Creating Change and Lasting Connections
Lebanon Valley College’s Alpha Sigma Tau (AST) sorority enables students to make a change in their community while still completing their academic journeys and enjoying the social benefits of Greek life.
“Nationally, AST is a very diverse sorority willing to step up to help each other, help other women, or serve the community at all times,” said Deanna Jones ’24, AST’s director of philanthropy and an exercise science major. “We are a small chapter compared to others, but we do things that bigger sororities can do, plus so much more. We always are willing to try new projects presented to us and use those opportunities to develop our members into extraordinary women.”
In fact, LVC’s chapter made a national impact during its recent Founders Day of Giving. This year marked the 30th anniversary of the organization at The Valley, and current members and alumnae teamed to raise $25,299.75, an amount that ranked first among all chapters in the country. The total raised by all AST chapters was more than $240,000.
The money raised from Founders Day benefits members through education programs related to alcohol awareness, sexual assault, and hazing prevention. The proceeds also support their Officer Academy, which includes leadership training.
LVC’s chapter also has numerous annual service projects—one of the largest is Treats4Troops—where they send goodies to active-duty soldiers. AST raised enough donations and candy this year to ship 1,598 goodie bags.
“It is inspiring to see the impact we can have, but I don’t think we do it for the recognition,” said Hayley Cowles ’23, vice president of finance and a member of the Flying Dutchmen women’s lacrosse team. “We all do it because we truly enjoy the projects and giving back to people who have done so much for us.”
Continuing with fall projects, during Trick-or-Treating for Canned Goods, members collected canned goods around the community and donated them to food pantries.
One of the chapter’s newer programs is a Dress for Success Drive clothing drive.
“Dress for Success helps empower women in the workforce by helping with interview preparation and providing business clothes to women in need,” said Kaley Brennan ’23, vice president of organization development and an exercise science major. “As AST, we help collect and donate clothing. It’s amazing to see so many young women support other women.”
This lasting impact continues beyond graduation from The Valley. AST alumnae remain involved with the organization supporting service projects and developing long-term relationships with students. Current and past members are constantly collaborating to plan service and social events and check on each other.
“Being a part of AST is being a part of something bigger than yourself and something you never lose sight of,” said Brennan.
Learn more about the work of AST by following their Instagram @astlvc.
— Angelica Fraine ’23, Marketing & Communications Student Intern