While recognizing the importance of each alumna in the life of the fraternity, we further value her participation in an organized group, which can guide and inspire undergraduates and preserve association with chapter members who travel far and wide. To this end, Helen Nee Hutto, Nu, past National Executive Secretary and wearer of the Guard of Honor, in 1958, established a Membership Tray to be awarded to the Alumnae association, which has best maintained and reported its membership. In 2002 this award was renamed the Jean M. Cusack Membership Award to honor Jean Cusack, Beta, a woman who was relentless in her pursuit of missing alumnae, diligent in updating records and whose middle initial probably stood for membership. Jean entered the Eternal chapter in January of 2013 at the age of 94. Jean attended 26 National Conventions and delighted us with her quick wit, stories of the past and dreams for the future of Theta Phi Alpha.
For the year 2015-2016, for the alumnae association that recruited and increased its membership 123% from 13 to 29 members; this association achieved this incredible improvement by inviting everyone from the national roster, utilizing Facebook, Twitter, via snail mail, e-mail, and more, the Jean M. Cusack Membership Award is hereby presented to the Chicago Area Alumnae Association.