Written by Sepeideh Jahangard, member of Gamma Phi Beta.
When I first began to think of Hannah, I found myself writing a letter full of clichés about discovering friendship, and discovering a purpose in college. I discovered how difficult it was to put into words how much Hannah’s motivation, friendship, and encouragement always meant to me. So instead I decided to share three memories that centered around Hannah, which perfectly described why Hannah Gillion is one of a kind.
On April Fool’s Day, I sent a group text to all of my best friends that I had fallen down the treacherous stairs outside of the Miller Learning Center and broken my leg. (If you’ve ever had to brave these stairs, you would understand my complete fear of them.) My roommate of course was in on the prank and helped me draft a text conversation in order to convince our other friends. As the day went on, I individually texted each of my friends that it had only been an April Fool’s joke; I had not really broken my leg. Hannah, however, I had forgotten to text because she never responded to my message. Hannah came into my dorm room to check on me later in the night, but I was not home. Instead she found my fish, Captain, floating belly up in his tank. Hannah being the friend she was, took care of my deceased fish and texted me informing me of his passing. I got her text and thought to myself… April Fools. No way Captain had died: she had to be pranking me. Finally, I returned to my dorm, I found Hannah in my bed with a box of tissues and a sullen face ready to comfort me about my fish. Hannah took the incentive to take care of my fish because she is kind and considerate. That day solidified our friendship.
We lived in the house together. During finals week, I decided to foster some kittens; although our house had a no pet policy. I needed help smuggling the kittens upstairs, so I of course called Hannah. I knew she would stand by me and help. I called her at noon. Hannah had a plan by 1pm. She knew that quickly what to do. I was a ball of nerves that week. I worried about how full their tummies would get and how sleepy the kittens were. Hannah, on the other hand, stayed cool, calm and collected. She gave me insight and offered advise on how to take care of them. After that experience, I knew I wanted to be like Hannah; she could look at the most difficult situations and find solutions so easily. The most important thing I noticed about her that year was her ability to remain calm in the face of anxiety.
This past year, Hannah was elected to be our Philanthropy Chair. She stood up in front of our chapter and promised to make our Spring Philanthropy something to be proud of. Hannah always keeps her promises. Gamma Phi Beta’s Moonball event was amazing. I believe all of the events success was linked to Hannah’s dedication to making the event a gathering that represented our chapter. Teams came together to win prizes in the volleyball tournament benefiting Girls on the Run. Hannah enlisted 22 teams to play in the tournament. The previous year there was only 7. Hannah reached out to so many teams, but more importantly she spoke to our chapter with such drive and conviction that she inspired others to recruit their friends to play in the volleyball tournament. Her passion for Girls on The Run and the sorority inspired a whole chapter to work as a team and build an event that represents the sorority as a whole. Hannah’s drive and her actions demonstrated one of the purest forms of leadership I have ever seen. Hannah put so much effort into the event that would only be a few hours long, but ultimately, she built the foundation for the event that I am sure will be enjoyed for years and years to come.
Although we will be separated by study abroad and internships, I know we will always be friends. Hannah Gillion is the embodiment of our sorority and the goals to which I will always strive