Alliance is another word for hospitality

The Alliance’s primary role is to provide hospitality during each year’s annual meeting to spouses and guests of new and long-time College members. Sharing a lovely breakfast gives everyone an opportunity to get acquainted while spouses and significant others are occupied with conference responsibilities. Breakfast is available from 8:30-10:30 am (Friday-Sunday) and an interesting, educational and fun 30-60 minute presentation begins at 9:00. Later in the day we have field trips to sights of interest.

Last year’s breakfast program included Bryan Reynolds, a motivational speaker and co-founder/CEO of Anthem Coffee and Tea, who spoke on heroic hospitality. He focused on working together, taking a risk and most of all welcoming and getting to know those in our communities. He spoke about discovering one’s purpose and making a difference in people’s lives. I believe it inspired Alliance members whose goal is to provide Bryan’s perspective of heroic hospitality to all of our members.

Dr. Sarah Milledge Nelson, a renowned archeologist, writer, scholar, researcher and former Alliance President talked about her newest book, Tiger Queen. It’s a work of fiction interwoven with her real-life experiences from archeological digs in East Asia. I loved reading Dr. Nelson’s novel, Spirit Bird Journey. It is fascinating and difficult to put down. I highly recommend it! It involves ethnic and gender identities and information based on her own archeological digs. Dr. Nelson is well-known for her determined efforts to support gender equality. A quote from Dr. Nelson in an article in Gender Avenger says it quite well: “I hope women find their specialty and demand their place in the field.”

The Chocolopolis chocolate tasting was quite an experience. It was fun AND delicious!!!

Field trips are another opportunity to enjoy time together in a city we often know little about. In Seattle last November we went to the Chihuly Garden (beautiful) and another day to The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center. Another trip involved some of us walking (others Ubered) to a boutique shop followed by lunch at a local eatery.

The annual luncheon took place at the FareStart restaurant. Although this is a business luncheon, all Alliance members were welcome to attend. According to the restaurant’s website, “FareStart is a real solution to some of our society's most pressing challenges—homelessness, joblessness, poverty and hunger. Our model works because we are both an effective social service provider and a thriving social enterprise. We help people transform their lives, create value for our community and offer a way for everyone to play a role doing something that matters.”

We are busy planning great programs like this for the College’s 2019 Annual Meeting in Houston, Nov. 7-11. All registered spouses/guests are enrolled as Alliance members and are welcome to join us for breakfast, programs and field trips as part of your registration fee. We want you to get to know us and to enjoy your time in Houston.

Did you know that all Fellow-in-Training (FIT) spouses/ significant others receive free guest registration when FITs register them for the meeting? Also, Alliance membership is free and open to all spouses/significant others.

– Patricia Wedner, Alliance president

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