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The Surprise of a KD Lifetime


During my 18 years on the Kappa Delta National Headquarters staff, I was fortunate to work in many different areas of sorority operations. One of my favorites was convention registration logistics and operations. As part of my convention duties, I helped plan Order of the Emerald and Pearl recognitions. In most cases, our goal was to keep the awards a surprise from the recipients, and loving surprises, I worked hard to carry out a bit of good-humored subterfuge.

Last year, I attended my first convention as a non-staff member. I was excited to see all my former coworkers, though it was strange not being intimately involved in convention planning.  After a long and stressful day of travel, I took my seat alongside the KD staff at the opening session. I was eager to see the creative introductions our fabulous HQ communications department and National Council always manage to produce. Then I settled in as National Vice President-Alumnae Tricia Spence took the stage to announce the Order of the Emerald awards, with National President Beth Langford poised to “present and hug.”


It was inspiring, as it always is, to hear the accomplishments of our wonderfully dedicated and selfless sisters who give so much of their time to our beloved Kappa Delta. As each recipient was announced in alphabetical order, I joined in the cheers and applause as we honored these dedicated volunteers with whom I had worked closely.

We were about halfway through the list when I felt those around me begin stir and grab their phones. I thought, “Oh no, what happened that needs staff attention?” Then I heard my name called—Cindy Deiters Mize—and I couldn’t believe my ears; in fact, someone had to prod me.  Did I hear that right?  I looked up at the screen and, sure enough, there was my name as an Order of the Emerald recipient.  I stood with my mouth wide open. Stunned, I made my way to the stage to accept my award from Beth.


I always said to anyone who would listen that I had my dream job for 18 years. My Kappa Delta service has always been an important part of my life and my identity, so this was purely icing on the cake. I felt I had already received my “award” working day-to-day with incredible women doing the most incredible things for our organization, for women, for girls and for our world.

Thank you for this honor and to all who labored to keep it a secret until the announcement at convention. I know how hard you worked to make it a surprise!

Cindy Mize
2015 Order of the Emerald Recipient

Do you know a special sister deserving of recognition? Order of the Emerald honors sisters who have exhibited selfless devotion to the sorority through service at the national level or locally on a chapter advisory board, alumnae chapter, house corporation board or alumnae Panhellenic. Order of the Pearl honors those who have exemplified in every way the ideals of the sorority through service to the community. Nominations are due Nov. 1, 2016. You can find more details on the KD website.