Steadfast & Strong: Diane Hanson Keegan

As District President from 2005 to 2008 and Vice President Alumnae II from 2008 to 2012, the primary focus of Diane Hanson Keegan’s national-level ZTA volunteer experience was alumnae involvement. While helping engage alumnae in the Las Vegas, Nevada, and Flint Hill, Kansas, areas for the reactivation of Iota Eta Chapter (University of Nevada Las Vegas) and Beta Upsilon Chapter (Kansas State University), she found a new ZTA passion—collegiate extension.

“I learned I really loved the idea and process of how we create a new chapter,” Mrs. Keegan said. “I love to tell the ZTA story and spread the message of our values and what we believe.”

Since her first two extension events, Mrs. Keegan has assisted in 20 more new chapter and reactivation recruitments, including our most recent success with Lambda Upsilon Chapter (University of Wisconsin-Madison). In “infoviews” with potential new members during extension recruitment, Mrs. Keegan finds the most frequently asked question is “why did you join ZTA?” She shares her own story of managing college classes, a full-time job and sorority involvement. “Some of the women think they don’t have time to be in a sorority,” she said. “I explain how they can fit it in and become master planners. The busier you are, the better you become at planning.”

One of her favorite aspects of being on the extension team is visiting college campuses. “I love to feel the ‘vibe’ of each school,” she said. “I try to visit the bookstore and the stadium. I love both large and small campuses and all types of architecture, from traditional to modern.”

Mrs. Keegan and the extension team especially enjoyed exploring the campus of ZTA’s newest chapter at University of Wisconsin-Madison, on the shores of Lake Mendota. “It’s really beautiful, and some of the fraternities and sororities have gorgeous views of the lake from their houses.”

Mrs. Keegan (front row, right of center) and the Extension team at University of Wisconsin-Madison

Since her time as Vice President Alumnae II, Mrs. Keegan has volunteered on the collegiate side of ZTA, serving as Mentor to Sigma Chapter (Baker University) from 2014 to 2019 and Alpha Upsilon Chapter (Oklahoma State University) from 2019 to 2021.

“As VPA, I helped alumnae engage with collegiate chapters as advisors,” she said. “It’s important to bridge the gap between alumnae and collegians. As a Mentor or advisor, you share your ZTA knowledge but also teach collegians to think for themselves.”

As a former resident of southern California, Mrs. Keegan served as an advisor to her own collegiate chapter (Theta Omega Chapter, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona), Theta Phi Chapter (California State University, Fullerton) and played an active role in ZTA’s Think Pink® efforts and partnership with the National Football League.

An NFL game experience in San Diego is one of her favorite ZTA memories, which she frequently shares with potential new members. “The Chargers were so great to us. They served us lunch before the game and let us on the field,” she said. “As we waited on the sidelines to unfurl the huge American flag for the National Anthem, I looked over and Tom Brady was standing 10 feet from me. The fans were screaming. Military jets were flying over. It was electrifying. I will never forget that moment.”

Mrs. Keegan is proof that being a Steadfast & Strong ZTA volunteer can both put you 10 feet from one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history and across a table from a charter member of a new chapter. “The stories I could tell,” she said. “Pink games, being an advisor and a Mentor and spending time with the women on the extension team—it all fills my Zeta bucket. We’re all working toward a common goal of building something permanent for Zeta Tau Alpha.”


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