I became a (proud) member of GKIHS at the University of Florida back in 1982. The next year, I was president of the chapter and did that for my senior year as well. Golden Key was very active on the UF campus, and we organized a variety of service learning events and activities long before people had coined the term. GKIHS was also the primary force behind the university's Honous Council, which pooled together the interests of all the academic honoraries that were present on our campus at the time.
Golden Key offered me tremendous leadership opportunities. I availed myself of all of these, including attending the national and regional conferences, where I met wonderful peers and some motivated faculty advisors, too. It was during one of these conferences where the thought of someday advising a chapter entered my mind. Little did I know that about twenty years later I would have the opportunity as a university faculty member to found a chapter and be its inaugural advisor at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John, Canada, and then another at the University of Windsor several years later.
As a faculty advisor, I even had the privilege of attending several great meetings with my students, and learned something new and was impressed by the offerings at each and every one of them. In my last years as a faculty member in Canada, I was privileged to have served the Society on its Council of Advisors, even being recognized nationally for this a few years ago. I also had a few opportunities to share back some of my own learning and experiences, which had been cultivated back when I was just beginning to understand my abilities and interests as an undergraduate.
These chapters had many early (and present-day) successes. It was a joy to see students recognized for their own academic achievements, as well as to see them provided with leadership opportunities to make a difference in their communities, just like I had received while I was an undergraduate. My chapters did great things, won national and international awards, and aligned well with GK's enduring mission.
My experience showed that you never know what seeds will be planted on your GK journey, but some of them may grow in paths unforeseen and create productive new paths for others to explore. I remain a devoted believer in the good that GKIHS does for students both while studying as undergraduates and well beyond.