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  • Olivia Schaaf

Dear 2015 Alpha Class,

As I prepare to walk across the stage in my cap in gown in just a few days, I’ve been looking back at my time here at Iowa State University. Out of all the choices that led me to this final week, joining the Pi chapter of Alpha Delta Pi was one of the most influential. The past few years have been the greatest adventure of my life. The women of the 2015 alpha class have been with me through my successes and my mistakes. They’ve laughed, cried, and studied with me. When studying started became a little overwhelming, we laughed and cried some more. We’ve grown and changed so much, it’s hard to believe we’ve only had four years together. As we come to the end of this amazing chapter in our lives, I know I could not have made it through without them.

When I first arrived on campus, I was a shy and nervous seventeen year old. I didn’t know what I wanted out of college, or out of life for that matter, but I had decided to go through Primary Recruitment. I had never experienced anything quite like the recruitment process before, and I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. Walking through the blue door for the first time was like a breath of fresh air. By the time we reached preference night, I knew where I belonged. On Bid Day, I had the privilege of running home to Alpha Delta Pi alongside the strangers who would soon become my sisters.

Freshman year brought a new set of challenges to our lives. My newfound friends were there to help me through it all. Whether we were studying in the basement of the “Pi Palace,” or having a much needed movie night, I knew these women would always support me. When our class moved into the house sophomore year, the unique personalities really started to shine. We got to know each other on a deeper level as time went on. We were there for each other through every disappointing test grade, challenging leadership position, and bout of homesickness. We laughed through the hard times and are closer than ever because of it. Even through the challenges, we did our best to keep things light. I will forever remember the famous “third floor prank wars” of our sophomore year. Between missing beds, missing shoes, and silly string, there was never a dull moment at the house.

As time went on, I watched my sisters become more confident in themselves and reach for new heights on campus, in the classroom, and in the community. As I watched as the upperclassmen prepared to leave ISU and vacate leadership positions, my classmates stepped up. I never would have had the drive to run for campus leadership positions without the amazing example set by these older women and the support of my classmates. Together we worked toward our goals. Whether we were volunteering at the university Blood Drive, holding fundraising events for the Ronald McDonald House Charities, or staying up all night to raise awareness for childhood cancer, we supported one another as only sisters can. In our junior and senior years we have pushed each other to reach for the stars, and become the strong young women we are today. I am forever proud to call myself a member of such an amazing and dynamic group of women.

If I had the chance to do these four years all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. Becoming a sister of Alpha Delta Pi changed my life in ways I could never have imagined. I hope my class knows how much I care for each and every one of them. We’re about to go our separate ways, and it’s a little scary to think about making a new start so far from home. But I do know one thing for sure: no matter where we go, whether it is here in the Midwest or halfway around the world, we will be just fine. We are stronger, smarter and more courageous now than we ever have been before. We will never stop supporting one another, and I cannot wait to watch each and every one of my fellow graduates change the world.

Pi love and every bit of mine,


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