Greek and independent women serve together

First Women’s Service Day unites female students with community


Students prepare meals for distribution in Campus Kitchen. Photo courtesy of Jack Eason, ’22.

Jack Eason

A week after the glitz and glamour of the 112th annual Fancy Dress Ball, members of all seven sororities and the independent women rolled up their sleeves and got to work. Saturday, March 29 marked the first Women’s Service Day for Washington and Lee University.

The purpose of the event was twofold: to give back to the Lexington-Rockbridge community that W&L students call home for four years and to foster stronger connections between Greek and independent women. 

Largely organized by the philanthropy chairs of each of the six sororities and a dedicated group of independents, the event has been long in the works. 

Cabrey Keller, ‘21, Kappa Alpha Theta’s philanthropy chair, said the event was organized because of the way the Lexington community contributes to student experience.

“It started as an idea between some of the different philanthropy chairs,” Keller said. “We do a lot of philanthropy events individually, but I thought this was an opportunity to come together and create unity and to give back to this community that we benefit so much from.”

About 90 women spread around town at organizations like Rockbridge Area Relief Association (RARA), Habitat for Humanity, Campus Kitchen, Project Horizon, Boxerwood and Rockbridge SPCA.

Women signed up at a table in commons earlier in the week for one of the many volunteer sessions. Ella Powers, ‘22, helped staff the table. 

“I think it’s really important to reach out to the community and try to separate any barriers that we have,” Powers said. “I also think it’s really empowering that a bunch of women are getting together and doing this.” 

She emphasized the inclusive nature of the day of service. 

“I think it’s really neat that we don’t have to let the walls of sorority life seperate all of us,” Powers said.

Students have been enthusiastic about the event, Keller said. 

“People have been super receptive,” she said. “[Our Greek affiliation] can be where we get a lot of our identity at this school, but even more than the sororities we belong to, we’re members of the Lexington-Rockbridge community.”

Women working together in Campus Kitchen. Photo courtesy of Jack Eason, ’22.

Grace Sullivan, ‘21, was a volunteer during the morning shift at Washington and Lee’s Campus Kitchen. In between working on cleaning and food prep, Sullivan lauded the inclusive nature of the project. 

“I think it’s really great that at any given shift today you’ll see independents and girls from every sorority,” she said. “I think that’s really important for our campus climate as a whole.”

A resounding theme amongst all women was that they hoped to see the day become a regular event at W&L. 

“It makes everyone more aware that we need to put a more conscious effort into inclusivity here on campus,” Sullivan said.