Alumna Spotlight: Lauren Cooksey

Graduation is in less than two weeks away for our senior sisters- cue feelings of nostalgia.  Coming in as a freshman, four years may seem like an eternity but ask any college graduate and they will tell you it flies by almost too fast.

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by finals and wondering if those touch classes will ever end (and considering dropping out for the hundredth time- yeah me too) take it from recent Samford alumna and past Delta Psi president, Lauren Cooksey: Hold on tight to the memories.

“I cannot believe it has already been a year since graduation. Time has gone by too fast. While the transition from college to the “real world” came fairly easy to me, there isn’t a day that goes by where memories from Samford and Zeta come to me.

Everything about our campus is so special. Even if friends don’t live on campus, they likely live a mile away at Wildforrest, you are close to everything you need to survive, and Samford does their best to ensure there is something for everyone. Then you blink and it’s over. Friends now live hours away, everything is no longer at the touch of your fingertips, and you have to start over finding things to get involved in. I’m not saying that life after college sucks, but life changes and it’s always great to reflect back on Samford and Zeta during stressful moments.”

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Favorite things about Zeta:  “Obviously, the best thing that I got from Zeta was friendship. I have never found such genuine relationships with people than I have with people from Samford and Zeta. I love keeping in touch with friends, but even more I love being reunited in person. This year I’ve had great reunions with friends during Homecoming and Step Sing. We had parties at my apartment for both of those events and it warms my heart to be near to all the people I love the most at one time. Events and things I’ve found myself missing the most this year without Zeta are family events, (Big/Little reveal, family picnic in the chapter room, etc.) tailgates, Sisterhood week, and Initiation…jokes! 🙂 Also, congrats on 1st place during the Step Show! How awesome! I am always so prideful when I see Zeta accomplishing big things on campus! Keep up the good work!”

What Zeta has taught me: “In Zeta I held quite a few leadership positions. The greatest thing Zeta gave me, after my friends, of course, was my leadership skills. I was able to see what did and did not work effectively and see how different people respond differently with leadership. Most of us probably don’t think that your leadership in a sorority would help you in your career after college but it really does if you take your role seriously and you’re passionate about growing and developing. Without my leadership experience in Zeta, I would not be near as effective in leading the people I do now. In fact, I’m not sure I would even have the job I have if it weren’t for Zeta. If I were to give anyone advice for college, it would be to make sure you are involved and hold leadership in at least one organization. You learn so much about yourself and others. You see all different types of people and perspectives and it really helps you broaden your horizons. Of course, I would suggest Zeta for leadership, but I know it is not realistic for 170+ people to have a position. I would challenge you though, even if you’ve applied and did not receive a position, apply again or seek ways that you can enhance and transform the sorority without having a title. Not all leaders have titles! In fact, some of the best leaders I have seen in Zeta didn’t have titles at all, they just decided to be leaders in the way they lived their lives.”
Love,
Lauren

Creed Devotional: To prepare for service

By Camille Brown

When we hear the word “service” many of us solely think about service in light of specific duties or obligations. We continue to ask ourselves “how and when can I serve?” Thus, we place limitations on our actions. We make serving a waiting game, meaning that we wait for a charity to ask for money, only donate clothes when they are ripping at the seems, or even go to a food drive event only to receive credit or add something to our resumes. While getting involved in community announced event, philanthropy service drives, or volunteering at a homeless shelter during holidays are honorable and perfectly worthy actions, service should never stop there.

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Smaller scale service is just as noble, for service is the act of putting someone else before yourself. We are called to look at every individual as beautiful gifts from the Lord. In thinking in such a way, we can enter every instance with a servant heart by asking someone how their day was, carrying something to their car for them, sitting with someone that looks lonely at lunch, writing others notes of encouragement, etc. If you feel that you could do something to make someone’s life a little happier or just to see a smile on their face, that is service. God, creating us in the image of Christ, planted within us a genuine heart of servitude. A heart of servitude that lives within each one of us every waking moment of our day to day lives. It is our job to recognize this empathetic gift and not put it to waste. In this way, we begin to view service not as a task, but rather a lifestyle, in which we put others before ourselves.

