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Kianu Board of Trustees (December 2009)
Maria Kalis '95
Devon Stokes '92
Sara (Beyeler) Yackey '81

Interviews:

Maria Kalis '95

Maria KalisMaria Kalis

What inspired you to become a Trustee?
I wanted to become involved as an alum for quite some time; the position came open and seemed like a good fit. I thought it would allow me to give back to the club which gave me so much through college.

When and why did you decide you wanted to pledge Kianu?
I was a transfer to Muskingum my sophomore year; I knew I wanted to be involved in the Greek system, and XAN seemed like the perfect fit. The women were so nice! Everyone that I met was genuinely happy to be a XAN; I never heard any of the negative comments about their club that I heard from women in the other clubs. They made me feel quite welcome; my sisterhood cemented many good friendships.

What is your favorite Kianu memory?
We had so much fun at all of our parties, and there are multiple memories/stories to tell from those, although not necessarily to publish :) I think each pledge day through the years were very special moments--it was always so exciting to welcome new members.

How do you feel about Muskingum changing its name from College to University?
I'm sure it will start a new trend and we'll see Dartmouth College change next... I guess I don't really see the point. On an up note, I've always wanted to own vintage clothing--I guess my sweatshirts with "Muskingum College" now qualify.

What is the most daunting challenge Kianu now faces?
To stay in existence, as an independent club, and to retain ownership of the house. We are faced with a huge price tag to take care of the renovations--I'm hoping everyone pulls together and gives back to the club so the house can remain in our possession and generations of XAN girls can continue to proudly live there. We fought hard to maintain our independence when the other clubs moved into campus housing; I would hate to see that hard work be in vain.

What activities were you involved with as a Muskingum student?
I was a triple major -- Music, Business, and English --until my senior year, so I was busy with activities relating to those. I played piano and was rather active with performances on campus. I was a Resident Assistant my junior year, a member of the Greek board, the Senior class secretary, and obviously involved in XAN :) I volunteered at a local youth center in Zanesville several of the years there. I'm sure there were other activities, but we're getting into ancient history so forgive me for not remembering all of them.

I know you were the Kianu President your senior year. What do you remember about that experience (positive or negative)?
What a fantastic learning opportunity and wonderful experience! I learned more from that experience than anything else during college--after all, if you can head up that many women without tearing your hair out or killing someone, you can handle anything! It was an honor to be chosen, and so much fun. I think holding that office totally solidified my bond with XAN; I would strongly encourage all of the girls to seek office and actively contribute to the club. My worst memories were enforcing rules; it's very difficult to have negative encounters with your peers. My best memories came from helping XAN grow--we accomplished a lot and it was exciting to be part of such a great group of young women.

What goals do you have for Kianu during your term?
Since I was first elected, I have maintained that we, as alums, need to function more as a professional group. We each have an awesome responsibility as alumnae to give back, and I hope we can encourage everyone to contribute. We need to recognize that we are members of an organization; one that doesn't exist solely to ensure we have fun during our four years at MU. We need to actively recruit new graduates to ensure they don't lose touch as they move away from New Concord. We need to establish a networking opportunity amongst our alumnae for new graduates and older alumnae alike. The most important goal at this time is saving the house. Without the financial backing of the alumnae, we will be forced to make a very tough decision next year--whether we can afford to keep the XAN house. I know that, if we all work together, we can save our house. As a Board member, I have committed myself to reaching this goal, and will do everything within my power to see that it happens. I hope that everyone reading this makes the same commitment to the house and to XAN and helps us reach our goal.


Devon Stokes '92

Devon StokesDevon Stokes



Sara YackeySara Yackey

Sara (Beyeler) Yackey '81

What inspired you to become a Trustee?
The relationships I developed with my sisters of Kianu were my support system while I was attending Muskingum. When my oldest daughter chose to enroll at Muskingum, I knew the time had arrived for me to give back to the club.

When and why did you decide you wanted to pledge Kianu?
As a legacy (sister Natalie Beyeler ’76 and sister-in-law Ginnie Zombro Beyeler ’72) I knew the stories of their experiences and wanted to share in the experience. Then as a freshman, visiting all the clubs, the values, ethics, morals and actions of the members made me feel like I was home.

What is your favorite Kianu memory?
Oh there are so many, from pledge days to graduation, chalking the quad, rush parties, pledge parties, formals, getting my purple and gold letter shirt, to singing “Who’s the Girl with the Arrow” to my daughters as a lullaby. Then having my daughter call and say she had decided to pledge Kianu… To attending Homecoming 2009 when it was the Stag’s 100th birthday, and seeing so many friends from my era and picking up with conversations just like I had just seen them the day before. It is impossible to name just one.

How do you feel about Muskingum changing its name from College to University?
This has been a real struggle for me. Intellectually I understand the decision, but in my heart, Muskingum will always be a College, it just has the family atmosphere, where everyone knows your name.

What is the most daunting challenge Kianu now faces?
Maintaining the house and membership.

What activities were you involved with as a Muskingum student?

Football and Basketball statistician, Admissions Tour Guide, Admissions House

Did you hold any positions within Kianu when you were an active? If so, what do you remember about that experience?
I was Pledge Master and Social Chairman. As Social Chairman, I remember planning the parties and driving my blue VW Scirocco across the quad while setting up for a party with the Stags.

What goals do you have for Kianu during your term?
To contact fellow Kianus and engage them to become involved in alumnae activities.


If you would like to nominate someone for this honor (active or alumna), please e-mail ruthsaraconnell(at)gmail(dot)com with your selection. Changes are made as nominations are received.

To see other honorees, click on month:
2001
 
 
 
 
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
 
2009
 
2010
 
              October
 


Last Update: December 2009