Panhellenic Bid Day took place on Aug. 20, in the Chi Omega Greek Theatre.
“Bid Day is an exciting time for the Greek Community as thousands of U of A sorority members gather to extend bids to the new members to join their chapters,” said Mackenzie Lantefield, president of the Panhellenic Council.
Bid Day is the final event in a weeklong recruitment process potential new members go through with the Greek Life staff and Panhellenic student leadership.
“The most important aspect of Bid Day is watching new members open their envelopes which reveals the chapter that has extended them a membership bid,” Lantefield said. “Later, each chapter leads their new members back to the chapter house or other set locations to welcome them into sisterhood.”
More than 1600 women participated in the sorority recruitment, opening their bids and finding out the sorority house that has welcomed them in.
“This is such an exciting day as potential new members find their home away from home and the place where they belong,” said Megan Rapp, vice president of recruitment. “It’s an indescribably unique day that you will only experience once in a lifetime.”
Joyce Voelkel, a ’79 alumni of the U of A, said she was excited to be able to experience Bid Day with her granddaughter.
“We kept in contact with her throughout the week as much as we could and when she was able to,” Voelkel said. “She’s hasn’t gotten too big for some encouragement from her family.”
Voelkel said her granddaughter wanted to join the Greek Life community to be a more active member of University life.
“We’re glad that she’s getting this experience. Really, her participating in this event and Greek Life on campus is giving her practice for talking to professors, going through job interviews, and really learning how to make meaningful connections,” Voelkel said. “She wants to go to medical school, so she’s hoping this experience will only add to her personal and academic development.”
Kathy Bennett-Perkins, an alumna initiated into the Tri Delta sorority at the U of A in ’85, graduated from the University of Arkansas and went on to complete a Masters degree and a law degree with the University. Bennett also participated in Greek Life while at the U of A.
“It’s definitely grown since I was here,” Bennett said. “It’s great to be able to come back and see the house and see the excitement on all of the new members’ faces.”
Her daughter received a bid for Tri Delta, the same sorority Bennett participated in during her time on campus.
“The University of Arkansas has been good to me. I couldn’t be happier that my daughter has not only chosen to attend the U of A, but also to participate in Greek Life,” Bennett said. “I told her to keep an open mind and get to know as many of the girls as possible. It’s all about finding where you fit and what organization represents you most as a woman. It was always more important to me that she was happy and in the organization that most represented her, it just turns out that was the Tri Delta sorority.”
Bennett said her time in Greek Life was invaluable to her UARK experience, and she’s excited for her daughter to experience that as well.
“The Greek Life system is just such a good thing to couple with their academic pursuits,” Bennett said. “There are obligations that take work and time, but you can’t replace the friendships and personal development that you gain through the process.”
The Greek Life office has even more to be excited about – the National Panhellenic Conference has recognized the Panhellenic Council at the U of A for their excellence in academics, recruitment, council structure, communication, judicial procedures, programming, and community impact and relations.
NPC recognized 27 educational institutions, and with organizations located at more than 670 U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities, only the top scoring groups receive this honor.
“The women of the University of Arkansas Panhellenic are so incredibly honored to have received this award. We could not have done it without the help of all of the women in our community,” said Mackenzie Lantefield, president of Panhellenic Council. “Receiving the College Panhellenic Excellence Award further reinforces our endeavors in striving for influential leadership, strong academics, and powerful philanthropic efforts. We hope to keep the momentum going and to continue to strive for excellence in the years to come.”