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Melissa Kelly


Material Information

Melissa Kelly
Series Title:
USF 50th (2006) anniversary oral history project
Physical Description:
1 sound file (60 min.) : digital, MPEG4 file + ;
Kelly, Melissa
Huse, Andrew T
University of South Florida Libraries -- Florida Studies Center. -- Oral History Program
University of South Florida -- Tampa Library
University of South Florida Tampa Library
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Greek letter societies   ( lcsh )
Oral history   ( local )
Online audio   ( local )
Oral history.   ( local )
Online audio.   ( local )
interview   ( marcgt )


Melissa Kelly, a 2005 graduate of USF, discusses her presidency of the USF Panhellenic Council and her involvement with Alpha Delta Pi sorority and Alternative Spring Break groups.
Interview conducted July 29, 2004.
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
System Details:
Streaming audio.
Statement of Responsibility:
interviewed by Andrew Huse.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 029204437
oclc - 275173472
usfldc doi - U23-00177
usfldc handle - u23.177
System ID:

This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text
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Kelly, Melissa.
Melissa Kelly
h [electronic resource] /
interviewed by Andrew Huse.
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida Tampa Library,
1 sound file (60 min.) :
digital, MPEG4 file +
e 1 expanded summary (digital, PDF file)
USF 50th (2006) anniversary oral history project
Interview conducted July 29, 2004.
Melissa Kelly, a 2005 graduate of USF, discusses her presidency of the USF Panhellenic Council and her involvement with Alpha Delta Pi sorority and Alternative Spring Break groups.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Streaming audio.
Kelly, Melissa.
2 610
University of South Florida.
Alpha Delta Pi Sorority.
Greek letter societies.
7 655
Oral history.
Online audio.
Huse, Andrew T.
University of South Florida Libraries.
Florida Studies Center.
Oral History Program.
University of South Florida.
Tampa Library.
4 856


COPYRIGHT NOTICE This Oral History is copyrighted by the University of South Florida Libraries Oral History Program on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of South Florida. Copyright, 200 8 University of South Florida. All rights, reserved. T his oral history may be used for research, instruction, and private study under the provisions of the Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of the United States Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section 107), which allows limited use of copyrighted materials under certain conditions. Fair Use limits the amount of material that may be used. For all other permissions and requests, contact the UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA LIBRARIES ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at the University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, LIB 122, Tampa, FL 33620.


1 USF Florida Studies Center Oral History Program USF 50 th History Anniversary Project Narrator: Melissa Kelly Interviewer: Andrew Huse Current Position: President of the USF Location of Interview: Tampa Panhellenic Council Campus Libra ry Date of Interview: July 29, 2004 Abstractor: Jared G. Toney Editor: Mary E. Yeary Date of Abstract: Oct. 27, 2004 Date of Edit: November 2, 2004 Final Editor: Jared G. Toney TOPICS OF DISCUSSION Ms. Kelly came to USF as a student in 2001. Background Ms. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa, thus has always been aware of the University of South Florida. Though she had planned to attend a different university, she changed her mind at the last minute and decided to stay in Tampa and attend schoo l at South Florida. What makes USF distinctive Ms. Kelly believes one thing that makes USF so distinctive is that, "We are not predominantly known as a party school ... [like] some of the other colleges ... We are a little bit more progressive ... a litt le bit younger ... Students here seem to be a little bit more at a higher level of thinking ... We are a very diversified university." Marketing program She chose to study marketing after speaking with a USF business graduate who spoke highly of her exper iences in the program. Though she had initially planned to major in pharmacy, Ms. Kelly decided that marketing better suited her personality. She hopes to end up working with women's groups and doing more public speaking, "That's where my real passion lies ." College of Business "[The] college of business is wonderful," Kelly says of her experiences in the program. "And every professor I've ever had there has been so helpful and so wonderful and always willing to go the extra mile for me as a student ... [ and] it's very professional." Extracurricular activities Ms. Kelly recalls the incoming student orientation was really helpful, and was what first introduced her to Greek life at South Florida. "I think everybody has a need for social belonging ... [but] I didn't think Greek life was for me." After some consideration, however, she "went out on a limb" and decided to go through the Greek recruitment process. "It's amazing that's just what opened up the door for me."


