NPC has experienced in recent years – placing thousands of women in chapters where they had the greatest chance of being matched as well as fortifying and saving many struggling chapters.”
Johnson, an initiate of Kappa Delta’s Sigma Psi Chapter at North Dakota State University and former Kappa Delta national president, has served as KD’s National Panhellenic Conference delegate for 10 years and as a member of NPC’s Executive Committee for more than five years. She rotated out of the position of Panhellenics chairman at the annual meeting. Former KD National President and current NPC First Alternate Delegate Corre Anding Stegall awarded Johnson the Order of the Diamond and presented in Johnson’s honor a gift from Kappa Delta of $35,000 to the NPC Foundation to support the College Panhellenic Academy in January 2016. This event encourages collegiate Panhellenic officers to refocus their commitment to NPC values and in turn, shape their fraternity and sorority communities.
In addition to being named to Kappa Delta’s Order of the Diamond, Johnson and Mrasek received the 2015 Delta Gamma Compass Award, which is given to a non-member of Delta Gamma Fraternity who, through his/her extraordinary leadership and service, has made a lasting and deeply significant contribution to the fraternity and/or the interfraternal movement.