“To prepare for service and learn the nobility of serving, thereby earning the right to be served. “

Going through college, people ask you many questions about how you want to serve in life such as, “what is your passion?” or the even more loaded question, “how are you going to change the world?” These are valid questions and ones that we need to focus on; however, you must remember that your passion, your future, and your ability to change the world starts this second. Not tomorrow, next week, not when the diploma is placed in your hands, or in the next five years, but this very second.

The beautiful power of service is that you do not need any qualifications to do for others.

We can breathe a sigh of relief because service does not require a degree and can come at any time. At times, college can seem selfish with no free time for anything but test, papers, projects, and internships.

However, do not let a busy schedule distract you from empathetically looking out for those around you. It’s easy to get this wide picture in your head that for service to count, it must be on a grandeur scale. However, never forget the impact of even the smallest amount of service. Buy a friend lunch, write them a note of encouragement when you know they are having a difficult week, fold their laundry for them, help them study by quizzing them for ten minutes, make their bed for them, or even include them in your prayer list.

Service should be a part of everyone’s God-given purpose. Whatever moment you are currently in, whether your swimming upstream or barely treading water, your Heavenly Father planted you there for a specific reason. More importantly; however, our Lord surrounded us with people to cheer us on in victory and to carry with us when we are wallowing in defeat. As our creed states that we are to “prepare for service and learn the nobility of serving, thereby earning the right to be served,” we must remember that to receive is first to give. This means that in order to receive the fulfillment that life has to offer, we must give it our whole hearts. Whether it’s going door to door asking for canned goods for the less fortunate and picking up trash while you are surrounded by animals, like last weekend’s event, or just asking a friend if they need help carrying stuff to their car. God created you worthy to receive the eternal blessing of His passion, giving you a community of brothers and sisters also created in His image. Remembering that in order to love as Christ loves:

Each of [us] should use whatever gift [we] have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace” (1 Peter 4:10).

 

Samford Gives Back 2018

Samford Gives Back is a tradition where students spend part of a Saturday serving at non-profits across Birmingham. This is a way to let students see the great opportunity to serve while letting them give back to a community that gives them a city to call home.

Samford Gives Back allowed Zeta Tau Alpha to split into two groups to serve at different locations this year. One group cleaned the Birmingham Zoo while the other organized at Grace Klein Community Center.

The women at the zoo scrubbed pollen off from picnic tables and trash cans so families could better enjoy their time together. Once the tables and trash cans were clean, they toured the zoo with trash bags in hand to pick up trash scattered near the exhibits.

The other group serving at Grace Klein drove around Birmingham communities to knock on doors and ask for donations of canned goods and other non-perishable items. The collected items were brought back to the community center and packed in boxes. Then, some girls helped clean up the community center while others wrote notes of encouragement on the cardboard boxes where the canned goods and nonperishable items were packed. These boxes will be given to different families who benefit from Grace Klein.

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Mr. Samford Recap

Mr. Samford was a true success this year. 2018 was the first year contestants took the stage in the Wright Center after many years of hosting the event in Seibert Gym.

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The boys thrived as they goofed off on-stage with a crowd of over 500 people laughing and soaking in every moment. The judges definitely struggled in picking an overall winner.

However, Jacob Stewart was crowned Mr. Samford after his infamous hockey monologue and his story of his not-so-rocky road upbringing. Oh, his favorite ice cream flavor is vanilla, if you were wondering.

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Daylin won Mr. Congeniality after he wowed the crowd with his incredible duet dance.

Logan raised the most money through Venmo and cash donations after he wooed the ladies while singing Dixieland Delight with his sweet country accent.