2 Alpha Delta Pi sorority As soon as sh e walked in the door at Alpha Delta Pi sorority, Kelly recalls, "I just fell in love with these girls. They were classy, they had values ... based on the ideas of Christian womanhood ... I thought, I just have to be here, this is the place for me." After h er acceptance to the sorority, Kelly felt an immediate sense of love and acceptance, reflecting that, "It was all falling into place from there ... It has just opened my life up so much ... Who I am today is a direct result of those women being in my life ... They encouraged me, they enriched me, and they fulfill me to this day." Though many of her sorority sisters have graduated and since moved on, "the love stays forever." Volunteer work; Involvement Once in the sorority, Ms. Kelly began doing work with Volunteer USF, later becoming the philanthropy chair at Alpha Delta Pi. The following year, as a nineteen year old sophomore, she was asked to serve as president of her sorority chapter. "It's like being the CEO of your own company almost ... I really didn 't think that I was that qualified." After her yearlong tenure as chapter president, Kelly joined the Panhellenic Council, where she was elected president. With a continuing desire to serve and impact still more people, Kelly decided to work as state coord inator of S.E.P.C., where she would be able to work with the greatest number of women. Volunteer USF She worked as a coordinator for a program called "Alternative Spring Break" at Volunteer USF, where groups of students are taken to do weeklong volunteer work over spring break. "It was really my first real ... leadership experience of any kind. [It was] a very rich group of students ... very diverse ... We had a good time ... It was a rough week, to be honest, it was a lot of hard work." Leadership Ms. Ke lly believes that she is a strong leader because, she explains, "I think that I am a little bit more mature for my age ... I don't think that I'm a typical twenty one year old woman and I think that I see something greater in people ... That's a direct res ult of my Christianity and who I am." Ms. Kelly recalls a particularly significant candlelight event with her sorority sisters when, as the philanthropy chair, she spoke from her heart and emerged as a leader for her organization. It was the very next yea r that she was asked to serve as president of the sorority. "I had known that I wanted to be president of the chapter since the day I walked in," she recalls. Nomination for president While involved in Greek organizations and student life on campus, Ms. K elly was also working full time. Faced with the possibility of serving as chapter president, she recalls that, "I had pretty much decided ... that I wanted to kind of give up ... the life that I had ... to really be chapter president because it is a labor love doing that. You have to be dedicated to the sisters all the time." When nominated for the position, she accepted


3 enthusiastically, noting that she "would be honored to be the president of this chapter ... and [she] won the election." Once nominated, Ms. Kelly successfully ran against two sorority sisters for the office of president and won. "I happen to be a more exceptional person for my age, and I know that ... and it's just a result of how I grew up ... and the sisters chose [me]." She remembers f eeling particularly honored when elected president of her sorority, "I felt loved ... and very well respected ... it made me feel so proud." What she did not know at the time, she reflects, was that, "It would become who I am for the rest of my life ... It really molded the things I want to do for the rest of my life." Responsibilities as the chapter president Asked what her duties were as sorority chapter president, she replies, "Anything and everything." On any given day, she estimates that she would rec eive fifteen to twenty phone calls just from those women in her chapter in addition to working with various offices on and off campus. One of the most significant events during her tenure as president was the installation of Greek housing on campus, someth ing that had been an issue at USF for many years. "That's the best part about it. The women in the chapter are what make it the greatest position ever ... I love it more than I have loved anything else ever." Recreation Ms. Kelly explains that she and her sorority sisters participate in many social events with other organizations. They also host chapter events such as movie nights, slumber parties, and ice cream socials. "Spending time with each other really allows us to open ourselves up to who we are." Future plans Though Ms. Kelly cannot be certain that a career in politics is ahead of her, she explains that, "I doubly want to be in a public position where I can help people in general ... I guess we'll just wait and see whatever life has in store for me." Panhellenic Council President After serving as sorority president, Ms. Kelly moved on to become the president of the Panhellenic Council at USF. Her election served as evidence of her success as chapter president, and gave her the opportunity to work with Greek organizations on a higher level. "With this, I have to be more hands off almost, and so I've learned a lot about leadership even from this ... It's just been a more unique experience for me I think." Southeastern Panhellenic Conference There i s an annual conference in Atlanta when the women of Panhellenic councils come together to discuss women's issues and Greek life while refining leadership skills. The conference often invites speakers to address important issues


4 Graduation; Reflections on time at USF Ms. Kelly plans to complete her coursework at USF and graduate in the spring of 2005. "I could never have asked for a better college experience," she reflects. "I had no idea that my life would be as enriched as it is. I had no idea that I w ould become who I am ... and I love USF for it; I will always be appreciative to this university for that." End of Interview