Ole Miss Journalism

Stories produced by students in the Meek School of Journalism & New Media

Ole Miss Sorority Legacies Feel Welcome and Passed Over

Bid Day at Tri Delta 2011. Ellen Kerce and Elizabeth Murphy. Photo courtesy of Ellen Kerce.

Bid Day at Tri Delta 2011. Ellen Kerce and Elizabeth Murphy. Photo courtesy of Ellen Kerce.

Lisa Clark, a junior Tri Delta member, did not stress when it came to rush. She came into college open-minded but knew Tri Delta was where she was meant to be. Clark’s mom, two older sisters, aunt and two cousins were all Tri Delts at Ole Miss, and Clark lives with her cousin in the Tri Delta house right now.

“All seven of us, whether we are at home in Charlotte or in Oxford, have always been a close family, but the fact that we are all Tri Delts makes it even more special,” Clark says.

Clark is one of the hundreds of legacies that go through recruitment each year. Yet, being a legacy can seem like a double-edged sword.

“I thought it was harder to go through rush as a legacy at Ole Miss. Other sororities write you off as going what your mom or sister went,” says grad-student and member of Delta Delta Delta, Mary Cannon Spradley.

“A few of the houses where I didn’t know anyone asked if I had any Greek ties. As soon as I told them my sister was a Tri Delt, their attitude changed and I was not asked back the next round,” says Tri Delta member and legacy Susanna Southern.

Clark and another Tri Delta legacy, Jamie Spradley, said some houses kept them throughout the recruitment process out of courtesy. They say this gesture meant a lot to them, knowing they had the opportunity to pledge a different sorority.

Assistant Dean of Students for Student Involvement at Ole Miss, Coulter Ward, has been over Greek life for the past four years. He thinks being a legacy both helps and hinders, but it is not in the legacy’s control if it does.

“To me, legacy is kind of a weird thing… it has a lot of different aspects to it,” Coulter says.

Overall, most Tri Delta legacies say the experience has been positive.  Ellen Kerce and her cousin, Elizabeth Murphy, have been roommates since freshman year and pledged Delta Delta Delta together. Kerce’s mom, aunt and older sister were Tri Delts at Ole Miss. Kerce says it has been a dream come true to live with her cousin for three years.

“We’ve always wanted to live together.. It’s been so special and our friendship has grown ever since then,” Kerce says.

When asking the legacies about their favorite moments, smiles typically appeared across all of their faces. Stories like running down Sorority Row on Bid Day into their older sisters’ arms or their mothers pinning them at the initiation ceremony made the Tri Delta bond stronger.

“It is such an incredible bond. Even though we have been close forever, Tri Delta has made our relationship stronger,” says Southern, who shares the bond with her older sister Sarah Ellen.

Jamie Spradley just went through recruitment in October of this year and says she has loved every moment.

“Running to the Tri Delta house was something I had wanted to do since I decided I was going to Ole Miss. Seeing my sister and mom waiting for me and having my sister put my Bid Day jersey on me was so sentimental.”


Chandler Clarkson is a member in Delta Delta Delta.


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This entry was posted on December 6, 2013 by in Clarkson.
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