Dandy Lions

Dandy Lion Calliope 1989 ConventionBy Sally Thomas, Beta Sigma-Mercer University, Member Services Manager

Have you noticed some of our illustrious sisters wearing pink Dandy Lion ribbons and wondered what the ribbons designated? Here is their story … in 1983, Mary Esther Hedley Van Akin and Christine Ebsen Lortz, both beloved and long-serving alumnae, petitioned Grand Council for consent to assemble a group of retired international officers at the 1983 Grand Convention. Chris Lortz said, “I had tried to get something going for all retired officers, some bond to hold us together and keep us in touch with Alpha Delta Pi.”

no chicken 1995
Some Dandy Lion mischief!

Mary Esther and Chris worked months in advance of convention, writing letters to former national officers, encouraging them to attend Convention. Their plan was to form an organization of former (inter)national officers, who would be able to offer to Alpha Delta Pi the benefit of their collective experience and knowledge. The Adelphean Association for Retired People, or A.A.R.P., was founded at the 1983 Grand Convention. This group of twenty-nine met several times at that Convention to discuss Alpha Delta Pi and share memories. The group elected Helen Glenn as their first Chairman and Betty Pitzer as Treasurer. At the 1985 Convention meeting, they changed their name to the Dandy Lions, the name submitted by Ruth Mueller. Over time, Leadership Consultants were added to the group based upon their incredible work and efforts on behalf of Alpha Delta Pi. Joanne Kirlin serves as Dandy Lion chair at the 2015 Grand Convention. You’ll find many of them sitting at reserved tables during our meals.

Dandy Lion chicken dance 1995 Convention

Please take the opportunity to visit with these women as they can offer historical (and sometimes hysterical) bits of Alpha Delta Pi trivia. They have been known to be mischievous when together and are always deeply loyal to our sisterhood.

For more information on the sisters mentioned, you may visit the Digital Archives.



  1. Mischievous! Really!! I don’t believe we have a mischievous bone in our bodies!! 😉 LOL!! Can’t wait til next week!!

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