A Night — and an Alumna — to Remember

In mid November, I attended a conference of The International Women’s Alliance, a global women’s networking association. I was very excited because the guest presenter at our gala dinner on the night of November 10th, was distinguished Canadian Tri Delta alumna Maureen Kempston Darkes.

Maureen is a graduate of Victoria College and U of T Law School, and of course, a member of Canada Alpha. Today she is global leader, currently serving as Group Vice President and President, General Motors, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.

When the dinner began, I made my way through the crowd of almost 200 women to reach the head table. To be honest, I was a bit nervous. The head table hosts looked at me intently as I approached Maureen. Extending my hand I didn’t know what to say except, “My name is Beth Parker — and we’re Tri Delta sisters!” My impression of Maureen is that she is a calm, reserved women; but as soon as I blurted out my message, she leaped to her feet and immediately threw her arms around me. Our conversation exploded into topics like, “What’s new at the house? Is that boys’ frat still next door? What are the girls like now? How did rush go? And of course, did I remember Dorothy Cody?”

It was a wonderful moment for me, and believe me, I sure impressed the rest of the head table! Maureen spoke so fondly of her days in Tri Delta and asked that I pass her greetings on to all of you — and especially mentioned friends from her year — Heather, Nancy, and Sherry.

I met many women that evening and during the course of the conference, but I will always remember my short visit with Maureen Kempston Darkes.

Note: Apart from her responsibilities at GM, Maureen also serves on the Board of CN and the U of T President’s International Alumni Council; and is a recipient of numerous honourary degrees and awards, including the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada.

by Beth (Brewer) Parker,
Canada Alpha 1977

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