–This post was written by Danesha Winfrey, President of The University of Memphis chapter of Golden Key.–
The Region 2 Summit was held in Memphis, Tennessee from March 1-3, 2013. The night before our Golden Key chapter had a packing party. We gathered a bunch of U of M, Memphis, and Golden Key swag to give to our fellow delegates. There was a buzz in the air of the Fogelman Building. We knew we were about to pull off something big!
Friday, March 1st:
On Friday, Golden Key’s Memphis Chapter welcomed guests from all over Region 2. The region consists of universities from Tennessee, Virginia, and the Carolinas. We also welcomed students from schools in Alabama and Mississippi! Golden Key Memphis Chapter was honored to host the Golden Key Executive Director, Brad Rainey, and the entire Regional Summit Board (Traci Gordon– Region 2 Associate Director; Beverly Forbes, Theodore Ross, Ricky Tran and others). There was school spirit in the air as it mixed with Memphis’s wintry weather. The event started with registration of the different schools. We handed out the Golden Key world tour t-shirts, networked and schmoozed with Mr. Brad Rainey. Mr. Rainey felt right at home, as Memphis is his hometown. Then, we had a mixer and Golden Key members were able to mix, mingle and eat. The food was great. There was everything from hot wings to spanakopita.
Next, it was time for our opening speakers. Dr. Rosie Phillips Bingham was our first speaker and our own Mayor Wharton, Jr. was the other. We started the opening session with the Vice President of Golden Key International Honour Society’s Memphis Chapter welcoming the delegates, advisors and administrators. Next, we had an introduction by our region’s Associate Director, Traci Gordon.
Then there were icebreakers. Region 2 went around and mingled with each other. We were asked by Ricky Tran to go outside of our comfort zone when initiating conversations. Region 2 seemed to bond instantly!
Saturday, March 2nd:
Saturday morning started with breakfast in the Fogelman Classroom Building on our sprawling University campus. We then had the pleasure of a presentation by the Executive Director. Mr. Rainey informed the group of our seven new charters in the United States, scholarships, as well as how Society funds are productively being spent. Mr. Rainey also spoke of our Chapter Standards and our accuracy of reports. He ended with an opportunity for Golden Key Members. It is an internship that provides housing, transportation, and the most important – a career! We had our group photos done by photographer Maggie Landry.
It was then time for our brunch. Memphis Golden Key arranged for our Tiger Cafeteria, the Fresh Food Company, to feed everyone. We ate and laughed. After playing hard, it was time for the Golden Key members to work hard. The workshops are the main reasons for attending summits as you can learn valuable lessons to take back to your chapter. Although we learned much information, it is all in an effort to enjoy our time as officers and to bask in the prestige and responsibility of being a Golden Key Member.
There were workshops that focused on BillHighway, the GIN system, becoming a Key Chapter, Better World Books and other service initiatives, and business etiquette. There were even “Roundtable Workshops” for the Presidents and the Advisors. All of the attendees were excited about the workshop topics offered. We listened intently and voiced concerns. We really felt like our voices were heard. It was comforting to know that someone else has been in our shoes, whatever our concerns may be. We provided feedback and displayed keen interest in the material. The friendships made helped solidify this level of comfort in sharing our concerns and suggestions.
After much note taking and feedback at the workshops, it was time for an intermission. This consisted of Golden Key having a break to decompress for dinner. Region 2 arrived at The University of Memphis’s University Center to have dinner in the River Room. The entertainment – New Session Band – provided such a delightful atmosphere in the River Room, overlooking the Student Plaza. The evening atmosphere was tinged with Memphis charm: the Memphis Golden Key Officers wanted to show our Region 2 that Southern charm. This was done with great food and dancing – surf and turf and the electric slide, anyone?
The Keynote Speaker was Dr. Barbara Bekis, the Educational Support Program Coordinator, U of M. She provided us with wonderful nuggets of advice and enlightened us with the books that she is reading. She spoke of how our knowledge can take us around the world. We ate and exchanged t-shirts as the band entertained us. Some of the Golden Key Memphis officers got up to dance (ahem, I was one) and then mostly everyone joined! We cupid-shuffled, Harlem-shook, wobble-wobbled, and electric-slid in unison! Then after the party, there was an after-party!
Sunday, March 3, 2013
Our morning ended quietly. Traci, Danesha, Matthew, Darryl, and Sokoya arrived to dole out to-go bags. We said goodbye to our new friends and saw them off to their hometown with well wishes of a safe trip. The Regional Summit was a success! What better way to make friends and learn about a chapter to which one is devoted? Golden Key International Honour Society continues to unlock our potential!