1780 – The Official Blog of Transylvania University

Giving back: Volunteers advise Transy’s collegiate Greek chapters

Members of Transy's Panhellenic Community
Members of Transylvania's Panhellenic Community

Greek organizations have been part of the Transylvania community since 1888. During that time, the Greek community has sought to improve the lives of its members and the community through academic excellence, leadership development, a focus on service and philanthropy and a commitment to living their values.

Though there are eight different national chapters on Transy’s campus, all share common principles and enhance the educational experience by emphasizing intellectual and social development.

In this this blog, we introduce the local community members and alumni who volunteer their time to serve as chapter advisers for four of the chapters on campus.

Profiles were submitted by the chapters.

Derrick Wonsowski, Pi Kappa Alpha

Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Wonsowski graduated from Wayne State University in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. During his time in college, he was initiated into the Pi Kappa Alpha, Delta Nu Chapter at Wayne State. He will be starting in the MBA program at Northern Kentucky University in the spring of 2019.

Derrick moved to Lexington in 2010 and soon after met his wife, Liz. They have two children, Liam and Delana, who are always on the go and keep them very busy. 

Derrick is a mechanical design engineer at Link-Belt Construction Equipment in Lexington and has been there a little over four years.

Derrick became an alumnus volunteer for the Pi Kappa Alpha, Kappa Chapter at Transylvania in 2011 and was very involved in Kappa Chapter’s reinstatement in 2014.  He became the Kappa Chapter adviser in November 2015.  He has participated in a number of membership development activities with the Kappa Chapter active members as well as several Pike national conventions, leadership academies and regional summits.

Sallye Staley ’89, Chi Omega 

Sallye Staley joined Chi Omega in 1985 and graduated in 1989.

She majored in studio art, but then a few years after graduation came back to Transy to take two classes needed to complete an education degree to be able to teach art.

Staley is now a a middle school art teacher at The Lexington School.

“The favorite part of being a Chi O when I was in college was making great friends with a lot in common,” Staley recalls.  “I enjoyed working on projects, philanthropy activities, and studying with my sisters.” 

“Today I love Chi O for all those reasons as well as watching all you younger sisters continuing the Chi O purpose with all the modern conveniences,” she said.

Staley became an adviser to remain connected with the chapter. “I wanted to become an adviser to stay a part of this awesome organization of women and to hopefully have a positive influence on Chi chapter members.”

Layson Griffin ’11, Delta Delta Delta 

Layson Griffin

What are your primary duties as an alumni adviser? I co-advise with another alumna, Kelly Carter, and my primary responsibilities are to provide support and guidance to the entire chapter but specifically, the Standards Team. Together, we oversee the officer slating process and recruitment to ensure the chapter continues to excel and grow. As well, we also try to provide alumni with engagement opportunities with the chapter. We receive a tremendous amount of support from our local alumni network! 

How long have you been in this role?  Four years. 

What is your career and your background there? I am the director of client experiences for the nonprofit organization, Equestrian Events, Inc., and I have been with the organization since fall 2012. We organize the Kentucky Three-Day Event and my primary responsibility is to create a positive and memorable experience for all in attendance. 

Outside of work and Delta, what do you spend your time doing? My husband and I own a fixer-upper house just outside of downtown Lexington, so we spend a lot of our time working on home or yard projects. When we aren’t working on our house, I love to cook and take advantage of all the different fun experiences downtown Lexington offers. 

What were you involved in at Transy and what was your major?  I joined Tri Delta the fall semester of 2007. I was very involved in my sorority and the various events we executed each year. As well, I loved to attend sporting matches and philanthropy events organized by other chapters. I was a competitive equestrian athlete (before Transy had a team!) while in college and I dedicated a healthy portion of my time to riding my horses and prepping for competitions. I majored in art history.

Mason McCauley ‘07, Kappa Alpha Order

Mason McCauley

Mason McCauley does a lot of work behind the scenes to get the chapter and officers ready for initiation so that it goes smoothly. He always is open to field questions from current officers about current issues and opportunities for the chapter and uses his past experience as a KA at Transy to help all of us out.  

McCauley single-handedly gave the chapter the information to reach out to KA alumni to help fund our chapter room renovations and has been instrumental in helping us design the room itself. He has an extensive network with past KAs and that gave us the opportunity to connect to many alumni who have donated to the new rooms.

McCauley joined KA in the fall of 2003 and initiated in January 2004 and served for three years as a chapter officer. 

“The most valuable thing about Greek life is that it helped me grow as a young man, taught me valuable leadership skills and allowed me to make friendships that will last a lifetime,” McCauley shared. “It also allowed me to meet my wife and have the best Transy experience and prepared me to give back to the university after graduation.”

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