What Unites Us for a Lifetime

Dr. Kimberly (Mayberry) Fifer ’92 left campus 29 years ago with her diploma in hand, and today she is assistant superintendent of the Clark-Pleasant School Corporation in Whiteland, Ind., just south of Indianapolis.

You may recall Kimberly’s account (in the spring 2021 issue of Kentucky Wesleyan Magazine) of her disc jockey responsibilities and her encounter, in that role, with President Paul Hartman. You can find the humorous and encouraging memory by clicking the link above.

Kimberly had more to tell about what unites her to KWC, and here it is, along with memories from several of her sorority sisters.

A member of Kappa Delta Sorority, her ties to her sorority are stronger now than they were in 1993. About 13 years ago, a group of sorority sisters from that era began gathering twice a year –  in the summer for a pool party, and in the fall for relaxation at a comfortable, rustic cabin. She says they put their phones away and concentrate on connecting and enjoying being together.

They send group texts regularly, and every Tuesday night they meet on Zoom.  “Whoever is available shows up on Zoom,” she explains. “We try not to miss it. We laugh, we cry, we share updates on our lives and families, and we reminisce. We celebrate successes, and sometimes we pray for each other. We encourage each other, too, as we face the challenges of life.”

Some of the group has gone camping, and they have even made trips to Mexico and Jamaica.

Several years ago, the son of one member played on an undefeated high school football team in Indiana that went to the state playoffs. “Some of us attended games, and the rest of us kept up with the team in texts. That was fun. We also enjoy occasional get-togethers with our families.”

Kimberly says they love to attend alumni events in their areas and enjoy keeping up with their alma mater on social media. “I am hoping some of us can get together on campus soon. What better place to get together than where it all began! This group has unconditional love for each other regardless of situations, moods and interactions.”

Here are memories from several other members of this KD group:

Cynde (Rowell) Clausen ’96

“The bottom line is we are still here for one another.”

Laura Jo Kuyper ’95

“When I went to Wesleyan, I didn’t know a soul. Then all of a sudden I had this circle of friends. After graduation we all were able to see each other a lot for wedding showers, weddings, births of babies, etc. After that we needed a reason to get together, and we created two large group gatherings each year. From that came side trips that smaller subgroups would take when availability and proximity allowed. 2009 was the first of the cabin weekends that we still do today. That circle of friends is more special to me today than ever.”

Paige Moore ’95

“In many ways, the same things that brought us together in the first place keep bringing us together. The women in this group are smart, selfless, loyal and incredibly fun.”

Dr. Catherine (Eblen) Sherrard ’95

“In the recent Friends reunion show, the writers talked about how they created the storyline around the friends we have in our 20s (or longer) who serve as our family until we start our own families. It is quite a sad concept to me to think that our college friends simply fill a gap in time between families. My Kappa Delta sisters have remained my second family going on 30 years and have played an important part of the celebrations and sadness I have experienced along the way. I have no doubt they will remain an important part of my life always.”

Sara (Bender) Vaal ’96

“We navigated our college years together learning basic life skills, many times the hard way. These girls were there for me through my highs and lows, without judgment. And now, 25 years later, we can truly appreciate and celebrate our successes because we knew each other when we were all just hot messes who didn’t have a clue. Sadly, after 25 years, we have also held each other up after numerous losses, health crises and emotional trauma. There is simply no other kind of support system like my Kappa Delta sisters. They are my tribe, and I thank God for them every day.”

Julie (Johnson) Wilbur ’95

“I joined Kappa Delta sorority as a spring pledge my freshman year. Whenever I told people, especially high school friends, that I was now a sorority girl I was often told I was paying for friends. Well, 25+ years later I’m still very close to my sisters, and I think we get closer every year.

“We text constantly, meet up for pool parties and camping trips and visit when any of us are in the same city. When Covid started, we knew we really needed each other as we didn’t know when we would see each other again. We started a Tuesday night Zoom call that is still going strong. We have been with each other through good times and bad throughout the years—marriages, divorces, children, career changes, illnesses, just to name a few.

“In August 2020 my mother suffered a sudden stroke. I sent one text message and suddenly had message, calls and prayers coming from the whole group. It was so comforting, especially as the nurses in the group could answer questions and others who had already experienced loss helped me navigate through my feelings. I received cards, care packages and, of course, white roses. Some sisters even came to the visitation. The service was held on Facebook Live, and the whole group watched together on Zoom. I felt the love from Owensboro, Harrodsburg, Indianapolis, Northern Kentucky and Mississippi. They will never know what their love means to me. So, I may have ‘bought’ my friends but what a bargain I got. And I’ll never exchange or return any of them.”