Then and Now: A 30-Year Top Tau Journey

By Lindsay McDowall Davis, Gamma Mu 

When a Sister joins the Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority, she takes on a responsibility to support the Sorority in all the ways that she can, both as a collegiate member and as an alumnae member. Marti Peter’s dedication to the longevity of our dear old Alpha Sigma Tau made her the 1989 Beta Iota Top Tau. Thirty years later, she’s being honored as the Northern Virginia Alumnae Chapter’s Top Tau for that very same reason and for being a Sister that all can look up to. 

Marti (center) with Carol Mooney (left) and Beth James (right), both Alpha Lambda.

Marti joined Alpha Sigma Tau at Millersville University at Pennsylvania after her older cousin had joined a sorority at a different university. “Our campus only had one national sorority, and I knew I wanted [my Sorority] to be national versus local because of the opportunities,” she recalls. Marti had the unique experience of spearheading the first Panhellenic Council on the campus while serving in varying offices as a collegiate Sister. “I was lucky enough see more national sororities added to the campus by the time I left the university,” she recalls.

After graduation, Marti sought to be involved as an alumna. Rearing two kids and having moved to Virginia, she reached out to Carol Mooney, Alpha Lambda, who is a member of the Northern Virginia Alumnae Chapter. “Carol, who is now one of my best friends, asked me if I wanted to be the Alternate Panhellenic Delegate. I’ve now been involved in the Panhellenic role for over 20 years!” Being involved in sorority is something that, while can be shared with family, Marti feels is her special place and something she can do for herself. “We took vows to support the Sorority for the rest of our lives,” she points out, and the decision to join a national Sisterhood certainly has given her the lifelong opportunities she sought so many years earlier.

Marti (back row, second from right) with members of the Northern Virginia Alumnae Chapter at the 41st National Convention.

For Marti, being awarded the Alumnae Top Tau award 30 years after her collegiate title makes her feel as though everything has come full circle. As a collegiate member, Marti took on offices that maybe she wouldn’t have chosen for enjoyment but knew needed to be filled to make the Sorority successful. “I was the Treasurer, and while I didn’t particularly like that position and dealing with finances, it was what was needed.” Receiving the Collegiate Top Tau award was a recognition of the hard work Marti put in as a collegiate Sister in between classes. As an Alumnae Top Tau, the award means something a little different—it means an appreciation of her labor of love in positions that Marti feels are her calling.

“It was nice, because it’s been a difficult year,” she reflected. “Sometimes I felt like I didn’t have the time, but I also feel that I found my calling in the things I’m doing now, like planning social events.” This year, Marti lost both of her parents, and the outpouring of support from Sisters far and near reminded her of the reasons she loves Alpha Sigma Tau. “It was a true testament to the Sorority, and this honor of being the Top Tau has been very nice.”