Straight up, the purpose of Phi Sigma Pi is to offer significant tools to college students to help them become leaders, make a difference and improve humanity with honor.
Adrienne Freeland understands this philosophy, personally. She’s been with Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity as a Student Member, in leadership roles, as an Alumna and, for the past five years, as Senior Director/Director of Communications at National Headquarters.
Back in 2004, Freeland and her dorm mate attended a Chapter introductory session at York College of Pennsylvania after coming home to a Phi Sigma Pi flier on their door. Freeland was an English literature undergrad in her second semester, and she just hadn’t found her “community” ... yet.
At the first meeting, attendees played a game in which they described themselves. Sort of like ‘speed friending,’ Freeland said. “Everyone seemed nice. We had shared goals.” After that first meeting, Freeland said she knew Phi Sigma Pi was the community to which she wanted to belong. Almost immediately she stepped up to be more than just a Member. She was Scholarship Chair in her sophomore year, Initiate Advisor in her junior year and Chapter President in her senior year.
“It was important for me to hold positions,” she said. “I joined early, and I wanted to give back.”
Highlights of her time with the Alpha Zeta Chapter, Freeland said, was its work with Olivia’s House, an organization committed to supporting children who are healing from grief, and Our Daily Bread, a York-based soup kitchen.
She said the college administration, campus groups and community organizations viewed Phi Sigma Pi in a positive light. “We worked closely with Career Services. We didn’t stay in our own little bubble.”
When she graduated from York College in 2007, Freeland headed to Pittsburgh to continue her education at Duquesne University, where she earned a graduate degree in English and a certificate in women’s and gender studies in 2010. Unfortunately, she said, “I lost touch when I moved to Pittsburgh. I didn’t stay active (with the Fraternity).”
But, when Freeland came back to the area – she lives near Hershey, Pennsylvania, with her fiancé, Mark, and her kitty, Kona -- she heard about an opening with Phi Sigma Pi’s National Headquarters. In 2013, she left her job as a typesetter and writer for a national publishing company to become the social media coordinator for Phi Sigma Pi’s National Staff. She and Danielle Reidenbach, Director of Leadership Advancement, who was hired just a short time after Freeland, made up the Marketing and Communications team.
Today, as Director/Senior Director of Communications, Freeland manages Phi Sigma Pi’s branding initiatives and, working with a team of two, she communicates the Fraternity’s goals and achievements internally and externally, ensuring that the messaging reaches the correct audiences. Also, with the Communications team, Freeland produces "The Purple & Gold,” Phi Sigma Pi’s bi-annual magazine.
Most rewarding, though, is her work with the students, she said. “I really love giving them the tools and seeing them grow. I like highlighting them in various ways – through the magazine, social media and blogs.”
After five years with Phi Sigma Pi, Freeland said she has experienced a full cycle from recruitment, through Initiation and graduation. The students who came in as first-year students when she first started are now Alumni Members.
Her ability to see Phi Sigma Pi from both sides of the table has given Freeland a unique view, she said. “I like how our students tell us what direction we are going,” she explained, giving an example of the gender-inclusivity resolution, which took place about four years ago. “That moment really sticks out for me,” she said.
Also memorable is her work on the present Capital Campaign -- fundraising for physical changes to the National Headquarters building -- which hasn’t even seen so much as a new coat of paint since its construction more than 20 years ago. “It’s exactly as it was when the doors opened," Freeland said. "It’s dated, especially technology wise. We want to be able to offer everything a National Headquarters should offer its Members.”
When not sharing the message of Phi Sigma Pi and building up pride, Freeland serves on the board of the Fraternity Communications Association and enjoys running. Though not a lifetime participant, she became passionate about running about five years ago and has finished two half marathons – one in Hershey and one in Harrisburg. Her favorite surface is rail trails, which tend to be more forgiving to the body and not as busy as streets, she said.
Freeland and her fiance spend time updating their house and traveling. Two of their favorite trips were to Vermont and Hawaii. ... And now that Freeland’s 10-month-old niece moved back to the area, she’s been busy showering her with love, she said. “She just started walking and watches Moana two times a day.”