Foundation Recognizes Philanthropists

To recognize the achievements of our Tri Sigma philanthropists, the Foundation established the following two awards, Philanthropist of the Year and Emerging Philanthropist of the Year, to be presented beginning at the 2016 Convention.



Philanthropist of the Year

Dixie Shelton

Golden Violet, Alpha Alpha, Houston Alumnae Chapter

The Foundation honors a Tri Sigma for exceptional generosity and civic responsibility demonstrated by significant financial contributions to charitable organizations within their community, including the Tri Sigma Foundation. The recipient’s generosity and community leadership also motivate others to give and become involved in philanthropy.

According to this award winner’s many nominators, “She is an amazing woman of character that truly touches every Sigma and individual she comes in contact with.” “She has always been a model of the generous women I hope to become, and now I have the privilege of being a member of the same Alumnae Chapter where she has been and continues to be not only an active member, but an integral voice in all we do that is respected by all.” “She is poised in all she does, and is really a living example of what it means to give back to those things you believe in.”

Dixie is a woman of faith, who not only gives back to those who have contributed to where she is today, but also makes an astounding effort to give to those who may be in need.  Her devotion to her community includes the creation of 2 scholarships at a local university, board service and providing a monthly stipend for pastors and widows pension, Salvation Army Contributions and Donations, and Meals for Homeless Mission- just to name a few. In addition to being a member of the Tri Sigma Foundation 1898 Club and Watkins Society, a few years ago, this award winner and her husband also have an endowed scholarship within the Tri Sigma Foundation.



Emerging Philanthropist of the Year

Michelle Tantillo

Epsilon Omicron, Chicago N.W. Suburban Alumnae Chapter

The Foundation recognizes a Tri Sigma who is 40 years of age or under for exceptional generosity and civic responsibility demonstrated through financial contributions and volunteerism to charitable organizations within their community, including the Tri Sigma. The recipient’s personal generosity and community leadership should motivate others to give and become involved in philanthropy.

According to this award winners nominator, “She is one of the most dedicated and giving sisters I know. She continually demonstrates her love and commitment to family, friends, and sorority by going the extra mile to support those she loves and values. She is tireless in her devotion to causes which support her values and those she honors. She truly lives out the mandate “to whom much has been given, much will be expected.”

The devotion of Michelle includes support to blood drives, a fall food drive, gift collection for children at the holidays, and a fundraiser for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.  She also participates in and hosts for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. In her “free time” this award winner participates in a variety of walks and events where she donates in memory of past family members; specifically for the American Heart Association and the National Parkinson’s Foundation. She even walks in events with her dog to benefit PAWS. Since the loss of her dear friend, she has also become very active in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, participating in and fundraising for overnight walks, community walks, and advocacy in her community. She teaches a donation-based yoga class on a weekly basis to benefit AFSP, and she takes no compensation for this class. Additionally, as a Violet Club and Batten Society member, she is also an active donor to the Tri Sigma Foundation.