BY TRISHA ASHAR
On Saturday afternoon, old and new Spirits alike laughed, cried, brunched, and celebrated a 78 year old tradition.
Every year, the Texas Spirits Traditions Haunt (this year, the lovely Liang Zhao) plans Alumnae Brunch, an event for graduated Spirits to come back and celebrate the tradition with the Texas women living and upholding the tradition on campus today.
With women from classes are far back as 1974 in attendance, this year’s Alumnae Brunch was especially remarkable because we inducted our first Honorary Spirit since 2013– Margaret “Peggy” Griffith, the mother of our beloved Abigail “Abz” Zeitler.
A fall 2013 weenie and Chief Haunt 2015, Abz Zeitler left an everlasting mark on Texas Spirits as an organization, inspiring women in and outside of the organization with her passion, charisma, and dedication to the Forty Acres. Unfortunately, Abz Zeitler tragically took her own life in fall of 2016.
To honor Abz and commemorate her legacy, Texas Spirits has worked tirelessly in the past school year with the university and Peggy Griffith to raise money for the Texas Spirits Abigail “Abz” Zeitler Memorial Endowment, which will go on to fund Texas Real Beauty in perpetuity. As the director of the UT Real Beauty campaign in its second year, this was one of many on campus initiatives that Abz was passionate about.
In the past few months, Abz’s mother, Peggy, has shown so much strength, compassion, and dedication to her daughter’s legacy and to the Texas Spirits tradition. Honorary Spirits are women who fully embody the four pillars of Texas Spirits–spirit, service, friendship, and love–and they are a representation of everything Texas Spirits has to offer the world. At Alumnae Brunch, Peggy was unanimously voted to become an honorary Texas Spirit by the active members of the organization.
In an emotional ceremony, Liang Zhao walked Peggy through an abridged weenie semester: complete with a paper bag name-tag, CIWY letters, a paddle, and a hand-embroidered “Honorary Texas Spirit” scarf. Peggy was scarved by Margaret Berno, Banker Haunt 2018 and founder of the Abz Endowment Committee.
After giving Peggy her scarf, actives and alumnae alike were given mini jars to mingle with each other and create Alumnae Brunch weenie boards to collect notes and sunflowers from others that they met on the day of.