Sigma Kappa adviser retires after 14 years

December 18, 2008

by Amy Olita

Patricia Flournoy pledged Tech’s chapter of Sigma Kappa Fall 1968. Forty years later, Flournoy still remains involved in the organization.

After 14 years of volunteering her time as advisory board chairman for the sorority, Flournoy is retiring, and the chapter threw a surprise retirement party for her last Thursday night disguised as the annual Christmas party.

Hillary Miller, Sigma Kappa president and a senior biology major, said they threw this party to show Flournoy what an impact she has had on the sorority over the years.

“Mrs. Flournoy is the perfect example of how a sorority [can] have a lifelong affect on you,” Miller said. “She is kind of a dynasty in Sigma Kappa.”

Miller said Flournoy handled meetings, making sure an adviser was at each one, helped with correspondence with the national headquarters and was Miller’s personal adviser. All this work was strictly volunteering.

“This is something you have to do just because you love it so much,” Miller said. “That makes it even more special.”

Miller said friends and family, including an 88-year-old charter member of the sorority were invited to Flournoy’s surprise retirement party.

Flournoy said it was a wonderful evening with a catered dinner, cake and people who had some very nice things to say about her work with the chapter.

While Flournoy said she had been considering retiring for a while, Sigma Kappa will remain a part of her life.

“I just felt it was the right time to step aside,” she said.

Flournoy passes the position of advisory board chairman to Katie McKinney, coordinator of student development and interfraternity council adviser.

Flournoy also gave McKinney advice on the chairman position.

“Just be yourself and stay true to [Sigma Kappa’s] values and be a model and mentor to the members,” Flournoy said.

McKinney said she realizes she has some very large shoes to fill when she officially gains the position in January.

“I am excited to get to know the girls better, work with them and be able to give back to the chapter,” McKinney said.

Flournoy said she will miss the day-to-day relationships with the women of the chapter, but she also said she is always there for anyone who needs her.

Flournoy said, “I hope I’ve helped women realize their full potential in scholarship service and in loyalty to the sorority through its values and ideals.”