Sarah Ailene Wahl, WC ’50, of Tampa, Florida, gifted $67,000 in furnishings to the new home for Alpha Delta Pi in memory of her daughter, Ceslie Alliene Schroder, WC ’83, who died in 2013. Both mother and daughter served as president of Lambda Chapter of ADPi, Brenau’s oldest sorority. The portrait depicts Ceslie at 10, the year she sang on the steps of the old sorority house I Want to be an ADPi.

Priceless Gift

A Women’s College alumna’s generous gift to Alpha Delta Pi isn’t just a display of sororal pride. It’s also an enduring testament of a mother’s love for her daughter.

After graduating from Brenau Women’s College, Sarah Wahl, WC ’50, returned to her hometown in Tampa, Florida, where her parents ran a clothing store. She became a public school teacher, started a family and began amassing what became an impressive collection of historically significant pieces, including pre-Civil War George III mahogany chests and hand-sewn Persian carpets from what is now Iran dating to the end of World War I.

Wahl affiliated with Alpha Delta Pi Lambda at Brenau – more specifically, as president of the Lambda Chapter. When she heard that her old sorority would get new digs on the historic Gainesville campus, she gave her alma mater a phone call.

Interior of the newly constructed Alpha Delta Pi house on the Sorority Row along Prior Street on Brenau University's historic Gainesville campus.
Interior of the newly constructed Alpha Delta Pi house on the Sorority Row along Prior Street on Brenau University’s historic Gainesville campus.

“She recognized that her health was becoming a liability for her,” said Robert Shippey, Brenau’s senior director of development. “She wanted to make plans for her belongings before she needed to move into a health care-assisted apartment. She wanted to donate her furniture to ADPi so that it could help young ladies establish their home.”

Wahl subsequently gave ADPi more than $67,000 in antique furniture, including a $6,500 1904 Kaplan and Co. federal-style sideboard and an 8-foot-by-11-foot wool Sarouk carpet appraised at almost $10,000. There was also a Venetian-style crystal chandelier valued at $4,000 and a 1925 Biggs and Co. Chippendale corner cabinet worth about $3,000. However, one item in the package has a different kind of value. It is a portrait of another former Lambda Chapter president: Ceslie Alliene Schroder, WC ’83, Wahl’s daughter who died in 2013 at age 51.

The portrait, which now hangs inside the all new Alpha Delta Pi sorority house, depicts Schroder when she was 10-years-old. At that age, she would sit on the front steps of the old Brenau sorority house, merrily singing the song, I Want to Be an ADPi.

Current Lambda Chapter president Hannah Doster, an early childhood education major from Hoschton, Georgia, said Wahl’s gift embodies the Alpha Delta Pi motto “We Live for Each Other.”

Not only does Doster and her sorority sisters enjoy the air of sophistication the furnishings bring to their new home, she said the portrait of Schroder inspires them to be strong leaders and fully live out the ADPi creed.

“Mrs. Wahl’s decision to have the painting hung in our home is one that shows her love for honoring her daughter’s passions and her trust in us for being able to take care of such a meaningful part of her life,” Doster said. “These furnishings remind us of the love that is shared between sisters and how we can always remember those who have been sisters before us.”

One Response to “Priceless Gift”
  1. Debbie Notth says:

    Beautiful! I have leukemia and spend a lot of time in the hospital. I can see what a powerful ministry this would be for many patients. Thank you for the article and the video

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