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      Young Alumna Rachel O’Hanlon '16



Background

Rachel O’Hanlon graduated from UC Santa Barbara in the spring of 2016 -- but memories of her time at sorority Delta Delta Delta will last a lifetime.

As a Tri Delta, O'Hanlon learned a lot about the meaning of philanthropy at her sorority's benefit events for their chosen charity St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. She served as chapter director of alumni relations - a position that exposed her to the broad network of alumnae leaders from Tri Delta.

O'Hanlon now works as an associate consultant with C3 Business Solutions and hopes to continue building on work with fellow UCSB sorority sisters.



6  Questions

What drew you to study at UC Santa Barbara?

I had applied to UC Santa Barbara entirely on a whim, and did not seriously consider attending until I discovered that I had been admitted.

However, after walking around campus during Spring Insight, I had a gut feeling that UCSB was going to be a place I could truly grow, not only as a student, but as a well-rounded and versatile individual. The university has a powerful combination of academics, student involvement on campus, and location; looking back, I consider choosing UCSB the best decision my 18 year old self could have ever made. I truly believe life has a way of working out for the best, even if sometimes unexpectedly.

What inspired you to join Greek life at UCSB?

It was not until my sophomore year that I decided to undergo the recruitment process. Many close friends I had made over the course of my freshman year were very involved in their respective sororities and formed close bonds with their sisters through various events and activities; I could not help but feel that the kind of sisterhood they belonged to was something I too would enjoy and benefit from.

During recruitment week, I recall the genuine conversations I had with the young women at the Tri Delta house. All week, I felt it was a place I could honestly be myself, surrounded by a group of girls who truly listened to what I had to say and cared for my well being – 3 years later, I cannot imagine a more welcoming or pleasant home away from home.




When did awareness for philanthropy first awaken in you as a college student?

Philanthropy has always been important to me, and I recall making a mental note of Tri Delta’s philanthropy, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, as one of my favorites during recruitment. After joining Tri Delta, my love and passion for philanthropy grew ten-fold. Funds raised through memorable events such as DHOP (Delta House of Pancakes) and the Trident Classic went directly to St. Jude’s patients as well as in-hospital research for pediatric forms of cancer.

It was extraordinary to see and hear of the amazing developments and successes that took place at St. Jude’s with the help of Tri Delta’s national dedication to the hospital. Greek life as a whole shares a phenomenal philanthropic mindset – the ability to partake in diverse sorority and fraternity events to aid a plethora of meaningful causes and charities is a very humbling experience.

Why do you think Greek life creates such socially-committed individuals?

Greek life is a wonderful opportunity to grow as a member of a well-established collegiate organization, but more importantly as a member of a family. As in any family, there is a call for accountability, commitment, and trust from each member in order to keep the family in sync and well-balanced.

In addition, there are a number of good times, and a number of hard times – staying together when things are going well is easy, but it is times of adversity that really test those relationships and familial bonds. However, if you can look back at the end of the day and say, I truly love my Greek family through thick and thin, then it was all worth it.

Leslie has described you as the key person for your chapter. Why do feel you have developed such commitment to your chapter?

Leslie (Leslie Solomon Klonoff ’80, All Gaucho Reunion GreekFest Chairperson) is so kind, and I really must thank her – I could not have done my job without her unyielding support and guidance. My role as Director of Alumni Relations truly opened my eyes to the importance of hard work, dedication, and optimism, as well as the ability to remain positive if things do not go quite according to plan.Acting as the liaison between the chapter and alumni members was a crucial growing experience for me, as I had to develop the confidence and ability to communicate in a way that was professional, yet upbeat and familial.

I realized that in any leadership role, one’s mindset changes from ‘What is the best thing for me?’ to ‘What is the best thing for my people?’, and membership in a sorority works in a very similar way. As a member of any Greek sorority or fraternity, committing one’s time and energy is crucial to keep the organization up and running – Greek affiliation is extremely valuable in preparing its members for the post-graduate, professional world.

What sort of events and initiatives should we watch out for from your chapter here at UCSB?

Although my time at Tri Delta and UCSB has come to an end, the young collegiate women I have the honor of calling my sisters have so many exciting social events in store this year to build stronger relationships within the Greek community and larger Gaucho community as a whole.

It is remarkable to watch freshmen and sophomore members rise up to the occasion and take initiative in regard to leadership, social interaction, and enthusiasm for our chapter’s presence on UCSB’s campus. I know the 2016 senior class has left the chapter in great hands; as a proud alumna, I could not be more excited to see how future generations of Tri Deltas will build upon the fantastic accomplishments of the classes before them.



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